I was scheduled to depart for an overnight stay at Lake Hoare field camp today, but snowfall and poor visibility boomeranged the helicopter shortly after lift-off. So I perused books, maps, and charts at McMurdo’s Crary Library to inspire my project’s artwork. As expected, I came across some aesthetically beautiful material. I thought I’d share some with you here.
This stapled, yellowing pocket guide is endearing; it feels like a science ‘zine. Best of all, the penguin appears to be reading the title. The book is inscribed: “Schmidt, Dec 69, from the Univ of Wisc Dept of Geology & Geophysics Science Hall.”
An endpaper gallery of “Soviet Exchange Scientist” rubber stamps greets readers of an English-Russian Dictionary issued by the State Publishing House of Foreign and National Dictionaries, Moscow, in 1960. The penguins shaking hands in friendship is priceless.
This is a detail from a 1958 publication by the Republic of South Africa on the occasion of International Geophysical Year titled World Weather Maps, Part III, Southern Hemisphere, South of 20°S. The entire book is printed in precisely registered black-and-red line art.
I’m saving the best for last. This spread appears in Traité de Zoologie: Anatomie, Systématique, Biologie : Protozoaires, Rhizopodes, Actinopodes, Sporozoaires, Cnidosporidies: Tome I. The profusely illustrated book is as thick as its title is long, and it’s Crary’s greatest visual treat. And by the way, am I the only one seeing faces in these Myxosporea?
I can’t resist showing another page from the same book, published in 1953 by Masson & Cie. in France. This one illustrates species of plasmodium, and is signed “E. Lalau.”
If tomorrow’s flight is a no-go, I’ll be back in the library looking at this book.