I’m a big fan of Maira Kalman but somehow missed a book she illustrated that came out in October, Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: 31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
“A. Ah-ha! There you Are.” begins Maira Kalman’s joyfully illustrated romp through the treasures of Cooper Hewitt’s design collection. With her signature wit and warm humor, Kalman’s ABC book introduces children and adults to the myriad ways design touches our lives. Posing the question “If you were starting a museum, what would you put in your collection?”, Kalman encourages the reader to put pen to paper and send in personal letters — an intimate, interactive gesture to top off her unique tour of the world of design. Objects ranging from a thirteenth-century silk thinking cap to 1889 tin slippers with bows, all the way to Gerrit Rietveld’s Zig-Zag chair are brought to colorful life. Kalman’s hand-lettered text is whimsical and universal in turns, drawing lessons as easily from a worn old boot as a masterpiece of midcentury modernism. Irresistibly, we are led to agree, “Everything is design.”
From Portraits in Creativity, a video profile of Maira Kalman, doer of many wonderful things.
Kalman’s newest book is Girls Standing on Lawns, a collaboration with MoMA and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket).
This clever book contains 40 vintage photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, more than a dozen original paintings by Kalman inspired by the photographs, and brief, lyrical texts by Handler. Poetic and thought-provoking, Girls Standing on Lawns is a meditation on memories, childhood, nostalgia, home, family, and the act of seeing.
I once saw Kalman while I was eating lunch with my son in the cafe on the second floor of MoMA. She came in and sat opposite us a few tables away and started sketching. What a thrill to watch her work. (via @curiousoctopus)
A version of Food Rules by Michael Pollan illustrated by Maira Kalman? Hell yeah!
Michael Pollan and Maira Kalman come together to create an enhanced Food Rules for hardcover, now beautifully illustrated and with even more food wisdom.
Michael Pollan’s definitive compendium, Food Rules, is here brought to colorful life with the addition of Maira Kalman’s beloved illustrations.
This brilliant pairing is rooted in Pollan’s and Kalman’s shared appreciation for eating’s pleasures, and their understanding that eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. Written with the clarity, concision, and wit that is Michael Pollan’s trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely. Kalman’s paintings remind us that there is delight in learning to eat well.
Maira Kalman takes on George Washington in the final installment of her excellent And the Pursuit of Happiness blog. The blog’s entries will be collected into a book due out in October 2010.
Maira Kalman wonders about the patterns of food consumption in the United States, whether it is democratic or not, and how we might want to change.
Every one of her essays is outstanding; I can’t stop linking to them.
At Bygone Bureau, Kevin Nguyen speaks with Maira Kalman about her recent work, especially her And the Pursuit of Happiness blog on the NY Times site.
In these situations I’m tackling such big subjects; the only way I can handle that is to give you a snapshot of what I’m seeing and feeling at the moment. I also like to go into a lot of different subjects and to digress, so it gives that kind of snapshot outlook. I can jump around from thing to thing, and hopefully, it’ll all make sense.
Maira Kalman posts another one of her wonderful illustrated stories, this time about Ben Franklin and the nature of invention.
I don’t think he was ever bored. He saw a dirty street and created a sanitation department. He saw a house on fire and created a fire department. He saw sick people and founded a hospital. He started our first lending library. He saw people needing an education and founded a university.
There’s just too much good stuff on the internet today. So rather than flood the site with a bunch of posts, I’m going to clear out my tabs and round them up here.
Dear Prudence: “I cheated on my wife while sleepwalking. What do I do now?” I’ve heard quite a few weird/bad things about Ambien in the past few months. Also, paging Emily Gould from The Awl, please A this Q.
Rocketboom covers Single Serving Sites in their spin-off series, Know Your Meme.
The Big Picture peers into North Korea with a collection of photos of the dictatorship taken from neighboring China.
Maira Kalman visits Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court, illustrating the story beautifully as usual.
I return to the court to hear Justice Ginsburg speak to law students. And in answer to the question “How does it feel to be the only woman on the court?” she answers simply, “Lonely.”
The Society of Publication Designers has been busy posting nominees for their upcoming annual awards on their blog. Last year’s winners are here. (thx, david)
Jamie Zawinski has used his keyboard so much over the past eight years that he’s carved grooves into the M and N keys (with his fingernails?) and completely worn through part of his Alt key.
The link o’ the day is this illustrated Maira Kalman tribute of Abe Lincoln, in which she realizes she’s falling in love with him and wonders about his reaction to Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait.