An ode to libraries, books, and art that celebrates 'em.
We could write odes upon odes and it wouldn’t nearly cover all of the praise that libraries deserve. But a picture’s worth a thousand words, amirite? Tomorrow is Library Shelfie Day, so we’re going to grab this opportunity to celebrate our reverence of the written word with beautifully bookish art.
At 20x200, we’re a bunch of romantics when it comes to the physical medium, and books are right up there: the smell of new books, old books, libraries, magazines; being surrounded by stacks and stacks of inspirational voices and literary characters—i.e. old friends—who've kept you company over the years.
So what could be better than the magical tangibility of museum-quality prints that celebrate books and words? Luckily we have a pretty deep collection of art adding to this exchange. Shoutout to the queen of the library shelfie herself: Jane Mount, who has painted over 600 Ideal Bookshelf sets, depicting 10,000+ favorite books of various souls in her life.
There’s so much to say (and we’ve already said a lot of it) about books as a historically galvanizing force—from the 1935 WPA project that hired artists to create energy around reading as a cultural tool to campaigns promoting women’s literacy and education. Our edition Sectional View of the New York Public Library illustrates how the planning and craft that went into creating this literary sanctuary continues to enrapture city residents and visitors alike.
In the words of Jane Mount: there is more to the world than we can perceive with our limited senses, and books show us possible ways this manifests. Bring this expansive world into your home and your spaces. Weave a narrative about the ideas and stories that captured you years ago, and the conversations you had surrounding them. Read a book!