Thursday, 14 January 2010

New Sampler Book from North East Museums

It is a day of rejoicing for me when museums publish or make accessible their sampler collections and I have been looking forward with great anticipation to the publication of the joint collections of not 1, but 15 museums in the North East of England. Such an inspired concept to have created a consortium to provide a critical mass of exemplars for publication. This project has entailed an extraordinary feat of management and co-ordination. The book has 114 pages with around 60 images and is very handsomely produced with clear text and fine layout, and comes with a CD Rom of the sampler images. Brilliant - I would really like you to support the project and buy the book. However, you do need to know that the task may have been just a stretch too far. The CD doesn't work as it should, though I am told it can be replaced. There are a considerable number of images on the CD which are empty boxes marked image not available. And when we come to the images on the CD and in the book, the stars of the show, as it were, it just saddens me that time was not spent taking more care with the images. Some are out of focus, have reflections, and one like the Quaker sampler below is, inexplicably upside down.

I know the problems associated with a project like this - it is very tough work - and I have a great deal of sympathy. It is a project with great vision and ambition - and some great samplers such as the one below of Susannah being manhandled in a way I have never seen before, are wonderfully presented. In spite of the problems, I know you will still find enjoyment in the book and for £12.95 plus £2.95 P&P for UK it is not going to break the bank.

1 comment:

  1. I am hoping some American companies will bring this book "across the pond", but it's one I do want to have. I, too, know how difficult it is to get great pictures of samplers, and want to support this effort as much as possible. At that price, you sure can't go wrong!