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- Tag Cloud, Author Cloud, Tag Mirror
- Nov 16, 2010
- Real Name
- Edward Tufte
- About My Library
- The books included here are those from Tufte's research library being sold at auction on 2 December 2010 by Christie's. For full information on the books, including their role in Tufte's own works, click the link in the Comments field and read the lot descriptions offered by Christie's.
Please note: this text is from Professor Tufte's "Ask E.T." site, and is used here with his permission. The text following the introductory paragraph is Tufte's introduction to the Christie's catalog.
"My library was always [a] working library, with the rare books beside my computer as I was writing. But in the last few years, the books were viewed only when a visitor requested a look at the Galileo, Playfair, or Picasso books, or when I took a nostalgic look in the library. Furthermore, the important books in my library are the unread books. My introduction to the Christie's catalog explains exactly what I'm thinking about in doing the auction. In particular, note the second to last paragraph. And I am in excellent health, delighted with new adventures in Washington, DC and New York City, and fortunate to be a working and exhibiting artist.
Great books foster, transmit, and preserve forever knowledge. The books in my research library were always meant to be used: read, skimmed, read aloud, exhibited, photographed, scanned, shared, treasured. And thus my library, which I thought of as The Museum of Cognitive Art, participated intensely in my research, scholarship, writing, teaching, design, artwork. For 30 years, the workaday presence of these wonderful books in my life was inspiring and challenging.
I always sought to write, design, and publish books worthy of my research library: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (1983, 2001), Envisioning Information (1990), Visual Explanations (1997), and Beautiful Evidence (2006).
The collection articulated my interests and needs in making my books about analytical thinking, seeing, showing: high science (Galileo, Huygens, Newton, Lambert), high art (Durer, Dufy, Picasso, Ernst, Derain, Albers), practical science (history of perspective, dance notation, magic, aviation, landscape architecture especially Repton), the history of statistical graphics (nearly all of William Playfair's books, Marey, Minard), epidemiology (Graunt, Snow), mapping (Halley, Minard), illustrated books (fish, birds, and whatever), and the classics of book design (Hypnerotomachia, Byrnes' color Euclid, Eric Gill, Bruce Rogers, John Henry Nash, and books published by Giovanni Mardersteig's Officina Bodoni press). Their time past become my time present and time future.
This diverse and quirky collection found a deep unity in my own books. The relation between my work and the research library is shown directly in many catalog entries.
With this auction, my research library will gradually turn into open-space land in perpetuity for making and exhibiting landscape sculpture Storm-King style, and also into my museum and gallery, ET Modern, in New York's Chelsea art district.
Of course, there's another book (Seeing Around, 2013) underway as well. There always is.
- About Me
- See The Work of Edward Tufte and Graphics Press for information on Edward Tufte and his works, including notices on upcoming exhibits and talks.
An analysis of country dancing, wherein are displayed all the figures ever used in country dances, in a way so easy and familiar, that persons of the meanest capacity may in a short time acquire (without the aid of a master) a complete knowledge of that rational and polite amusement : to which are added, instructions for dancing some entire new reels, together with the rules, regulations, and complete etiquette of the ball room by Thomas Wilson