March 27, 2014

Manual: a journal about art and its making

RISD Museum
Hugo Laubi, Café Odeon (detail), 1920. Color lithograph on paper. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rowland Hazard. Photo: Eric Gould.

Lorem ipsum, the standard placeholder text used by designers and printers, isn’t really Latin. Mangled over centuries of use, the passage has become meaningless and untranslatable, and yet it is highly useful in that in its incomprehensibility, it occupies space. Over the centuries and across many inventions and innovations in type and printing, lorem ipsum has acted as a space filler and form shaper in conventional printing, desktop publishing, and electronic typesetting. In potently meaningful and deliberately meaningless ways, this issue of Manual celebrates text. Join us as we read and read into calls to action, incantations, prayers, portrayals, missives, notes, proclamations, and musings.

From the Files: curator Kate Irvin decodes the transaction that brought a 17th-century Buddhist monk’s stole from Kyoto to Providence.

Double Takes: Egyptologist James P. Allen and illustrator Antoine Revoy read and revive a 21st-century BCE gravestone; curator Jan Howard and graphic designer Nancy Skolos respond to the revolutionary content and form of For the Voice (Mayakovsky and El Lissitzky).

Artists on Art: type designer Cyrus Highsmith signs text, while poet Kenneth Goldsmith muses on Andy Warhol’s Raid the Icebox.

Object Lesson: art historian Daniel Harkett deciphers delicate inscriptions that speak aloud of the friendships and social networks comprising Madame Récamier’s early 19th-century salon.

Portfolio: text as stitched, chiseled, illuminated, scrolled, penned, and typed.

How To: Mellon curatorial fellow Alison W. Chang schools us in Occupy Wall Street hand signals.

Manual: a journal about art and its making, a twice-yearly journal, uses the collections, exhibitions, and collaborations of the RISD Museum as an impetus for essays and interviews, artist interventions, and archive highlights. A fusion of academic arts journal and design magazine, Manual is a resource for engaged conversations about art, design, and the impact of creative making by curators, artists, scholars and educators.

RISD Museum Director: John Smith
Manual Editor-in-chief: Sarah Ganz Blythe with S. Hollis Mickey
Editor: Amy Pickworth
Graphic designers: Derek Schusterbauer and Colin Frazer
Photography: Erik Gould
Printer: Meridian Printing
ISSN 2329-9193

About the RISD Museum
Southeastern New England’s only comprehensive art museum, the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design—also known as the RISD Museum—was established in 1877. Its collection of more than 87,000 objects includes paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, costume, furniture, and other works of art and design from all over the world, from ancient times to the latest in contemporary art.


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