Max Liebermann – modern master 

Self-portrait (source: Wikimedia Commons)

175 years ago, on July 20, 1847, the famous artist Max Liebermann, regarded as the pioneer of modernism in Germany, was born in Berlin.  After realist beginnings, influenced by the School of Barbizon which he encountered during a stay in Paris from 1873 to 1878, he became a master impressionist finding inspiration in beer gardens, café terrasses, gardens and parks. Portraits form a considerable part of his oeuvre too, including the creation of fascinating self-portraits throughout his career. Today his paintings can be found in all the major museums around the world.

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A couple of Ukrainian music titles

The week before last, I wrote about a small guide to the Museum of Ukrainian Culture in the Slovak village of Svydnyk.  Today, I bumped into two related books, one of which needed a major overhaul of its catalogue record.

Slovat︠s︡ʹko-ukraïnsʹki pisenni zv’i︠a︡zky (Slovak-Ukrainian song links/connections), written by Oksana Melʹnyk and published in 1970, even had a typo in its first three letters, with SLO provided as SOL. Continue reading

Francia Márquez, the first Afro-Colombian vice-president

On 19th June 2022, after a second round of voting, the Colombian people elected their first ever left-wing government, led by Gustavo Petro, with Francia Márquez as vice-president, the first ever Afro-Colombian and only the second woman to hold the position. In this post, we will focus on this trailblazing woman, who studied Law specifically to be prepared to defend the rights of her people, and on the context that led her and her country to this new chapter in their history.

Francia Elena Márquez Mina was born in 1981 in Yolombó, in the Cauca Department on the West coast of Colombia, one of the areas of the country where enslaved populations from Africa have lived since the 17th century. Traditionally in this region, Black slaves were forced to work in gold mining, sugarcane plantations and cattle ranches. To this day, the impact of exploitatative and extractivist practices on peoples, territories and resources in the region are still painfully relevant and have been part of Francia Márquez’s life experience since her earliest formative years, which would lead her to become a committed activist from the age of 17 years old. This life experience remains the basis of her politics, as she makes the move from activism to mainstream politics. Continue reading

New Ukrainian books about the world before 2022

To our joy, several boxes of Ukrainian books were received recently from our supplier.  They are largely publications from 2020 and 2021, so the 2022 full-scale invasion of the country by Russia is not yet reflected.  That said, some of these new arrivals are of course books about the state of post-Soviet Ukrainian politics and history, Ukrainian-Russian relations, and the events of 2014 onwards.  A selection of such titles, newly in the catalogue, is briefly described below.

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The Fritz Möser collection: outstanding 20th century linoprints

Bookplate in CCC.61.137

Finishing touches are being put to the processing of the Fritz Möser donation, a long-term project that we have returned to when our department’s capacity has allowed. This is a collection of the graphic work of artist Fritz Möser (1932-2013) and was donated by Hans-Jörg Modlmayr and his wife Hildegard Modlmayr-Heimath who both taught in the German Department of Cambridge University between 1969 and 1973. The collection comprises more than 40 sets of large-scale linoprints, all in limited editions, more than 200 private press books, more than 30 issues of the literary magazine Wegwarten and 15 examples of annual calendars. This blog post will showcase a selection of Möser’s striking and beautiful artwork.

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Covers of the annual calendars in our collection (CCA.61.8-22) Continue reading