Showing posts from March, 2021

My first artgasm: The P volume of World Book Encyclopedia

Were you a Britannica kid, or a World Book kid? Who didn't love "Return of the Hunters" by Peter Breughel the Elder (lower right)?  I was definitely a WBK. With its glossy paper, very readable text and lots of images, World Book Encyclopedia was my school outside of school. Now and then I'd open a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica in the school library, but quickly close it;  its dense, scholarly text on bible-thin paper, law-book leathery binding and scant illustrations seemed to be talking to a different kid - one who was a lot smarter and didn't need coloredpictures. This is the World Book volume I pulled off the shelf most often - the P volume: I can safely say my obsession with art comes from the PAINTING section in this volume, pages 26 to 77. I'd flip back and forth through this section for hours, poring over the images, reveling in the captions. Years later, on visiting MOMA, there they were, these iconic paintings hanging larger-than-li