William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
This beautiful, small-format publication serves as a primer on the work of William Henry Fox Talbot, a true interdisciplinary innovator who drew on his knowledge of art, botany, chemistry and optics to become one of the inventors of photography in 1839. Talbot’s “photogenic drawings” (photograms), calotypes and salted paper prints are some of the first ever examples of images captured on paper.
Accompanying an exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art (November 18, 2017 to February 11, 2018), this book brings together approximately 30 photographs by Talbot that demonstrate his wide-ranging interests, including nature, still life, portraiture, architecture, and landscape. Approximately a quarter of the featured images are being published for the first time since Talbot was alive. Through thematic groupings elucidated by noted Talbot scholar Larry Schaaf, the book reveals the photographer’s early striving to test the boundaries of his medium at a historic moment when art and science intersected. With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile art, this publication demonstrates that, in its earliest days, photography required a form of magic-making and innovation that continues to inspire people today.
William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877) was a “gentleman scientist” in Victorian England. He is best known for his development of the calotype, an early photographic process that involved the use of a negative, from which multiple prints could be made. Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature (1844–1846) was the first mass-produced book with photographic illustrations.
2017; hardcover; 95 pages with 40 color illustrations; available from the CMOA Store and D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers; ISBN 978-0-8803-9060-6
Hack the Grid
“You are a part of everything you consume: food, material goods, and energy. And everything you consume affects the world that you live in. Know how to gather good data, understand what it means, make your choices based on quality information, and take action. You are made of energy and have the power.”
This is the crux of Andrea Polli’s project Hack the Grid, which reveals how photography, digital imagery, and data visualizations can inspire community activism and political action. Polli is an artist working at the intersection of art, science, and technology. For Hack the Grid, she presents past and current projects that reveal how data visualizations create emotional impact and societal change. Polli also engages in conversations with scientists, activists, technologists, and designers in Pittsburgh, a city at the intersection of technological advancements and longstanding ecological concerns.
Hack the Grid is a project of the Hillman Photography Initiative, in which Carnegie Museum of Art invites artists to investigate contemporary social issues through photography’s measurement of light and time. In addressing the relationship between light and environmental sustainability using data visualization, Polli pushes the boundaries of photography and reveals the power of imagery to inspire citizens and change the world for the better.
2017; hardcover; 160 pages with full color; available from the CMOA Store and D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers; ISBN 978-0-88039-061-3
Art Cat’s Sketchbook
Art Cat is the beloved mascot and spokescat of children’s and family programs at Carnegie Museum of Art. He lives in the museum and knows a bunch of its secrets. Art Cat wants to give you access to his personal sketchbook, full of insight into his ideas, doodles, and imagination. Art Cat has started so many sketches, he could never finish them all. With your help, his sketchbook will be complete!
Try out dozens of Art Cat’s favorite activities: Draw your own setting for a suit of medieval armor. Imagine what people in portraits might say to you. Design your own work to be added to the museum’s grand Hall of Sculpture. Assemble an art collection of your own by drawing paintings and sculptures in the museum’s collection.
2017; softcover; 64 pages with full color; available from the CMOA Store; ISBN 978-0-8803-059-0
Over the last 10 years, Los Angeles–based Michael Williams has created paintings known for their layered imagery, eye-popping color, and use of airbrushing and inkjet printing. His large-scale works begin as drawings either on paper or on the computer screen before they are printed or transferred to canvas and then embellished with oil paint. Williams’s narrative content reveals a dark sense of humor about everyday life, often exploring the role of the painter as observer. Wickedly funny allegories merge with abstract painting as free-form amoebic shapes frequently fill the entirety of his canvases. The resulting paintings offer a dense and absorbing terrain of color and form.
Michael Williams is published to accompany the artist’s first US solo museum exhibition, at Carnegie Museum of Art (April 20 to August 27, 2017), where he presents a new body of his large-scale paintings as well as drawings that mix collage and free-associative mark-making.
2017; softcover; 112 pages with 81 color illustrations; available from the CMOA Store and D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers; ISBN 978-0-8803-9058-3