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Teeny, Tiny Shakespeare Books on Display at Yale

Neale Albert with Works of William Shakespeare, 40 vols. (London: Allied Newspapers, 1904), bound by Jana Pribíková, 2005

Yale’s latest exhibition on William Shakespeare is decidedly pint-sized. This summer, the university is displaying almost 100 miniature books of writing by and about the Bard as part of an exhibit called “The Poet of Them All.”

These teeny, tiny bound books, all less than 3 inches tall, are a donation from Neale Albert, a Yale Law School grad and avid miniature book collector. The miniature versions of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays are all covered with unique binding and cover designs commissioned by Albert over the past 10 years from prominent bookbinders from all over the world. Some of the books themselves date back to the 19th century. 

American binder Gabrielle Fox tooling with gold leaf, Queen Mab (Cincinnati: Squiggle Dot Press, 2007), photograph courtesy of Tom Allen


There are also 39 bound and illustrated copies, published in 2009, of the lyrics and music of “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” a song in Cole Porter’s 1948 musical Kiss Me, Kate from which the title of the exhibit was taken. 

Brush Up Your Shakespeare (New York: Piccolo Press, 2009), bound by Angela James, 2011, in goatskin with red, white, and printed calfskin onlays, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert


King Henry IV, Part 1 from Shakespeare’s Works (New York: Knickerbocker Leather and Novelty Company, ca. 1910), bound by George Kirkpatrick, 2007, in leather with embossed silver covers, shown with casket enclosure made of resin, board, and leather, with paint and gold tooling, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert


Julius Caesar from Shakespeare’s Works (New York: Knickerbocker Leather and Novelty Company, ca. 1910), bound by Santiago Brugalla, 2004, in goatskin with tooling and miniature hand-painted portrait medallions on front and back covers by John Hodgson, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert

Brush Up Your Shakespeare (New York: Piccolo Press, 2009), bound by Derek Hood, 2010, in goatskin with multiple colored goatskin onlays, Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert


"The Poet of Them All" is at the Yale Center for British Art from June 16 to August 21, 2016. 

 All images courtesy the Yale Center for British Art 

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Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Secret Room Full of Michelangelo's Sketches Will Soon Open in Florence
Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images
Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images

Parents all over the world have chastised their children for drawing on the walls. But when you're Michelangelo, you've got some leeway. According to The Local, the Medici Chapels, part of the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy, has announced that it plans to open a largely unseen room full of the artist's sketches to the public by 2020.

Roughly 40 years ago, curators of the chapels at the Basilica di San Lorenzo had a very Dan Brown moment when they discovered a trap door in a wardrobe leading to an underground room that appeared to have works from Michelangelo covering its walls. The tiny retreat is thought to be a place where the artist hid out in 1530 after upsetting the Medicis—his patrons—by joining a revolt against their control of Florence. While in self-imposed exile for several months, he apparently spent his time drawing on whatever surfaces were available.

A drawing by Michelangelo under the Medici Chapels in Florence
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Museum officials previously believed the room and the charcoal drawings were too fragile to risk visitors, but have since had a change of heart, leading to their plan to renovate the building and create new attractions. While not all of the work is thought to be attributable to the famed artist, there's enough of it in the subterranean chamber—including drawings of Jesus and even recreations of portions of the Sistine Chapel—to make a trip worthwhile.

[h/t The Local]

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