Thursday, January 31, 2008

Postcards, paper, books, maps, Bowers & Newport

Today's image is a postcard, depicting the Newport wharf (a.k.a. Newport Pier) around 1900. If you'd like to see (and buy) interesting historic postcards like this, be sure to check out the Vintage Paper Fair, at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. Feb. 16 & 17. It's sometimes amazing what great stuff you can get for a few bucks. (Note: This is Hal Lutzky's show, which used to be held in Pasadena.)
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The California International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held that same weekend (Feb. 15-17) at the Century Plaza Hotel in West Los Angeles. 250 dealers will have lots of rare books, prints, maps, etc. But be prepared to spend lots of money.
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The Bowers Museum and some of the other museums implicated in the recent federal sting operation, seem to have found a convenient scapegoat: Armand Labbé, Bowers' longtime chief curator. Why is he convenient? Well, it helps that the evidence actually points to his involvement. But it's even more convenient that he's dead. In a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article, Chapman University professor Paul Apodaca quite appropriately expressed "fears that critics will focus on Labbé's role in the scandal rather than the people involved who are still alive."
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The latest development in the Bowers case is the news that they've also been displaying art on loan from convicted smugglers. The story continues to unfold...

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