The first edition of this book was published five months before the writer, Lafcadio Hearn’s, death in September 1904. Kwaidan was part of a group of publications about the culture of Japan that began to appear in the West in the late 19th century. These publications helped to introduce the riches of Japanese aesthetic and artistic heritage to artists and designers in the United States and Europe and fueled public interest in all things Japanese.

Persian Miniatures in the Bernard Berenson Collection

Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the well-known art historian and author of classic texts on Renaissance art including Paintings of the Florentine Renaissance, also had an early interest in Asian and Islamic art.

L' Art Moderne en Typographie

This book, with examples of 1935 French advertising design, is part of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library’s Special Collections materials on typography and graphic design. With text, design, and layout by Alex Pinon, this volume is a fascinating look into advertising typography by one of the leading French type foundries of the period. Alex Pinon (1900-1961) started his career in typography and fashion illustration after the First World War; during the 1950s he was a prominent cover illustrator of bestsellers of popular literature.

Amethyst Uruguay

This full-color, beautifully illustrated book focuses on the amethysts of Catalan country in Uruguay. In both English and German, Amethyst Uruguay details the past 200 years of the mining of these precious purple stones and of the people and cultures involved in those operations. It also includes fascinating analysis of the geology and mineralogy of the amethyst. The highlight, of course, is a generous series of richly colored photographs of these beautiful gems. Author Reinhard Balzer collects and studies gems and minerals, with a particular interest in amethysts.


This magnificently illustrated book describes and depicts images of paleo art from the inception of the field, in the 1830s, to the modern era. Paleoart, unique in its literary field, includes beautifully reproduced paintings, drawings, tile mosaics, etc. from collections around the world. Each example represents a mixture of science and fantasy as artists have attempted to visualize extinct life in its long-ago environment. Some art used in this volume was taken from the archives and collection of the Smithsonian’s Paleobiology collection.