Museum as Publisher

Jane Neidhardt, managing editor of publications, with Shapco's Bob Winterhaulter at the Chance Aesthetics press check

Museum publications enhance the mission of scholarship and education

Posted by Kimberly Singer November 6, 2009

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is one of a few area art museums to house its own publications office, with originally authored, edited, and designed catalogs to accompany special exhibitions. For Chance Aesthetics, curated by Meredith Malone, the Museum produced an extensive, 172-page book that is distributed by the University of Chicago Press. The volume includes essays by Malone and by contributing scholars Susan Laxton (University of California, Riverside) and Janine Mileaf (Swarthmore College). A significant contribution to the growing scholarship on chance and modern art, the book draws connections across media and disciplines while linking the genesis and meaning of artistic production through chance to larger cultural, sociohistorical, and theoretical contexts. The catalog also features 73 full color illustrations and extended entries on the works in the exhibition.

Managing Editor of Publications Jane Neidhardt is in charge of all of the Museum’s publications. For the Chance Aesthetics project, she went to Minneapolis to oversee the book on press at Shapco Printing, Inc. To ensure color accuracy of each image and each spread, Neidhardt says, “can be a grueling, intense process. The number of variables made possible by today’s printing technology is difficult to imagine until you’ve witnessed a printer work a press—a good one is like a maestro at a piano, only the music he makes is color. It stretches the limits of language; it’s really quite amazing.”

More details on the Museum's Publications >>


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