The University of Texas Press has announced an ambitious lineup of books for this fall, including a massive accounting of the holdings of various departments on campus. It’s called “The Collections,” edited by Andrée Bober, the founding director of the public art program Landmarks.
The book, which will have 720 pages and 807 color and 117 black and white photographs, will chronicle more than 170 million objects related to archaeology, ethnography, fine and performing arts, rare books and manuscripts, decorative arts, photography, film, music, popular and material culture, regional and political history, natural history, science and technology, the new 2015 catalog for the press announces.
It’s “the first sweeping guide to the university’s irreplaceable artificats,” the university says. “It introduces some eighty discrete collections by outlining their histories, highlighting their strengths, and suggesting their educational functions.”
Among the objects that will be detailed are the Biblia Latina, or Gutenberg Bible, from Mainz, Germany, 1454-1455, which is housed at the Harry Ransom Center; a canopic jar from Egypt, 16th-11th century BCE, in the Department of Classics Collection in the College of Liberal Arts; the Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836, in the Broadside Collection at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History; and a portrait of Davy Crockett, by John Gadsby Chapman, held at the Ransom Center.
The challenges of compiling such a book are obvious, and Bober used the expertise of more than 300 people. An introduction by Lewis Gould traces the formation of the collections.
Bober was a deputy and interim director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati before starting the Landmarks job at UT. “The Collections” is scheduled to be released in December and will cost $125.
Other highlights include:
“Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt, by Kristin Hersh, dealing with the life of the quadriplegic singer songwriter who died in 2009. (October, $22.95)
“More Curious,” by Sean Wilsey, a new UT Press venture of publishing paperback versions of successful books from other presses. (September, $16)
“The Jemima Code,” by Toni Tipton-Martin, looking at the culinary contributions by women of African descent in America. (September, $45)
“Selma 1965: Photographs by Spider Martin,” part of the Focus on American History Series from the Dolph Briscoe Center. (November, $40)
“Comin’ Right at Ya,” by Ran Benson and David Menconi. The subtitle says it all: “How a Jewish Yankee Hippie Went Country, or, the Often Outrageous History of Asleep at the Wheel.” (October, $24.95)
“Martín Ramírez: Framing His Life and Art,” by Víctor M. Espinosa, looking at the incredible life and art of the Mexican migrant worker and psychiatric patient who had no formal artistic training. (November, $40)
“Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football,” by Bower Youse and Thomas J. Cryan. Just in time for the football season, a look at the legendary Longhorn player who had his leg amputated shortly after a miracle game. (September, $24.95)