New York City book campaign

by Vintage Editions

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Artist Statement

What do New York City, countless books, and attention-commanding women have in common (other than being three very excellent things)? Our newest Vintage Edition! Which also happens to be a richly detailed black and white photo that takes us time-travelling to 1919, and segues into some real interesting, library-loving history in the process. In New York City book campaign, a smartly-dressed woman balances atop a couple dozen stories of book stacks high to speak on behalf of the American Library Association (ALA) and promote their book drive for soldiers in Europe. Established in 1876, the ALA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting libraries and library education. In fact, it’s the oldest and largest library association in the world. In 1917, two years before this photo was taken, ALA membership was just over 3,000. With the First World War underway, the ALA decided to launch the Committee on Mobilization and War Service Plans (later known as the War Service Committee). Directed by Herbert Putnam—the eighth and longest serving Librarian of Congress—and later by Carl H. Milam, the Committee set out to raise money to provide libraries, books, and periodicals to military personnel abroad and at home.

Why We Love It

In New York City book campaign, a smartly-dressed woman is nimbly balanced atop an imposing wall of books. In her hand, an old school megaphone. On her face, an unmistakable smile. Our heroine didn’t just come here to loudly declare her love for libraries (though that’s a hypothetical demonstration we’re very much here for). She climbed a couple dozen stories of book stacks high to speak on behalf of the American Library Association (ALA) and promote their book drive for soldiers in Europe. Though membership in the ALA was and is open to any person or organization, the majority of its members are librarians and libraries, so chances are the ardent, anonymous spokesperson pictured in New York City book campaign was a librarian herself. It’s fair to say this image is an homage to the ALA’s work, but it’s more generally an ode to the bliss of reading good books, and the democratic essential of library access ... More on the blog!

Details

+ Limited-edition, exclusive to 20x200
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available

Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.

Medium:

Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta

Edition Structure:
10"x8" | edition of 10
14"x11" | edition of 150
20"x16" | edition of 25
24"x20" | edition of 10
30"x24" | edition of 5

Vintage Editions

For our Vintage Editions series, our curators scour historical archives for both timeless classics and heretofore unseen gems. These images come back to life as exhibition-quality prints now available to everyone. As a bonus, purchasing equals patronage: sales from Vintage Edition prints go towards supporting our growing roster of artists.
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