Published by Reel Art Press. By Christopher Frayling.
Frankenstein lives! 200 years of the book, the movies and the monster in pop culture and beyond
On New Year’s Day 1818, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein was first published in an anonymous three-volume edition of 500 copies. Some thought the book was too radical in its implications; a few found the central theme intriguing; no-one predicted its success.
Since then, there have been many, many adaptations—120 films alone, at the last count—on screen, stage, in novels, comics and graphic novels, in advertisements and even on cereal packets. From a Regency nightmare, Frankenstein became a cuddly childhood companion—thoroughly munstered, so to speak. The story has been interpreted as a feminist allegory of birthing, an ecological reading of mother earth, an attack on masculinist science, the origin of science fiction, an example of “female gothic,” a reaction to the rise of the industrial proletariat and much else besides. Frankenstein lives! The F word has been applied, since the 1950s, to test-tube babies, heart transplants, prosthetics, robotics, cosmetic surgery, genetic engineering, genetically modified crops and numerous other public anxieties arising from scientific research. Today, Frankenstein has taken over from Adam and Eve as the creation myth for the age of genetic engineering.
This book, celebrating the 200th birthday of Frankenstein, traces the journey of Shelley’s Frankenstein from limited-edition literature into the bloodstream of contemporary culture. With text by renowned Gothic scholar Sir Christopher Frayling, it includes new research on the novel’s origins; a facsimile reprint of the earliest-known manuscript version of the creation scene; visual material on adaptations for the stage, in magazines, on playbills, in prints and in book publications of the 19th century; visual essays on many of the film versions and their inspirations in the history of art; and Frankenstein in popular culture—on posters, advertisements, packaging, in comics and graphic novels.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Stephanie Loeb Stepanek, Frederick Ilchman, Janis A. Tomlinson, Clifford S. Ackley, Jane E. Braun, Manuela B. Mena Marqués, Gudrun Maurer, Elisabetta Polidori, Sue W. Reed, Benjamin Weiss, Juliet Wilson-Bareau.
Francisco Goya has been widely celebrated as the most important Spanish artist of the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the last of the old masters and the first of the moderns, and an astute observer of the human condition in all its complexity. The many-layered and shifting meanings of his work have made him one of the most studied artists in the world. Few, however, have made the ambitious attempt to explore his work as a painter, printmaker and draftsman across media and the timeline of his life. This book does just that, presenting a comprehensive and integrated view of Goya's most important paintings, prints, and drawings through the themes and imagery that continually challenged or preoccupied the artist. They reveal how he strove relentlessly to understand and describe human behavior and emotional states, even at their most orderly or disorderly extremes, in elegant and incisive portraits, dramatic and monumental history paintings, and series of prints and drawings of a satirical, disturbing and surreal nature. Derived from the research for the largest Goya art exhibition in North America in a quarter-century, this book takes a fresh look at one of the greatest artists in history by examining the fertile territory between the two poles that defined the range of his boundlessly creative personality.
Francisco José Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón, in the northeast of Spain. Goya was court painter to the Spanish Crown, and famously documented the Peninsular War (1807–1814) between France and Spain in his harrowing Disasters of War series. An important bridge to the modernist era, Goya's oeuvre provided a crucial precedent for artists such as Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers. By Richard Barnett.
The Sick Rose is a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration. The nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialization, urbanization and poor hygiene. In this pre-color-photography era, accurate images were relied upon to teach students and aid diagnosis. The best examples, featured here, are remarkable pieces of art that attempted to elucidate the mysteries of the body, and the successive onset of each affliction. Bizarre and captivating images, including close-up details and revealing cross-sections, make all too clear the fascinations of both doctors and artists of the time. Barnett illuminates the fears and obsessions of a society gripped by disease, yet slowly coming to understand and combat it. The age also saw the acceptance of vaccination and the germ theory, and notable diagrams that transformed public health, such as John Snow’s cholera map and Florence Nightingale’s pioneering histograms, are included and explained. Organized by disease, The Sick Rose ranges from little-known ailments now all but forgotten to the epidemics that shaped the modern age. It is a fascinating Wunderkammer of a book that will enthrall artists, students, designers, scientists and the incurably curious everywhere.
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers. By Joanna Ebenstein.
Of all the artifacts from the history of medicine, the Anatomical Venus—with its heady mixture of beauty, eroticism and death—is the most seductive. These life-sized dissectible wax women reclining on moth-eaten velvet cushions—with glass eyes, strings of pearls, and golden tiaras crowning their real human hair—were created in eighteenth-century Florence as the centerpiece of the first truly public science museum. Conceived as a means to teach human anatomy, the Venus also tacitly communicated the relationship between the human body and a divinely created cosmos; between art and science, nature and mankind. Today, she both intrigues and confounds, troubling our neat categorical divides between life and death, body and soul, effigy and pedagogy, entertainment and education, kitsch and art. The first book of its kind, The Anatomical Venus, by Morbid Anatomy Museum cofounder Joanna Ebenstein, features over 250 images—many never before published—gathered by its author from around the world. Its extensively researched text explores the Anatomical Venus within her historical and cultural context in order to reveal the shifting attitudes toward death and the body that today render such spectacles strange. It reflects on connections between death and wax, the tradition of life-sized simulacra and preserved beautiful women, the phenomenon of women in glass boxes in fairground displays, and ideas of the ecstatic, the sublime and the uncanny. Joanna Ebenstein is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, writer, lecturer and graphic designer. She originated the Morbid Anatomy blog and website, and is cofounder (with Tracy Hurley Martin) and creative director of the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, New York. She is coauthor of Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy, with Dr. Pat Morris; coeditor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology, with Colin Dickey; and acted as curatorial consultant to Wellcome Collection’s Exquisite Bodies exhibition in 2009. She has also worked with such institutions as the New York Academy of Medicine, the Dittrick Museum and the Vrolik Museum.
Published by Wakefield Press. By Michel de Ghelderode. Introduction and translation by George MacLennan.
Hitherto unavailable in English, Spells, by the Belgian dramatist Michel de Ghelderode, ranks among the 20th century’s most noteworthy collections of fantastic tales. Like Ghelderode’s plays, the stories are marked by a powerful imagination and a keen sense of the grotesque, but in these the author speaks to us still more directly. Written at a time of illness and isolation, and conceived as a fresh start, Spells was Ghelderode’s last major creative work, and he claimed it as his most personal and deeply felt one: a set of written spells through which his fears, paranoia and nostalgia found concrete form.
By turns mystical, macabre and whimsically humorous, and set in the unsettled atmosphere of Brussels, Ostend, Bruges and London, Spells conjures up an uncanny realm of angels, demons, masks, effigies and apparitions, a twilit, oppressed world of diseased gardens, dusty wax mannequins and sinister relics.
Combining the full contents of both the 1941 and 1947 editions, this translation of Spells is the most comprehensive edition yet published.
Michel de Ghelderode was born in Brussels in 1898. After nearly a decade of penning fiction, drama, literary journalism and puppet plays, in 1926 he began to write almost entirely for the theater and the following ten years saw the creation of most of his major plays. After 1936 he suffered from poor health and his involvement with the theater diminished. In the later 1940s, performances of his plays in Paris sparked a major awakening of interest in his work. Ghelderode died in 1962; the interior of his apartment, packed with books, pictures, puppets and masks, has been reassembled in Brussels as the Musée-Bibliothèque Michel de Ghelderode.