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Re: Book Arts in Tuscany

Here is a review of the Siena museum mentioned by Peter Sramek - I just
hope you have better luck....

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 19:50:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: WOID III-15. Review: A Museum in Italy.

For about three centuries the Sienese Government collected its accounts
into thick books bound in wooden boards decorated with simple images and
large titles. Some of these can be seen in the Museo dell' Opera
Metropolitana (in Siena), and there is at least one in the Met, in New
York. The tablets I've seen in either museum have a particular boldness,
based in part on the broad areas of colors and the apparent use of oil
glazes on top of the water-based paint; visually they fall midway between
medieval illumination and modern art.

To see the rest you have to go to the Museo delle Tavolette di Bicherna,
located in the State Archives in Siena, in the Palazzo Piccolomini, at
Banchi di Sotto 53. There is no phone number, and when I got there a sign
suggested that the premises were off-limits to visitors - rather odd,
since the building also contains the Sienese tax agencies. I walked up the
stairs, past the tax collector's office, to the top, where a huge door was
marked "Archivio di St to " (the "A" was falling off). I knocked on the
door but there was no answer.

Deh! La prossima volta...

Paul Werner, New York City
     WOID: a journal of visual language in New York, including reviews,
listings and resources.

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