Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Distribution Titles: July 2011

This is a selection of our new distribution titles for July 2011.

Paths of Origins: The Austronesian Heritage in the Collections of the National Museum of the Philippines, The Museum Nasional of Indonesia, and The Netherlands Rijksmuseum Voor Volkenkunde edited by Purissima Benitez-Johannot, Purissima. Much has transformed our understanding of Southeast Asian prehistory in the last 40 years. The history and ties that bind the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, the Pacific islands, and mainland Southeast Asia can now be traced to the big bang out of a homeland in Taiwan some 4,500 years ago. While archaeology had previously established irrefutable connections among peoples of these regions, more recent advances in historical linguistics and molecular genetics have provided an approximate timeline for the rapid dispersion of what archaeologists describe as colonizing farmers. This publication will focus on art and artefacts, features that stand witness to these peoples' relatedness today. With bibliography and index.

Royal Nepal Through the Lens of Richard Gordon Matzene by Marcella Sirhandi. In 1930, the celebrated American photographer Richard Gordon Matzene made a unique series of portraits of the ruling families of Nepal. The handsome aristocrats and sumptuously adorned women in his immaculate portraits are here identified and their biographies fitted into the panoply of Nepalese court drama and intrigue. Local and regional conquests, two world wars, a devastating earthquake, and the rampant malaria that challenged the regime are all part of this story. With index.

Taylor Camp by John Wehrheim. In 1969 Howard Taylor, brother of Elizabeth, bailed out a rag-tag band of thirteen young Mainlanders jailed on Kauai for vagrancy and invited them to camp on his oceanfront land. Soon waves of hippies, surfers and troubled Vietnam vets found their way to Taylor Camp and built a clothing-optional, pot-friendly tree house village at the end of the road on the island's North Shore. In 1977, after condemning the village to make way for a 'State Park', government officials torched the camp - leaving little but ashes and memories of the 'best days of our lives'. Powerfully evocative photographs from the Seventies reveal a community that rejected consumerism for the healing power of Nature, while the story of Taylor Camp's seven-year existence is documented through interviews made thirty years later with the campers, their neighbours and the Kauai officials who finally evicted them.

Masterpieces of Islamic Art: The Decorated Page from the 8th to the 17th Century by Oleg Grabar. In this volume, Greg Grabar, a world-renowned specialist on Islamic Art, introduces a wide range of illuminated manuscripts from the 8th to the 17th century, placing them in their temporal and spatial context as well as identifying the main centres of artistic creation. Illuminated manuscripts of the Koran, epic poetry, and scientific works are accompanied by a text explaining the subject, describing it particular visual features, and highlighting its artistic qualities. The working methods of the artists and calligraphers are reconstructed. The author also highlights the key moments in history, society, faith, devotion, and other aspects of the Islamic world which are represented in the images. With bibliography.

Men of Rajasthan by Waswo X. Waswo. Working in collaboration with a team of Indian artists, Waswo playfully recreates and examines the tradition of vintage studio portraiture. Waswo's chief accomplice in this endeavour is Rajesh Soni, a third generation Rajasthani hand-colourist whose grandfather was once court photographer to the Maharana Bhopal Singh of Mewar. Soni's careful and highly talented painting of each photograph adds a vintage feel to work that hovers enigmatically between the retro and the contemporary. Men of Rajasthan contains fifty images annotated with delightful commentary by the photographer himself and further uncovers the male-centric universe of a uniquely mysterious place.

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