When you've had enough summer sun, pop indoors to a cool spot and take in this week's latest finds.
✦ The PBS series Craft in America comprises six episodes, each running under 56 minutes: Memory, Landscape, Community, Origins, Process, and Messages. These segments address, respectively, the dynamics of cultural history, influences on artists, artists connections with place, use of early craft techniques, what inspires a career in craft.
✦ The New York Public Library's Map Rectifier is a tool for digitally aligning historical maps in NYPL's collections with today's maps. Follow the tutorial available on the site, and then try your own hand; NYPL invites everyone to participate. Browse all maps, already rectified maps, layers, or layers.
✦ On May 20, 2011, 500 people were locked overnight into the New York Public Library and charged with helping the NYPL "activate" 100 artifacts that have inspired humanity and together write a "world-changing" book. The game designer was Jane McConigal, subject of an earlier post.
Are you game? You, too, are invited to Find the Future.
✦ While we're on the subject of games, don't miss this interesting post about robots and the "location language" games they play. Australian researchers at the University of Queensland have created a project in which a pair of mobile robots generates "words" (sounds) for the places visited. More on the researchers' Lingodroids project may be found here. (My thanks to The New Yorker Book Bench blog for the link.)
✦ The Peacock Room, restored to its appearance in 1908, is on view through spring 2013 at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. To see James McNeill Whistler's work in person is to be awed. For a hint of what's in store, watch this brief film.
Here's a closer look and a panorama.
There is a fascinating story behind the centerpiece in the room, the painting titled The Princess from the Land of Porcelain.
See the Peacock Room at Google Art Project.
Freer Gallery on FaceBook, Twitter, and Flickr
Smithsonian Magazine on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube
✦ The landscapes and cultures of New Mexico are reflected beautifully in the woven art of James Koehler, who died unexpectedly in March. To learn more about this marvelous artist, watch this film in which Koehler demonstrated and discussed his creative process, from design to dyeing and weaving.
Koehler's Rhythms of Nature II currently is on view at the Textile Museum, in Washington, D.C., in the show "Green: the Color and the Cause", which continues through September 11.
James Koehler, Rhythms of Nature II, 2009
Wool, Tapestry Woven
Photo by James Hart
Koehler's last published book is Woven Color: The Tapestry Art of James Koehler.