A lost mural of Alice in Wonderland and the archaeologist determined to bring it to light were the subjects of an interesting tale told by San Diego public radio station, KPBS, yesterday.
Seth Mallios, head of the anthropology department at SDSU, had been hunting down murals, once common all over campus, when he heard about the Alice mural from Evelyn Kooperman, a retired librarian.
When she was a little girl in the 1950s, her mother used to take her to see two murals tucked away in Hardy Tower. One featured the character of Odysseus. The other, was the “Alice in Wonderland” mural. “I just thought they were wonderful,” says Kooperman. “They were big and bright and colorful. And I just loved them and every year I would say to my mother, ‘I want to go see Alice! I want to go see Alice!’”
Read about Mallios’s discovery of the mural, and of the artist who painted it, on the KPBS website. You can also see an old photograph of the mural and listen to the original radio broadcast.
Thirty years after Barry Moser first published his engravings of a sinister and darkly comic Wonderland, R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA, is hosting an exhibition of the original engravings, preliminary sketches and, most intriguingly, brand new works by Moser on the theme. Many of the works on display, including new drawings like the devilish Cheshire Cat below, can be see on the R. Michelson Galleries website, although you will have to contact the gallery directly if you would like to know the prices. The exhibition is open to the public and runs until December 15.
In a recent interview, Mr. Moser expressed his own (rather conflicted) excitement about the exhibition:
In some ways, it’s like seeing my dirty underwear hung up on the walls because it’s such old work and I rarely ever revisit my work once it’s done. So to see it up again is a little bit of a surprise.
But the thing I like about this particular installation is what Paul (Gulla) did. He pulled up a lot of stuff I had completely forgotten about. I think the kind of work that went into this (installation) makes it interesting and exciting—even for me who never gets too excited about his own work.
Long before the world knew anything of tablet PCs and iPads, David Neal had an idea for an animated audiobook that children could watch on a screen. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the inspiration, more specifically the many talented illustrators who had brought the story to life. Fast forward twenty years and Neal has brought the story to life in his own way. As he puts it, “to make a long story short, twenty voices, three animators, an investor and various other help and ten or so months later, we have created Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The 150th Anniversary Edition for Tablet Computers.”
In the audiobook, classic illustrations are animated and sometimes merge into each other. Watching the preview, it is quite strange to see Bessie Pease Gutmann’s white rabbit metamorphose into Margaret Tarrant’s white rabbit and from there into Alice B. Woodward’s white rabbit—hopping all the way. Illustration afficionados might like to take the opportunity to test their knowledge as the scenes unfold!
The audiobook can be purchased via the website Alice Winks for $9.95.
Last week, the Câmara Brasileira do Livro (Brazilian Book Guild) announced the winners of the 54th annual Jabuti Awards and we are pleased to relate that Alice found herself in the list of winning titles. Adriano Peliano of the Lewis Carroll Society of Brazil took third prize in the graphic design category for her book Aventuras de Alice no Subterrâneo (Alice’s Adventures under Ground) by Editora Scipione.
As the images below show, Peliano’s book is a triumph of translation and calligraphic skill. Each page of the Portuguese translation mirrors Carroll’s handwritten original; the transformation of the language is subtle and quite magical.
Alice’s Adventures under Ground; Carroll on the left, Peliano on the right
When I decided to recreate the manuscript in Portuguese, I intended to have it be as close as possible to the original object. In doing that I looked for a design that would seem almost imperceptibly different. The pictures, conversations, discoveries, doubts, surprises, obstacles, the strangeness and the delicacy, all came from Lewis Carroll’s original. His handwriting was recreated as if he had written the book in Portuguese for each one of us. In the translation I intended to imbue the words with happiness and invoke curiosity, to read the book as if for the first time.
I can even say that I share this prize with Lewis Carroll. This graceful book is a gift dedicated to him, to Alice Liddell, to a boat trip, to all Alices and rabbits in the world, but mainly, to the strength and magic from an encounter.
The Jabuti Awards honor excellence in Brazilian literature and publishing. “Jabuti” means “tortoise”—can anyone tell us the significance of the name? As the Mock Turtle said of his schoolmaster, so he might school us here: “We called him Tortoise because he taught us”, but what did the Mock Turtle know of Portuguese?
Draw Me a Story at the San Francisco Public Library
The San Francisco Public Library has teamed up with the nearby Cartoon Art Museum for Draw Me a Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration, an exhibition of children’s book illustration featuring 12 books and 41 original works of art by artists from Ralph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway to twentieth century innovators of illustration including W.W. Denslow, William Steig and Chris Van Allsburg.
The exhibition opened in September and will run until December 2, but the best day to go will be Thursday, October 25, when LCSNA President Mark Burstein will be delivering the talk “Picturing Alice,” in which he will explore art inspired by Alice from the 1860s to the present. The talk will be at 6:30 p.m. in the main library and will be followed by a book sale.
Sean Hennessey, “Humpty Dumpty is a Rabbit Hole” (2012)
An exhibition of work by mixed-media artist Sean Hennessey opens today in Washington, DC.
“Reimagining Wonderland’ interprets scenes from the Alice books as wall relief compositions using a rich combination of glass, concrete, steel, wood, paint, sound, video, LED’s and electroluminescent lights. In a nice long interview with the Huffinton Post Hennessey describes his inspiration and working methods and makes particular reference to the relief pictured on the right:
“For this series I took a page from my sketchbook for every chapter. It started with words, key elements, icons. For a series I make the frame sizes the same. I like consistency for a theme.
I wanted to do a version of “Humpty Dumpty,” I knew I wanted a concrete egg, I knew I wanted it broken, it took me a really long time to figure out what to put inside of it. Other things came out exactly how I thought they would. It’s a process until you hang it.”
The show will open with an artist’s reception tonight, from 5-8pm, at the 410 GooDBuddY gallery, 410 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, DC. The gallery does not appear to have a website but you can visit this Facebook event page for more details of the reception.
Alice Liddell as a Beggar Maid, now at the Carnegie Museum of Art
Two of the most famous photographs Dodgson made of Alice Liddell have been promised to the Carnegie Museum of Art: “Alice Liddell as a Beggar Maid” (1858, albumen print) and “Alice with Garland” (1860, glass negative).
The gift, from the collection of William Talbott Hillman, also includes key works by Roger Fenton, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Alfred Stieglitz and represents “an exceptionally important addition” to the museum, in the words of Linda Benedict-Jones, curator of photographs. “Indeed” she continued “they may pave the way for further collecting of iconic works by such recognized masters of the medium.”
I haven’t been able to find an image of “Alice with Garland” online. If anyone reading this knows where to find one, could you link to it in the comments below?
“ALICE IN WONDERLAND. TWEEDLE DUM & TWEEDLE DEE ON THE WAY TO WEMBLEY” by Joe O’Donovan.
This May, a London jeweller-turned-artist named Joe O’Donovan displayed his new series of “Alice in Wonderland” paintings at the Marleybone Library in Westminster. The West End Extrareported that “among the works is a picture of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, who the 57-year-old acrylics painter has reimagined as a pair of hardnut football fans on their way to a distinctly retro Wembley Stadium.” Indeed, and O’Donovanhimself describes the pair on his websitein more detail:
Yes, the Skinheads as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, circa 1960 on the way to the White Towers, Wembley Stadium, England, remember THAT world cup!
With their signature style of working-class lad wear, Fred Perry t-shirts, Doctor Martens boots – Ox blood colour, red braces; down and ready for action, and of course the turned-up Wranglers, Lee’s or Levi’s.
I have fond memories of this time, as a young boy myself, I saw these lads as hard working young men, originating their own modern style of affordable clothing with a love for Ska music and an affinity for their West Indian mates. Trojan music still inspires me to stomp, lol.
Things do change but honest, fond memories cannot be corrupted by later hijackers of the style.
With these two fun characters from Alice in Wonderland, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, doing what they do best, which is being themselves. Here is a painting to awaken the glory of Bobby Moore’s England squad in all of us. A pride in your nation is your right no matter what your ethnic origin, if your here your English, and welcome! Come on England!
That’s poetry, mate. Glicee prints are available through O’Donovan’s website. Also, his caterpillar is Albert Einstein:
“ALICE IN WONDERLAND. ‘IT’S ALBERT ACTUALLY!’, SAID THE CATERPILLAR” by Joe O’Donovan
Not sure if this is a paradox or a parody but here you have it: a kindle case made from the original covers of an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (or Dracula). It is handmade in Hampshire, England using traditional bookbinding techniques and sold on Signals.com (“gifts that inform, enlighten and entertain”). Similar cases, handmade by a variety of artists, are for sale on Etsy.com.