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Rare books collection in Bridwell Art Library, 1631-

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Processed by: Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Rare books collection in Bridwell Art Library




University of Louisville Margaret M. Bridwell Art LibraryLouisville, Kentucky 40292

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to researchers

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Rare books collection in Bridwell Art Library, 1631, Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library, University of Louisville, Louisville.


ca. 2,300 volumes

Scope and Content

The Bridwell Art Library maintains a collection of historic and rare books in addition to substantial reference and other research holdings. The earliest title in the Bridwell Art Library's rare book collection is Vincenzo Mirabella's Dichiarazioni della Pianta dell'antiche Siracuse, e d'alcune scelte Medaglie d'esse, e de Principi che quelle possedettero, published in Naples in 1613. A learned description of the ancient Sicilian city of Syracuse, the book also includes a reconstruction of the city's appearance from ruins and literature in fifteen engraved plates. Another scarce title in the collection is La Villa die Misteri by Amedeo Maiuri, printed in Rome in 1931 in an edition of five hundred copies. The oversized, two volume set describes the sumptuous villa excavated in the suburban region of Pompeii and has superb color plates of the wall paintings of Bacchic rituals. From a smaller edition of only 312 copies comes Eduard Sack's 1910 publication Giambattista und Domenico Tiepolo, a monograph on the life and work of Tiepolo and his sons with a critical catalog of their work and a list of their pupils. The Drawings of the Royal Gallery of the Uffizi in Florence, in twenty portfolios, is a monumental work produced in Florence between 1912 and 1921, containing facsimiles of 482 carefully selected drawings of 15th-, 16th-, and 17th-century Italian, Dutch, French, and German artists. The art library also owns one of the rarest of Dada documents, Die Kathedrale by German artist Kurt Schwitters. Published in Stuttgart in 1920, the portfolio consists of eight original and inventive lithographs that heralded Schwitters mature collage style. This important work followed the 1919 publication of Anna Blume: Dichtungen, Schwitters' first book of collected poems in which he announced the birth of Merz (abstract) poetry.


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