Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné Reviewed by the Art Libraries Society of North America

Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné Reviewed by the Art Libraries Society of North America

Comments from a review of Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946–1994, posted by the Art Libraries Society of North America.

Presented as a hybrid, innovative catalogue raisonné, this is an electronic publication accompanied by a book with additional material. Its digital nature offers large storage capacity and browsability via links, but the choice of format (DVD) is questionable. In addition to preservation issues (disk and software obsolescence), it lacks some of the advantages of online catalogue raisonnés (a growing publishing model, with around thirty currently completed or in progress), particularly accessibility and the ability to change, although the latter has been addressed by the Foundation by promising access to online updates. The quality of the digital images (JPEG) is adequate for most research purposes, but the lack of high resolution (another growing trend in digital art publishing), and color issues, common to all digital imaging (color calibration, light conditions, etc.), are also a consideration. Technical information for images and software is minimal.

These production issues, however, do not detract from the achievement and value of the scholarly content of this catalogue raisonné, which includes a vast amount of new material. It is now the standard reference source on Francis and, as such, a recommended acquisition for academic and specialist libraries supporting research in modern and contemporary art or American art.

– Gustavo Grandal Montero, Academic Support Librarian, Chelsea College of Art & Design Library, University of the Arts London

To download a pdf of the complete review, click here. 

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