One of the perks of cataloguing in NMWA’s Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center is the opportunity to discover interesting books that we’re adding to the library. I recently had the fortune to process an amazing folio-sized Joana Vasconcelos monograph.
It is an impressive book, measuring over 40 cm. high, and it includes 350 pages with 200 full-color reproductions of her work spanning 15 years. Added perks include layout and design by award-winning graphic designer Ricardo Mealha, careful editing by publisher Livrario Fernando Machado, an interview with the artist, and full-page images of this amazing artist’s work.
For those who aren’t familiar with Joana Vasconcelos, she’s worth knowing. Now living and working Lisbon, Portugal, she creates sculptures and site-specific installations that appropriate elements of everyday life—ready-mades, Nouveau Réalisme, and pop come to mind—with a mastery of color and sense of scale. Objects are removed from context and placed in surprising and creative arrangements that challenge the viewer to imagine new meanings. I especially love her large-scale colorful installations. Check out her Contaminação on pages 18–33, and animal sculptures wrapped in crochet mesh, pages 116–140. (Also, click here to see her work Viriato in NMWA’s collection!)
We welcome all to stop by to look at this beautiful book in person. We’re open to the public M–F, 10 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library makes a great starting point on the fourth floor! In addition to the beautiful books and comfy reading chairs, visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions of artists’ books, archival manuscripts, and rare books. Reference Desk staff are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. We hope to see you soon!
—Jennifer Page is the library assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.