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I was in Washington DC for a few days last week and ran into the National Gallery of Art for a very quick visit to an exhibit I had just read about, “Announcing the Text:  Development of the Title Page 1470-1900” – but alas! found that the exhibit is closed on weekends! [it is in the National Gallery of Art Study Center and is open only Monday-Friday 10-5pm] – so I had to resort to what is available online to get a sense of the exhibition.  Here is the link to the highlights

And one example:


Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, 1851–1942
Wren’s City Churches
Orpington, Kent, 1883
David K. E. Bruce Fund

Thought to be the first manifestation of an art nouveau title page, the example seen here features stylized curvilinear designs and organic motifs inspired by nature, which typify the style that would be popularized near the turn of the 20th century.

[from the National Gallery of Art website]

Presenting select examples of early books of the 15th century through modern books of the late 19th century, this exhibition traces the development of the title page as its role expanded and new printing technologies impacted its design. [from the website]

The exhibit runs through May 21, 2010 – but if you cannot make it to DC, content yourself with the online exhibition, as one must – there is also no catalogue…

But my National Gallery visit was not all disappointment – as I had limited time, I did a quick run through the Chester Dale Collection exhibit, filled with the likes of Picasso, Cassat, Van Gogh, Matisse, Corot, Renoir, Monet, Degas, Modigliano, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, and so many more… click below for highlights of this amazing collection of Impressionist art: 

From Impressionism to Modernism:  The Chester Dale Collection, January 31, 2010 – July 31, 2011 [and there is a catalogue for this exhibit]  And for book lovers, there is also an exhibit of the various books on contemporary artists the Dales collected and donated to the National Gallery Library- see some highlights here.

So all in all, not a disappointing visit!