A Beautiful Partnership

AIC Chicago 1918–19

John Folinsbee Considered
a new book reveals much about an under-appreciated artist
while it neatly ties together print and digital technologies

Folinsbee Considered is a hefty, 322 page, 10 x 12 inch volume, brimming with new color photographs—many are lush, full-page, larger than life-size details. Handsomely designed in bright red cloth, a self-portrait of the painter on the cover looking at us with characteristic confidence, the results are a vital testament to the continued life of the art book.

In addition to nine chapters of extensively researched and hitherto unavailable information about the life and work of John F. Folinsbee, the book contains a 56-page, densely packed Catalogue of Selected Landscape and Genre Paintings. The book’s author, Kirsten M. Jensen writes: “Each entry contains comprehensive information up to the time this book went to press, including provenance records, bibliographic citations, and exhibition histories . . .” She further points out:

“Those who wish to study paintings from a particular year or years intensively, or who want to see juvenilia, portraits, and works on paper, should consult the online Catalogue Raisonné (johnfolinsbee.org), which is continually updated to reflect new research on particular works and periods in Folinsbee’s career.”

As hefty as this book is, Ms. Jensen lets us know that we are in store for even more on the website. We are able to search the works online by themes and subjects, as well as find related works, preliminary sketches, and notebooks, none of which are included in the book. And this is just the beginning.

The book’s comprehensive Exhibition History 1912–2012 and substantial Literature section also have online counterparts.

“The Exhibition History is designed to be used in conjunction with the individual records in the Selected Catalogue as well as the entire known oeuvre as presented on the catalogue raisonné website . . . . The catalogue raisonné website gives the user the opportunity to see an exhibition as it was arranged at the time (if exhibition catalogue numbers are available) by selecting the Gallery View option from the Exhibition Index. Exhibitions are also hyper-linked, enabling a user to move back and forth between individual records and the Exhibition Index pages.”

By generating finished, accurate files for print during its production, the same online database that powers the Folinsbee website made the catalogue sections of this superb book possible.

We at panOpticon wish to congratulate Kirsten and the John F. Folinsbee Art Trust on the publication of Folinsbee Considered (Hudson Hills Press, 2013). We are also extremely proud that our content management system is at the heart of the John F. Folinsbee Catalogue Raisonné.

Above: Folinsbee’s Queensboro Bridge (far left) and Approaching Dusk (far right), in the galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago, photographed in 1918. Click the photo above to see the works in the exhibition online.


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Check out our blog — catalog(ue) — a forum whose purpose is to help close the gap between traditional cataloging practices and the challenges we face when we use developing digital technologies to publish online.