Sunday, October 07, 2012

Museum Press at the Book Arts Jam!

The Zymoglyphic Museum Press will be setting up shop at the Book Arts Jam on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Palo Alto, Calif. The event, which in previous years had been hosted at Foothill College, has moved this year to the Lucie Stern Community Center, located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. The Jam will run from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Books will of course be the main focus, and there will also be a selection of prints from the series Views of the Zymoglyphic Region available.

New this year: postcards (example above) and postage stamps from the newly-inaugurated Zymoglyphic Postal Service!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

H.P. Lovecraft visits the museum

Our museum's doughty research department has been busying itself recently sifting through the lower strata of the archives.  They have uncovered evidence that famous literary personages have visited the museum at various points in its long and varied history.  This past St. Patrick's Day, for example, we published an account of James Joyce's visitation

The researchers have found,  to their unspeakable horror, that H.P. Lovecraft seems to have passed this way many decades ago, his blasphemous reportage leaving a hideous trail of gibbering, luminescent slime dripping from the vitrines, eating its way into the shadow-bound heart of our innocent museum. His comments:


There were lumpish hybrid things which only fantasy could spawn, moulded with devilish skill, and coloured in a horribly life-like fashion...gorgons, chimaeras, dragons, cyclops, and all their shuddersome congeners...hideous parodies on forms of organic life we know...others seemed taken from feverish dreams of other planets and other galaxies....the vaulted museum chamber—an evil-looking crypt lighted dimly by dusty windows set slit-like and horizontal in the brick wall on a level with the ancient cobblestones of a hidden courtyard.  Other things in the dismal crypt were less describable—isolated parts of problematical entities whose assembled forms were the phantoms of delirium.


from "The Horror in the Museum" by H. P. Lovecraft and (as?) Hazel Heald, 1932
Book cover from Monster Brains

A full index to literary visitors maybe seen here

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Museum open first 3 weekends in May!

The Zymoglyphic Museum will be open an unprecedented three weekends this year! 

Open hours will be 11 AM to 5 PM the following days:

May 5th and 6th - Come early if you wish to avoid the crowds
May 12th and 13th - A trip to the museum will make an excellent Mother's Day outing!
May 19th and 20th - This is the weekend that other studios in San Mateo will be open.

Showing at the same location will be the marvelous metal work, artist's books, and pinhole photography (including home-engineered pinhole cameras) of Judith Hoffman.  There will be daily demonstrations as well!

Carpooling is encouraged.  Those lacking access to internal combustion are advised that the museum is but a short walk from the Hillsdale train station.  Old-school persons, self-styled luddites, and the GPS-challenged will find useful retro-style directions to the museum here and an electronic map at the official Open Studios web site.

Besides tours of the museum itself, there will be a full range of publications from the Zymoglyphic Museum Press available for purchase.  New this year is The Tale of the Wandering Monk, a photo essay documenting the adventures of a diminutive traveler. Selected prints from the Views series will also be available.  You may contact the museum in advance to ensure that a specific view is available as a print.

Photography, sketching, and video are encouraged!  Efforts of previous visitors may be seen here

Facebook members may wish to let their friends know their intentions by registering on the museum's Facebook event page.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A tour of the museum with Joyce and Re-joyce

Our publications department recently wandered into new territory with a bit of literary impertinence in which it is imagined that the spirit of the author of Finnegans Wake (the notoriously unreadable modern classic) is channeled through a museum docent also named Joyce. The transcript is accompanied by the obligatory scholarly commentary.

The results can be seen here

Museums figure briefly in both of Joyce's major works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. In Ulysses, the protagonist, Leopold Bloom, visits the National Museum of Ireland in his epic single-day odyssey around Dublin. His purpose for the visit is to avoid his wife's lover, whom he sees on the street, but mostly to admire the divine female forms in the statuary.

"Can see them library museum standing in the round hall, naked goddesses. Aids to digestion." (p.144)
"His heart quopped softly. To the right. Museum. Goddesses...His eyes beating looked steadfastly at cream curves of stone" (p. 150)
Finnegans Wake contains within its dream pages a visit to a fictional Willingdone, or Wallinstone, Museum (pp 8-10). Joseph Campbell writes in A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake
This Museum should be regarded as a kind of reliquary containing various mementoes symbolizing not only the eternal brother-conflict, but also the military and diplomatic encounters, exchanges and betrayals of recorded history
Another interpretation [citation needed] is that the museum was simply the outhouse behind the dreamer's pub: "For her passkey supply to the janitrix, the mistress Kathe"

For further examples of museums as literary devices, see:
Steven Millhauser - The Barnum Museum
Kurt Vonnegut - Skip's Museum in The Sirens of Titan
Mark Twain reviews a dime museum as a journalist
Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence , both a novel and a (planned) physical museum