Today, there was an art book swap at the Ryerson Library of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was sponsored by Regency Arts Press Ltd., and the New Art Dealers Alliance. People brought art-related books, and swapped on a one-for-one basis for books brought by others, as well as books donated by various organizations (there were a number obviously donated by the AIOC itself).
Now, my plan was to bring my half-dozen books, but be restrained and take fewer than I brought. Ha! You can imagine how that turned out! Not only did I take home the same number, but they were bigger. In fact, if I hadn't been limited to that one-for-one basis, I'd have picked up a few more. As it was, I had a pile of six, and kept saying, "Hmm, this looks good, too. Which of this pile should I not take?" And so forth. So no bookshelf space has been saved. Au contraire.
But it's not my fault there was this big, gorgeous slipcased book of albums and illuminated manuscripts from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul! Or a very cool book of vertically aligned photographs of New York City, called, appropriately enough, New York Vertical. I picked up a biography of Peggy Guggenheim; a book of photos of Paris by Eugène Atget; Barbaralee Diamonstein's Remaking America: New Uses, Old Places, about the conversion of old and historic buildings to new uses; and Chez Elle, Chez Lui: At Home in 18th-Century France, a catalogue of 18th-century French paintings that show home life in that time and place.
Altogether, a nice little haul!
I asked the staff if they were going to do this on a regular basis, and they said they thought perhaps every other year. They'd had a lot of positive feedback, and I'm not surprised. There were several tables of books, and quite a variety of subjects, ranging from classical Greek art, through the Renaissance, to contemporary art, from paintings to glass to architecture, monographs and catalogues -- something for everyone!