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BellaOnline's Art Appreciation Editor

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Sharing & Collecting Art Books – Taschen & Beyond


You may be an art lover who enjoys reading about your favorite artist or art topic. I’ll share the availability and sharing of art books –library hotels, libraries gone mobile, & collecting Taschen.

Art books cover a broad range of subjects besides the 'art' that we are familiar with: architecture, sculpture, graphics, design, and photography. Children’s books may be our first introduction to art, with wondrous illustrations that plant seeds for a child’s imagination.

If you live in a city or its suburbs, you may have easy access to book stores and libraries. But what if you are away from home or you want to read a book when the library is closed?

Hotels can be a place to relax and unwind - by reading or writing within its walls - when away from home.

Books are now available in many hotels worldwide. In New York City, the Library Hotel selects books according to categories in the Dewey Decimal System (Fine Arts can be found 700-709). Each of the sixty rooms is furnished with books on specific titles within a category.

At the Nomad Hotel in NY, the Library Dining Room - housing 3,500 books selected by Juniper Books – has been said to resemble “the private reading salon of an eccentric, well-traveled millionaire.” Titles span the gamut of subjects including: NY history, art, philosophy, and food.

Many famous writers have found a hotel to be a place of solitude. Maya Angelou, author of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," checked into a hotel at 5 AM, removed all distracting pictures from the walls, and wrote into the afternoon, when she would leave and edit her work at home.

Authors may reside at a hotel, as did playwright Tennessee Williams at the Hotel Elysee, NY, where he wrote "A House Not Meant to Stand," or visit, as did author William Faulkner who wrote his acceptance speech for the 1949 Nobel Prize for literature in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel, NY.

Taschen books are beautiful works of art - covering classical titles to unconventional subjects. The Trump Soho Hotel in NY provides a range of their art volumes for hotel guest to peruse.

Belgian book connoisseur Rene Rousseau has amassed 179 collector’s and art editions of Taschens, motivating him (along with his wife and children) to build a library where they could be displayed.

If you believe books are treasures (as I do), how do you suppose people in remote areas of the world can be given books?

Author Alex Johnson takes us around the world with stories and pictures that are beautiful and inspiring, in his book "Improbable Libraries."

In a remote area of the Gobi Desert, the Mongolian Children’s Mobile Library consists of one or more camels that carry books to nomadic herding communities.

In Laos, an elephant named Boom-Boom carried books into rural villages. We can only hope that Boom-Boom continues to carry out its mission and is not deterred by poachers.

My hope is that the wonder of art - in the form of art books - will remain a peaceful and pleasurable form of expression that can be introduced and shared by many, on a global stage.

You can own a Taschen published book, "Art of the 20th century," by Ingo F. Walther, available here from Amazon.com.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Camille Gizzarelli. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Camille Gizzarelli. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Camille Gizzarelli for details.

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