Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle A Short History of an Idea
First Written 1987
Genre Architectural History
Origin US
Publisher Penguin
ISBN-10 0140102310
ISBN-13 978-0140102314
My Copy library hardback
First Read August 02, 2012


Of course furniture is unnatural; it is an artifact. Sitting is artificial, and like other artificial activities, although less obviously than cooking, instrumental music, or painting, it introduces art into living. We eat pasta or play the piano - or sit upright - out of choice, not out of need. This should be emphasized, for so much has been written about the practicality and functionality of (particularly modern) furniture that it is easy to forget that tables and chairs, unlike, for example, refrigerators and washing machines, are a refinement, not a utility.

Quoted on August 15, 2012

[This blew my mind: referring to a print from 1514]

The haphazard placement of several valuable folios on the bench is not a sign of sloppiness- bookcases have not yet been invented.

Quoted on August 14, 2012

After england adopted a national anthem in the mid-eighteenth centruy, most European nations quickly followed suit. The results were sometimes curious. Denmark and Germany, for instance, simply set their own words to the English music. Switzerland still sings, "Ruft die, mein Vaterland" to the strains of "God Save the King," and until Congress adopted and official national anthem - in 1931 - Americans sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" to the same Regal music.

Quoted on August 14, 2012

Lauren is certainly unaware. as are most people, of the recent origin of the “traditional” Scottish tartan. The idea of associating specific tartans with different families occurred during the first part of the nineteenth century — not in the mists of Celtic antiquity — and, like the kilt itself, was a modern invention.

Quoted on August 14, 2012

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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