Exploring the Influence of Lewis Carroll’s Trip to Russia on His Photography

Art History November 2013One of our mimsy minions has alerted us that a recent issue of Art History journal includes an article entitled “Shopping in St Petersburg: Lewis Carroll’s Photographs and Icons”  Here’s a brief excerpt, courtesy of our minion:

“While critics have paid scant attention to Carroll’s Russian visit, maintaining it had little impact upon him since he never again travelled abroad, the rich visual experience of religious icon and secular photographic ‘type’ meant that after 1867, in revisiting Chinese and other costume photographs, Carroll contrived scenarios both formally and conceptually different from that realized in Lorina and Alice Liddell of 1860. Most noticeably he combined the distinctive material forms and metaphysical resonances of ‘photograph’ and ‘icon’ in his increasing preference for photographing individual female children dressed in ethnic costume posed in interiors devoid of the decorative trappings of nineteenth-century portrait studios.”

Issues of the journal are hosted by the Wiley Online Library.  If you do not have access to the site through the institution for which you work, they also offer an option of renting access to the article for 24 hours.

The article appears in Volume 36, Issue 5, pages 968–993, November 2013.  To learn more, click me.


Reminder: Exclusive Discount on Litographs Site Ends November 30th!


Attention all Mimsy Minions and especially literary art lovers!  To help celebrate the release of their second gorgeous “Alice” image, the good folks at Litographs.com have graciously extended to you, our Blog readers, an exclusive offer of 15% off your purchases at their site for the month of November.  This discount actually applies to all their merchandise for November only, and will not be made available in our magazine or anywhere else (which is pretty much the definition of exclusive, after all).  Right now, they are also offering free US domestic shipping on orders of $48 or more.

If you’re not already familiar with Litographs, they create wonderful literary-themed images composed of the texts of famous books.  If you visit their site, and view either of the Alice images full size, you’ll see all the words of Wonderland!  Their first Alice image (still available) is one of Alice falling down the rabbit hole.  For each image, they offer posters, tote bags, and T-shirts (be sure to read the “What to Expect” section on the T-shirts; they are hand-printed).

Litographs also shares the LCSNA’s goal of promoting literacy and enjoyment of great literature.  They partner with International Book Bank, and send a high-quality book to schools and libraries in developing countries for each product sold.  Since 2011, they have helped send over 20,000 books!  So, you’re shopping for yourself, and for a good cause.

How do you take advantage of this lovely offer from these lovely people?  Simply enter the code CARROLLBLOG at checkout anytime during the month of November, and 15% will be deducted from your product total.  It sounds like a brillig gift idea for the upcoming holiday season.

Our thanks to Corey Fein at Litographs.com for extending this delightful exclusive offer.  Remember that it is good only for the month of November!

Lewis Carroll As Victorian Art Director

Carroll Raven Writing DeskOne of our mimsy minions has shared a link to an interesting blog post that discusses the concept of Lewis Carroll as an Art Director–after all, he certainly oversaw all aspects of the publishing of the two Alice books.  The post also provides links to three related Pinterest boards.

To read all about it, click me.

Interactive Installation “Alice in Berlin” Comes to Brooklyn and Chicago

One of our mimsy minions just forwarded us this information about the “interactive installation” Alice in Berlin, which is now coming to Brooklyn, NY this week from 9/27-29, and then to Chicago on October 19-20th.  To read more about this project, click me.

New Carroll-inspired Group Art Show in Chicago

We have just received this notice of a new multimedia art exhibit that will run in Chicago through November 5th (the Opening Reception is free):

“”The Mad Hatter’s Tea party” is a Multi-media wacky, whimsical group art show including mixed media sculpture, soft sculpture, 3-D photography, paintings inspired by Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and other classical story-books. Much of the artwork displayed consists of allegories and reinterpretation of traditional rich text, yet trying to be faithful to the narrative and its surreal context.

A few party related events during the show period:

Opening Reception: September 14. Costumes recommended.  6 -9 pm
Collectors night: September 16 by appointment, 847-224-9344   or: ayalaleyser@gmail.com
Mime/movement with Masks performance with Marianna Buchwald: TBA
“Alice” or “Dancing with Alice”: an interactive film, and Q & A with producer Ruth Sergel: October 19 -20. Time TBA.

Artists & Performers: If you would like to participate in this show, you can submit by visiting: http://www.outoflineartstudio.com/ under ‘contact’, or by clicking this link: http://www.outoflineartstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Call-for-Art.doc

Also: During the show period (until November 5) I plan to hold a few events. If any book fan would be interested in participating in a salon- discussion or in any of the events listed in the attachment, they are welcome to contact me via email: ayalaleyser@gmail.com
or by phone: 847-224-9344.


Ayala Leyser
Out of Line Art Gallery
2812 W. Chicago ave, Chicago IL


New Julia Margaret Cameron Exhibit at Met Museum Features Alice Liddell

Alice Liddell has made the front page of the New York Times again!  This time, it’s an image of Alice as the mythical figure “Pomona,” as photographed by Lewis Carroll’s contemporary, Julia Margaret Cameron.  The Metropolitan Museum in NYC has opened a new exhibit of 38 Cameron images.  The exhibit runs through January 5th, 2014.  To read more, click me.

A Creative Alice Book Spine Tattoo

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a tattoo depicting Alice reaching for a book from an enormous stack of books.  The visual pun here: the stack of book spines traces the actual spine of the tattoo wearer.  Very clever!  But talk about suffering for your art.  To view the tattoo (it’s on a young woman’s back), click me.

Calling All Carrollian Book and Print Artists!

If you are an Alice in Wonderland fan and create book or print-based art, you’ll want to read this notice we just received.  Note the deadline, and submit this month!

Alice in Wonderland
Minnesota Center for Book Arts (Minneapolis, MN)
Submission deadline: August 30, 2013

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) seeks artworks for inclusion in a juried exhibition of book, paper and print works based on “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. The exhibition will be presented in the Open Book Literary Commons gallery from October 18 through December 15, 2013.

There is no entry or participation fee. Selected artists will be responsible for all shipping costs.

Submission guidelines:
– All submissions must be made by email to exhibitions@mnbookarts.org.
– Include AIW in the subject line of your email.
– Artists are welcome to submit multiple works, but each work should be submitted in a separate email.

Attach the following to your email:

IMAGES: up to three images per work are allowed. JPG format, 72 dpi, max 900 x 900 pixels.

TEXT: A one-page Word or PDF document containing the following:
– Artist name
– Mailing address
– Email address
– Telephone number
– Title of work
– Year completed
– Medium/materials
– Dimensions
– Author(s) (if applicable)
– Insurance value
– Retail price or NFS
– Any special installation instructions or other descriptive

Deadline: Entries must be received by August 30, 2013.
Selected artists will be notified by September 9.
Selected works must be delivered to MCBA by October 4, and will be returned by January 10, 2014.
Artists are responsible for all shipping costs.

Questions? Email Tracy Doreen Dietzel, MCBA Exhibitions Manager, at tddietzel@mnbookarts.org.

For more information about MCBA, visit mnbookarts.org.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts
at Open Book . 1011 Washington Ave S, First Floor . Minneapolis MN
55415 Phone 612.215.2520 . Fax 612.215.2545 . mcba@mnbookarts.org

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding to non-traditional artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts. To learn more, visit our website at http://www.mnbookarts.org.”

Alice Artworks and Gifts by David Delamare

If you’re not already familiar with the Alice-themed artworks of artist David Delamare, you’re in for a treat.  Do yourself a favor and visit his site sometime when you have a few minutes to explore.  Alice characters are not his only fantasy subjects, but within the Alice realm he has an impressive array of paintings, prints, cards, posters, and more–including porcelain night lights!  His love of mermaids and monkeys (hey, why not, right?) also sometimes filters into the Alice images.  And according to his site, he is working on an illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which promises to be very elegant and intriguing, indeed!

Be advised that some of the artworks in other areas of the site do include, as he puts it, “tasteful nudity.”  So you may wish to view the site with that disclaimer in mind.  The Alice pages are “G” rated.  Look for the “Alice Gifts” link on the left-side menu, and you can drill down to view the Alice paintings from there.

To visit Mr. Delamare’s site, click me.

Alice-Themed Pinhole Photography Exhibition at Oxford Botanic Garden

We recently received the following note from Mabel Odessey, an American artist living in France:


I am contacting you about my current exhibition/installation at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden. the exhibition opened on Alice Day July 6 and will run till the end of August so there is still time to catch it!

The subject of these pinhole photographs are marionnettes made by the English artist Margaret Littleton Cook (1940s). They explore the characters as representations of psycological states and Alice’s dream of wonderland as a spiritual journey. To come upon images in the garden unexpectedly much like Alice was confronted by characters in the books will give her psychological journey a geographic sense.

Each character Alice encounters on her journey represents a disturbing emotion that must be  transformed in order to reach enlightenment. Carroll calls the Queen of Hearts the embodiment of anger. Lewis Carroll the logician brings up many philosophical debates in the books. He uses nonsense to explore concepts such as time, perception,  impermanence,  duality, identity and the role of language. Using marionettes as subjects echoes this playful approach.

Using the historic process of pinhole photography give the images a particular resonance and there is no denying the connection between the  upside down back to front world behind the looking glass and the positive and negative in photography.  Not to mention Carroll’s interest in perception and photography.

The installation considers the qualities of different spaces in the garden and uses the shady places for the darker more mysterious photographs, and more open spaces to echo the images of understanding and clarity. Visitors will have a unique experience of the images as the light and the garden change throughout the day and season.

Kind Regards,

So, if you’re in the Oxford vicinity and enjoy gardens, marionettes, and/or Alice-themed art, you have until the end of August to view this al fresco exhibit.