Art and Architecture

Review: Wu Hung, Remaking Beijing

July 27, 2006
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Review: Wu Hung, Remaking Beijing

The July 14 issue of the Times Literary Supplement carried a review by Jonathan Mirsky of four books about Asian cities. Two of the books concerned Beijing and included Wu Hung’s Remaking Beijing: Tiananmen Square and the Creation of a Political Space.

Wu Hung’s book on Tiananmen Square, wrote Mirsky, “is a well-informed history of the transformation of the rather small, crowded, asymmetrical space, partly flanked by timber houses, in front of the Forbidden City, into a vast 50-acre ‘guangchang,’ a square, the biggest man-made space in the world.” Wu Hung, continues Mirsky, explains “why Tiananmen was the focus of the 1989 demonstration, why it attacted Chinese from all over the country—and why the leadership took the uprising especially seriously, because of where it took place.”

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Press release: Scafi, Mapping Paradise

July 21, 2006
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Press release: Scafi, Mapping Paradise

The first book to show how paradise has been expressed in cartographic form throughout two millennia, Mapping Paradise explores the intellectual conditions that made the medieval mapping of paradise possible and the challenge for mapmakers to make visible a place that was geographically inaccessible and yet real, remote in time and yet still the scene of an essential episode of the history of salvation. A history of the cartography of paradise that journeys from the beginning of Christianity to the present day, Mapping Paradise reveals how the most deeply reflective thoughts about the ultimate destiny of all human life have been molded—and remolded—generation by generation.

Read the press release.

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Review: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

July 17, 2006
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Review: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune carried a review by Lois Wille of Timothy J. Gilfoyle’s Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark. Wille pronounces the book “fascinating and gorgeous,” but also makes clear that the book is more than just pretty pictures. Wille, who has made significant contributions of her own to the history of Chicago’s lakefront, pays particular attention to Gilfoyle’s account of the political and philanthropic machinations necessary to create Millennium Park. Gilfoyle, says Wille, “has wise things to say about Millennium Park’s lessons for the economic health of Chicago and other postindustrial cities with global aspirations.”

We have a Millennium Park trivia quiz.

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Press release: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

July 16, 2006
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Press release: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

In the extraordinary spirit of vision and ambition that characterized the Columbian Exposition of 1893, where new and exciting innovations in art, architecture, and urban design were so dramatically unveiled on a world stage, Millennium Park opened in downtown Chicago two years ago. Featuring now iconic works by Frank Gehry, Anish Kapoor, Jaume Plensa, and Kathryn Gustafson, the park was promptly hailed in newspapers and magazines across the country as an incomparable global tourist destination and a crowning achievement for the city of Chicago. With more than 500 images (and most in color), this beautifully illustrated book tells the story of how Millennium Park came to be.

Read the press release. You may also take our trivia quiz.

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Happy Birthday, Rembrandt!

July 15, 2006
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Happy Birthday, Rembrandt!

Today is the 400th birthday of Rembrandt van Rijn. The master of light was born July 15, 1606, in Leiden. When he was twenty-five he moved to Amsterdam, where he lived the remainder of his sixty-three years.

A book by Steven Nadler, Rembrandt’s Jews, examines the artist’s life and work in the Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam and the depiction of Jews in his art. You can read an excerpt from Nadler’s book.

Rembrandt’s Late Religious Portraits by Arthur K. Wheelock looks at Rembrandt’s brooding half-length portraits of religious figures from the late 1650s and early 1660s. We published the book last year in conjunction with an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art.

From our deeper backlist comes Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market by Svetlana Alpers, who examined Rembrandt’s appeal to the buyers of his art and his market strategies.

Many more books about Rembrandt are available from publishers we distribute.

Museums around the world have special events and exhibits marking the quadricentennial. Find an exhibition of Rembrandt’s work near you.

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Gridlock, schmidlock

July 10, 2006
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Gridlock, schmidlock

Sunday’s issue of the Los Angeles Times featured an opinion piece by Robert Bruegmann. “Sprawl is not the worst thing that ever happened to the nation’s cities. In fact, by many measures, it’s been beneficial,” writes Bruegmann.

But isn’t sprawl to blame for gridlock on the LA freeways? No, says Bruegmann, the problem is a lagging infrastucture: “Population and density have increased without a corresponding development in the highway network. The L.A. region, once at the forefront of freeway development, now falls toward the bottom of the list of cities in the number of freeway lane miles per capita.” The divisive debate over sprawl has “weaken the consensus for funding for all kinds of transportation—public and private, highway and rail.” LA needs to “put aside for a while the old and not-terribly-helpful battles over sprawl.”

See also our excerpt from the book.

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Press release: Kruse, The New Suburban History

July 6, 2006
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Press release: Kruse, The New Suburban History

The ten essays in The New Suburban History are all written by historians on the cutting edge of an expanding field, and draw on original research on locales across the country, from California to Michigan to North Carolina. Paying special attention to the little-known histories of blue-collar, African American, Latino, and Asian suburbanites, the authors shed light on the role suburbs have played in the transformation of liberalism and conservatism; in the contentious politics of race, class, and ethnicity; and in debates about the environment, land use, taxation, and regulation. Read the press release.

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Gilfoyle is Chicago Reader‘s Critic’s Choice

June 21, 2006
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Gilfoyle is Chicago Reader‘s Critic’s Choice

Tonight at 6:00 p.m., Gilfoyle will discuss and sign Millennium Park at the Harold Washington Library. Items from the official archives of Millennium Park will be on view during the event. The event is free and open to the public.

Timothy J. Gilfoyle’s reading was chosen by the Chicago Reader as its Critic’s Choice of the week. Harold Henderson wrote, "The story of Millennium Park, as told by Loyola historian Timothy J. Gilfoyle in Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark, is three uplifting tales in one: the site, up from the lake and the post-Fire rubble; the politics, up from a landfill’s worth of failed plans; and the culture, up from a conservative vision of merely filling out the north end of Grant Park to a tightly packed series of walkways, sculptures, and theatrical spaces.… This impressively organized and lavishly illustrated book itself wouldn’t exist without financial support from the Minow Family Foundation. Those uncomfortable with the project’s delays, cost overruns, privatized process, or jangly outcome get their say, but the mayor has the last word."

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Author events: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

June 14, 2006
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Author events: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

Tonight, Timothy J. Gilfoyle, author of Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark, will appear on WTTW’s "Chicago Tonight" television program. The show airs at 7:00 p.m. (CST).

Tomorrow morning, Gilfoyle will be interviewed by Gretchen Helfrich on WBEZ 91.5 FM radio’s "Eight Forty-Eight" program (9:00-10:00 a.m.). In addition to regular broadcast, the show will be accessible via an online audio stream on the WBEZ Web site.

Next Wednesday, June 21 at 6:00 p.m., Gilfoyle will speak at the Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium (400 South State Street). Gilfoyle will discuss and sign Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark. Items from the official archives of Millennium Park will be on view during the event.

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Review: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

June 12, 2006
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Review: Gilfoyle, Millennium Park

Sunday’s edition of the Chicago Sun-Times featured a nice review of Timothy J. Gilfoyle’s Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark. Kevin Nance wrote, "The creation of the $475 million park, which opened in July 2004 four years late and at more than twice its originally projected cost, was fraught with tension among its high-powered participants.… This high-stakes game of push-and-pull forms the dramatic core of historian Timothy J. Gilfoyle’s absorbing and lavishly illustrated Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark, to be published this week."

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