Inside the Milberg Gallery: Turning Pages
The following is the second in a series of inside looks at the current exhibition in Princeton University Library’s Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery at Firestone Library - "Piranesi on the Page."
Curated by Heather Hyde Minor, Professor of Art History at University of Notre Dame, and Carolyn Yerkes, Associate Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, “Piranesi on the Page” explores the work of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and how the book became the centerpiece of his artistic production.
Single sheets of paper link together the many stages of Piranesi’s book production, and connect aspects of his complex world of art and commerce. Many of his sheets have traces of multiple uses: the pen and ink lines, washes, and rubbed chalk of his drawings share space with impressions from his and his associates’ printing presses. The first thoughts that he put down on paper appear alongside their eventual development in his book pages.
“Sheets he used more than once reveal connections among various projects, and offer a window into Piranesi’s creative process over the long span of a book’s development.”
Piranesi lived surrounded by paper. His storeroom was filled with bales of white paper and parchment, according to the inventory of his house-museum. He also kept piles of scrap paper on hand, sheets that had been used by other printers or that he himself had used to make trial proofs of his prints. All this paper could be recycled as raw material to make new drawings. Sheets he used more than once reveal connections among various projects, and offer a window into Piranesi’s creative process over the long span of a book’s development.
Discover more about "Piranesi on the Page" through PUL's online exhibition.
The exhibition will run from October 8 through December 5, 2021. It is open daily noon to 6 p.m. Reservations are no longer required for the public. All visitors must be fully vaccinated and wear face coverings.
Published October 21, 2021
Media Contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications