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Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (Of a Crazy World) Hardcover – April 22, 2010


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Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (Of a Crazy World) + And the Pursuit of Happiness + The Principles of Uncertainty
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel (April 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791350358
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791350356
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

From children's books to Germanyer covers, fashion to philosophical musings, this first retrospective book on the beloved illustrator, author, and designer Maira Kalman is an inventory of imaginative genius certain to delight her many fans.

About the Author

Ingrid Schaffner is Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Kenneth Silver teaches art history at New York University in New York City. He is also Contributing Editor at Art in America.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I get her humor, I so much appreciate her idealism, I adore her quirky view of the world.
L. R. Kraft
The book is mostly about displaying the images, with the copy helping, adding detail, illuminating the story of how an illustration came about.
Maria Petrova
I usually go on for paragraphs in review, but really, it's a book you have to hold and open and look at for yourself.
Terry Weiss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Terry Weiss on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the minute I opened this book I felt the need to start creating. I love her work, The Principles of Uncertainty is in my all time top ten, and The Elements of Style have style to spare with her illustrations. And don't miss the blogs she's done for the New York Times.

The beauty of this particular book is that it covers years of her work and more details of her life. It's simply wonderful and I can't tell you how much it's worth owning and being able to pick up and enjoy any time.

I usually go on for paragraphs in review, but really, it's a book you have to hold and open and look at for yourself. Incidentally, if you are familiar with the Max books, and some of her intelligently, but wildly sane, loopy drawings, take a look at some of the work here - she can draw the way you are "supposed" to do it - thank goodness she draws the way Maira Kalman sees the world. My heart is full from reading it - and I'm out of words. A book to love and treasure - that covers it.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Maria Petrova on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I write this. Gratitude that I know of Maira Kalman, and that this book exists.

This is my favorite of all books by or about Maira. Ever since I happened upon "The Principles of Uncertainty" -- that very first entry that begins with an angel (an angel!) and Hallelujah... Which sang right to the depth of my heart and offered page down after page down of sheer rapture... Remember the image of the helicopter that took Bush away on Inauguration Day, with the caption ... "at last"... That blog entry is one of the greatest cultural discoveries of my life. The joyous merging of personal and political, playful & astute absolutely had me by the heart and I was in heaven. I followed breathlessly as blogs followed about Lincoln, the judicial system, Alice Waters... Thrill after thrill.

When I discovered Maira, I became voracious and bought and ate up all her work. What I love about this book in particular, first of all, is its formatting. The size is larger than I expected from the Amazon preview (10.5 x 8.8). The illustrations are perfect size, not too blown out nor too small to see. There is a nice pacing, usually 2 images per spread, not overwhelming, offering perfect detail in sumptuous color. This process could have gone wrong at one of many points, but the paper, the printing, the color, everything has turned out perfectly (we can all probably recall books on beloved artists where the color is ever so slightly off, but enough to make them unpalatable). The paper is also FSC certified, which I appreciate. Nice heavy semi-gloss stock. A+ on printing.

The text is by Ingrid Schaffner of the Institute of Contemporary art at UPenn. Not too much text. Perfect. Loved what she had to say. Not too academic or effete. Approachable.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Robinson on November 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having followed Kalman's work in the New York Times, I found this book simply wonderful. Her creations often look simple and even primitive, but I know that if I tried to copy one of her pictures, I'd produce a hopeless mess instead of her graphically sophisticated art. From a kitchen sink to impressionistic "copies" of famous artworks, every painting is a treasure. If only my life had the simplicity, humor, style, and brilliance of Maira Kalman's work....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Granny on May 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son-in-law has a wish list on Amazon which helps so much when I am shopping for his birthday or Christmas.He uses it whenever he sees a book or product he likes.He is a graphic artist and he was thrilled with this book.Not only did he thank me for the gift at the time I gave it to him,but I received 2 phone calls saying thank you. One from him and one from his 11 year old daughter ! She is as creative as he is,and the book now has a permanent home on their coffee table !!
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