“Revisiting Twain’s Mississippi.” See the river’s immense grandeur in prints of Henry Bosse’s spectacular 19th century blue cyanotype photos of Mississippi River sites associated with Mark Twain. The prints are matted alongside prints of modern-day photos of the same sites by St. Paul photographer Chris Faust.
Exhibit opens May 4, runs through June 22. Hours are the same as the library: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Cargill Hall Gallery, 2nd floor, Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.
On May 7, 7-8 p.m., local author John Anfinson (“The River We Have Wrought” and “River of History”), a historian/cultural resources specialist with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, will speak on the history of the Upper Mississippi River. Photographer Chris Faust also will talk about Henry Bosse, and how he (Faust) used his training as a biologist when re-photographing the river from the same vantage points as Bosse more than 100 years later.
Exhibit and event are free.
Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, sponsored by the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators and presented in collaboration with the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography.
Henry Bosse took hundreds of photos of the Mississippi River while working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is considered the leading 19th century photographer of the river. Cyanotype is an inexpensive photographic process that prints in blue and was used by engineers.
Bosse’s cyanotypes were published in large-format albums titled “Views on the Mississippi River Between Minneapolis, Minn., and St. Louis, Mo., 1883-1891” and are now in the permanent collections of some of the most prestigious museums and art centers in the U.S., including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Chris Faust, whose modern-day photos are also featured in the exhibit, said Bosse’s technique for creating his oval cyanotypes was unique and inventive for the time.
“Bosse made an 11” X 14” glass plate negative of the image, made a paper oval and put it on top of the negative, then sandwiched it with blueprint paper and put it in the sun to produce the print,” Faust said. He thinks Bosse made his own blueprint paper with chemicals that were inexpensive and available to him as a draftsperson.
“It was a very convenient and cheap way to make prints right away, essentially using blueprint paper and archival map drawing paper,” Faust said.
Faust is a landscape photographer best known for his panoramic landscape photos. His photos have been exhibited at museums and art centers and in private collections around the country, and illustrate several books, including “Nocturnes: Night Photographs.” He teaches courses on photography and media at Brown College in Mendota Heights.
Faust said his modern-day images in the “Revisiting Twain’s Mississippi” exhibit “are more of a conversation on present day landscapes. The diptychs are made from relatively the same location as the original cyanotypes. I say relatively because for most of the locations, the physical place has either eroded or is under water.”
Faust said he has had a long fascination with the Mississippi. “I’ve always lived close to the river. It’s a dynamic landscape and fertile for image making. I’ve always photographed the clumsy marriage between natural forces and human intervention.”
For the exhibit, images by Bosse and Faust were scanned, printed side-by-side on one piece of paper and matted together.
Dependable Tire Co., 2604 Lyndale Avenue S., 1961 (courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society)
Now home of the French Meadow Bakery and Cafe, the new owner of the CC Club. City Pages this week features a great oral history of the CC Club (previously the CC Tap).
Henry Mack, Minnesota African-American Civil War Veteran
Henry Mack (1836-1945), a longtime resident of the North side community in Minneapolis, was born into slavery, later escaped his master and eventually served in the Union Army during the Civil War. After moving to Minneapolis, he was a familiar figure on the North side and became one of the longest lived Civil War veterans, living to the astounding age of 108. Author and military historian Stephen Chicoine will be giving a talk on Mack’s life at the Minneapolis Central Library (Doty Board Rm, 2nd floor) on Saturday, May 4th at 1pm. The event is free and there is no need to register.
“She thought of the library, so shining white and new; the rows and rows of unread books; the bliss of unhurried sojourns there and of going out to a restaurant, alone, to eat.” —Happy Birthday, Maud Hart Lovelace
Quote from Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown. Image Credit Old Mankato, MN Public Library, aka “Deep Valley Library”
This Carnegie library is still in use, housing the Carnegie Art Center. The Maud Hart Lovelace Award Winners were announced this week. Here is more on the library in the Deep Valley books and our holdings of Maud Hart Lovelace’s works.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts Library
A “Special Collections” library in Minneapolis that you may not know about is the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Art Research and Reference Library. Housed in the Institute’s beautiful new Target Wing, the Library boasts a collection of nearly 60,000 volumes, 120 art periodical subscriptions and 200 object files. Best of all, it is open to the public! Collections are available for use in the Library’s reading room. Reference service is available either in-person or by phone. The Library is open Tuesday through Friday, 11:30-4:30. Call (612) 870-3200 for more information, or visit http://library.artsmia.org.
We celebrate Preservation Week (April 21-27) with a spotlight on our Preservation Unit and its work
The Preservation Unit at Minneapolis Central improves the lifespan, usability and accessibility of the print collections at all Hennepin County libraries. The Unit is located in a non-public space on the fifth floor at Minneapolis Central, out of visibility of library visitors. However, every patron benefits from its work. “The work we do in the Preservation Unit is all about taking care of Hennepin County Library’s extraordinary print collection, so that it can be enjoyed by our patrons for generations to come. We are lucky to have the help of several wonderful volunteers in accomplishing this work,” comments staff member Frank Hurley.
As the name implies, the Preservation Unit preserves, repairs and restores the Library’s print material: preservation photocopying, commercial binding operations, preservation consultations with staff in other service areas (most notably, Special Collections) and, of course, book binding, processing and adding enclosures.
Recently the Preservation Unit collaborated on a project with Minneapolis Central Library Children’s Librarian Ellen Buskirk.
Buskirk had noted a large interest in the Scandinavian titles from the Children’s World Language Collection housed in HCL’s Minneapolis Central branch. She asked the HCL Preservation Unit to repair and preserve books from this collection. Here are some before and after images (though not in order).
There is also a display of the books in the Minneapolis Central Library atrium.