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Libraries are spiritual places: sanctuaries of knowledge, temples of wisdom, oases of silence. From the splendid baroque monastic libraries, to the secular archives of the most prestigious universities, from the richest illuminated princes’ cabinets to the more functional and sober architectures, all are permeated by a sort of sacred solemnity.
Since the beginning of her professional career as a photographer, in the mid-1970s, Candida Höfer has collected images of the interiors of public environments: castles, museums, theaters, exhibition spaces and libraries. The volume is dedicated to all of this. Never as in these pages have objectivity and laconicity, characteristic of Candida Höfer’s work, been able to exalt libraries from all over the world, of all sizes and periods: from the Trinity Library in Dublin to the Bibliothèque nationale de France, from the library of the Escorial to that of Villa Medici in Rome, from the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York to the Anna Amalia Bibliothek in Weimar just before the catastrophic fire.
Introduced by Umberto Eco’s witty reflection on the plurality of purposes of an ideal library and on how to remedy its inadequate management, Candida Höfer’s one hundred and thirty-seven color images constitute a sumptuous celebration of bibliophilia.
Candida Höfer, Biblioteche
Jonah & Levi, 2016
Text by Umberto Eco
24.5 x 30 cm
272 pages, hardcover with dust jacket
First edition 2016