New Voynich Manuscript reproduction uses new photos, looks great

An "authorized" reproduction of the legendary Voynich Manuscript is finally available in print form, published by Yale University from new photographs taken for the purpose. Yale's Beinecke Library owns the document and has taken its sweet time putting out a decent art book. The quality is better than the popular "unauthorized" edition published last year; that one uses older scans widely available on the web, but I suppose was good enough to force the university's hand.

The first authorized copy of this mysterious, much-speculated-upon, one-of-a-kind, centuries-old puzzle. The Voynich Manuscript is produced from new photographs of the entire original and accompanied by expert essays that invite anyone to understand and explore the enigma. Many call the fifteenth-century codex, commonly known as the “Voynich Manuscript,” the world’s most mysterious book. Written in an unknown script by an unknown author, the manuscript has no clearer purpose now than when it was rediscovered in 1912 by rare books dealer Wilfrid Voynich. The manuscript appears and disappears throughout history, from the library of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to a secret sale of books in 1903 by the Society of Jesus in Rome. The book’s language has eluded decipherment, and its elaborate illustrations remain as baffling as they are beautiful. For the first time, this facsimile, complete with elaborate folding sections, allows readers to explore this enigma in all its stunning detail, from its one-of-a-kind “Voynichese” text to its illustrations of otherworldly plants, unfamiliar constellations, and naked women swimming though fantastical tubes and green baths.

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New book explores abandoned asylums

Photographer Matt Van der Velde traveled the U.S. to document his upcoming book Abandoned Asylums. Most of the locations featured are still in fairly pristine states because entry is restricted by the private or governmental owners of the properties. Read the rest

Last chance to grab gorgeous Wendy Pini art book

Though famous as the co-creator and illustrator of Elfquest, artist Wendy Pini's career stretches from 1960s zines to cyber-horror, with many strange and wonderful detours along the way. A kickstarter campaign is ending later today for three art books about her career, and I'd like to bring your attention to the one that isn't going to have (many) elves in it.

Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini, a massive, deluxe hardback volume , is yours for a $50 pledge. Not everything in it will be Omni-esque retro space fantasy like the above and the below, but I'm hoping for rather a lot of that.

Only 500 signed and numbered copies will be printed, by art book publisher Flesk: 306 pages, 9x12 inches, with "premium quarter binding with special onlaid plate on the front cover boards with slipcase."

The Kickstarter's already surpassed its goals, but this is going to be the best of the set and it's not getting quite the same attention as the other two volumes on offer.

Adds Elfquest co-creator Richard Pini: "This is stuff either no-one has ever seen, or hasn't been seen in over 30 years, and never in print."

Here's the official blurb:

The term “line of beauty” describes, in one sense, a certain way of arranging lines and shapes in a drawing or painting to suggest motion, dynamic balance and grace. But in a deeper sense it can also speak to the visionary spirit that drives the creation of a piece of artwork.

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War photo negatives sunburned onto skin in 'Illustrated People'

Artist Thomas Mailaender placed negatives from the Archive of Modern Conflict on models' skin, then irradiated it with UV light to create a sunburn print in his book Illustrated People. Read the rest

Giant Ron English art-book: Status Factory

Whether putting up his own US/Mexican border-crossing signs or appearing on the Simpsons, street artist Ron English is a versatile, trenchant, eyeball-kicking master of the form.