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In Emily Spivack’s altogether fantastic storytelling project Worn Stories, Piper Kerman writes about the vintage suit she wore at her final court appearance and sentencing, a key moment in her memoir-turned-TV-hit Orange Is the New Black:
As your case wends through the system, you barely speak in court; the prosecutor and defense attorney do most of the talking. Unlike 80 percent of criminal defendants, I could afford to hire a lawyer, and I was lucky that he was a very good and experienced one. He had advocated long and hard with the prosecutor on my behalf, and then the day came where his work and my case would be decided by the judge, a Reagan appointee to the federal bench.
Most criminal defendants wear whatever they are given by their attorney or family to their sentencing ; a lot of people are too poor to afford bail, and so they have been wearing jailhouse orange for many months before ever getting their day in court. I was much more fortunate; when I flew to Chicago to be sentenced to prison, I had three choices of court attire in my suitcase. A cadet-blue pantsuit, a very severe navy coatdress, and a wild card I had packed at the last minute: a vintage fifties pencil-skirt suit I had bought on eBay, in a coffee and cream tweed with a subtle sky blue check. It looked like something a Hitchcock heroine would have worn.
“That’s the one,” said my lawyer, pointing to the skirt suit. “We want the judge to be reminded of his own daughter or niece or neighbor when he looks at you.”
For someone standing for judgment, the importance of being seen as a complete human being, someone who is more than just the contents of the file folders that rest on the bench in front of His or Her Honor, cannot be overstated.
More fantastic wearable memoirs curated by Spivack here.
arrives next week! is available now!
What significance do these garments have for Andy Spade (top), David Carr (middle), and Rosanne Cash (bottom)? Find out in Worn Stories, a collection of sartorial memoirs (by Emily Spivack), published by PAPress.
Released just in time for National Library Week, our new book The Public Library presents an inspiring selection of libraries both monumental and modest — an impassioned tribute to a vibrant but threatened American institution.
Above: Interior dome, Central Library, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2012, photograph by Robert Dawson.
Robert Dawson (The Public Library) receives Guggenheim Award
The response to our new book The Public Library has been nothing short of ecstatic. We couldn’t be more proud of the book and its author Robert Dawson, who we are thrilled to report, was just awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Dawson was also just interviewed by Scott Simon on NPR Weekend Edition and the book is popping up everywhere.
"Vibrantly colored and interactive, with cutouts, pop-ups, sliding tabs and opportunities to explore and mimic some of the methods the artist employed…. Picasso is an artist whose work immediately appeals to children, and the author makes the most of her subject…. The act of flipping the pages introduces an element of drama, surprise and fun to viewing the works.”
—Baby & Me
"Tremendously informative and fun…. Check out the very very back to find a little bit of interactive fun that encourages you to build your own art a-la Picasso. I really, really hope to see more from this series! For now I need to order up a few copies of each…. these will be dandy gifts for almost everyone in my family.”
Available now from Princeton Architectural Press!
"This is the perfect book to set kids off on a lifelong love of art. This marvelous volume is filled with flaps, pop-ups, colorful illustrations (with lots of red, of course), and little surprises that are so befitting of Calder’s own spirit, I’d imagine him reading it himself and smiling from cover to cover."
—Cool Mom Picks
"Beautiful… If you have a little artist at home, they will love learning about Calder. He was just a big kid himself, making colorful art for art’s sake. I’m totally inspired to start working on Calder projects now."
"Art isn’t always two-dimensional, so why should books about it be? …Kids can see Calder’s most important sculptures pop up on the page, lift flaps to see some of his drawings, and actually design some of their own work with the included instructions."
Available now from Princeton Architectural Press!
A Love Letter to the City by Stephen Powers
Steve’s hand-painted murals cover the walls and roofs and elevated train tracks of cities across the globe, from Brooklyn, Syracuse, and Philadelphia, to Dublin, Belfast, São Paolo, and Johannesburg. See more in the new book, available now!
Did you know: The mural on the cover was painted in Philadelphia the day Michael Jackson died. Do you see Michael Jackson’s name hidden in the fridge magnets?
Diagram 1: Tree of virtues and tree of vices, from Lambert of Saint-Omer, Liber floridus, 1121.
Diagram 2: Genealogical tree of Charles Magius, from Paul Veronese, Codex Magius, 1568–73.
Diagram 3: Werner Randelshofer, Treeviz, 2007.
Diagram 4: Joe Stone, X-Men Family Tree, 2011.
In 2010, Adam Lerner, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, audaciously presented a large exhibition of paintings by masters of the Russian Avant-Garde movement. At least that’s what the collectors of these paintings had hoped; in truth, none of the paintings had been authenticated.
Ron and Roger Pollard scooped up 181 paintings in total, all from the mysterious seller in Germany they met on eBay. In From Russia With Doubt, Lerner weaves together this thrilling tale, from the first eBay sale to the owners’ attempts to authenticate and appraise the would-be masterpieces.
Above, Kazimir Malevich handwriting samples in known and unknown works compared for authenticity by forensic writing specialists. Bottom, the exhibition mounted at MCA Denver.
Nice little Riso-printed pamphlet by PAPress designer Benjamin English. Text originally from The Encyclopedia of Jazz, by Leonard Feather. This self-published booklet is for “educational purposes only”.
This poignant tale features an exquisite book (within a book) lovingly handmade by a father to show his son what really happened during an adventure they shared one blizzard Christmas Eve. Sixty years after his father left to be a mapmaker in the war in Europe, Emerson Johansson received a package that had been lost in the mail for decades. Lovingly handmade by his father, the book details an extraordinary adventure they shared together just months before his departure. Setting out into the mountains on Christmas Eve to cut a tree, they find themselves in a dangerous blizzard. Lost in the snow, they are helped by a mysterious silvery man who does not speak but leaves them a series of gifts that help them find their way home …
Give The Lost Christmas Gift — an extraordinary new work that is destined to become a yuletide classic.
The Architect Says
A collection of quotable lines from more than a hundred of the industry’s leading architects throughout history.
Physical architecture models have remained relevant in our age of digital rendering and virtual tours. presents the nuts and bolts of model making, this primer is a must-have for any budding architect.
A Guide to Archigram 1961–74
The brain-child of a group of young British architects, the Archigram Group pioneered a brand of architecture that was visionary, utopian and grounded in social need. As advocates of an industry overhaul, they predicted today’s information revolution years before it happened. This is their story.
Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses
As the only collection of rendered original drawings of all twenty-six of the legendary architect’s residential work, Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses allows readers to experience the houses spatially through plans, sections, and elevations of exterior forms and interior spaces.
The Pocket Dept. Notebooks
Vintage inspired set of soft cover notebooks designed to fit every pocket from your back pocket to your messenger bag.
Excellent holiday gifts from Princeton Architectural Press!
Focus on Photobooks Seminar with Mary Virginia Swanson
International House Hotel Conference Facility, New Orleans
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 9am – 4pm
Registration fee: $50 in advance / $60 at door
Contemporary Arts Center
Sunday, December 15, 4pm – 5pm
Mary Virginia Swanson will be signing Publish Your Photography Book
The revised and updated edition of Publish Your Photography Book by Mary Virginia Swanson and Darius D. Himes will be available March 2014.
Launch of New Museums in China … in China!
Join author Clare Jacobson at either of these events for a talk and book signing.
Thursday, December 5 at 12:30-1:30pm
China International Exhibition Center, Beijing
Saturday, December 7, 4-6pm
Rockbund Art Museum, YWCA Building, Shanghai
Photos above: Chaoyang Urban Planning Museum in Beijing
Opening reception: Thursday, November 14, 7–9 pm
7–8 pm: conversation about the book with author Adam Lerner and Cabinet magazine’s Sina Najaf
8–9 pm: reception and book signing
Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn, NY
In 2010, Adam Lerner, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, did something unheard of in the museum world: he mounted a large exhibition of paintings without first knowing whether they were real or fake. Painted in the Suprematist and Constructivist styles of early twentieth-century Russian avant-garde masters, the 181 canvases had been acquired by amateur collectors Ron and Roger Pollard from a mysterious seller in Germany. The man, who they met on eBay, claimed that the paintings had been found in an abandoned shipping container held in German customs since the 1980s.
This event—which celebrates the publication of From Russia with Doubt, (Princeton Architectural Press)—Lerner’s book on the making of the exhibition and the stakes involved with showing unauthenticated artworks also marks the opening of an exhibition co-organized by MCA Denver and Cabinet featuring a selection of paintings from the Pollards’ collection. The evening will include a discussion with Lerner about the value of inauthenticity and the benefits of not knowing within the modern cultural institution.
Exhibition dates: November 18–29, 2013 (closed Thanksgiving)
Gallery hours: Monday to Saturday, 12–6 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and Cabinet