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1905 calendar issued by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company


The Essential Calendar:
The Art & Design of Calendars; Thematic, Historic and Artistic Examples

Curated by William J. Dane
Third Floor Gallery
January 12 - April 29, 2000
In response to the considerable worldwide interest in the arrival of the new millennium, The Newark Public Library has gathered together about one thousand calendars and selected close to two hundred which are currently exhibited in a show entitled The Essential Calendar: The Art & Design of Calendars; Thematic, Historic and Artistic Examples, which is on view in The Library's Third Floor Gallery from January 12 through April 29, 2000.
"The Calendar" illustration by Thomas Cleland.
1905 calendar from Gray Lithograph Co. with illustration by W. Hannert.
Visits to bookstores, gift and greeting card shops and outlets in late 1999, provided clear evidence that current up-to-date calendars are absolutely essential for most people to accurately record their work and social schedules, as well as to note anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and a wide variety of highly important dates and times in each individual's personal, corporate and family life. Calendars with visuals are the most popular format in recent decades and it is the wide appeal of particular topics that make up sixteen sections of the Library's exhibit.
These appealing topics include cats forever feline, furry and fun; ecological interests chiefly from groups deeply concerned with saving wildlife, forests, the world's oceans and open spaces all around the globe; views of European cities and monuments, many of historical importance and illustrated in color to entice travelers of all ages to come for extended visits; and irresistible images of dogs of all sizes and progeny who are still mankind's very best friends.
Johann Greve's Ansicht von Kiel Bezeichnet, dated 1585, illustrates this 1965 calendar published in Hamburg, Germany and distributed by Der Vereinsbank.

Smaller items include a dozen daybooks, appointment books or engagement records. Convenience and reliability are the principal requirements for these important items of record, which are most often purchased as the New Year rolls around. Some are shaped to drop easily into a pocket or purse, but most are designed to rest on a desk near the telephone or near the computer in the new century. A choice selection of calendars is selected to show their highly unusual shapes and sizes. Some are three-dimensional while others pop up, are geometric in shape or have innovative and truly clever design elements.

Postcard with miniature patented calendar, postmarked January 5, 1907.

America's mania for celebrities from the dream factories of Hollywood or other various popular media result in a grouping of calendars featuring great stars of the moving picture world such as Cary Grant, Cher, John Wayne, James Dean and the legendary Greta Garbo. Wrist watches which serve, in part, as calendars showing the date, month and sometimes the year, bear images of Marilyn Monroe, Czar Nicholas II (the last Romanov ruler), Andy Warhol, Superman and, of course, Micky Mouse in several versions.

1978 Japanese calendar.
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism calendar for 5755.

Deluxe large format calendars are shown with one printed in Israel in 1998 for the Tel Aviv University saluting a new world of ideas and scientific development over the past thousand years. In stunning overlays and die cuts, this notable publication illustrates and describes the Compass (12th century), the Mechanical Clock (14th century), the Printing Press (15th century) and Electricity and Electronics (19th and 20th centuries). An oversized calendar for the year 2000 printed on one sheet features the phases of the moon throughout the twelve months as prepared and published by The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Of special interest is an impressive calendar centering on the theme of the relationship between music and fine art resulting in a unique art form of visual music. These images of musical illustration were produced for a German paper manufacturer in 1993 on natural white chlorine free paper. This notable calendar is titled Music on Paper with the aim of carrying the language of sound in images to reflect the music of written signs and notes. Other illustrated topics include Russian lacquer miniatures, the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta and 18th century flower prints for each month as engraved by Peter Casteels II (1684-1749), a Flemish artist who is noted for his authentic and detailed flower studies of considerable aesthetic quality.

Jersey Testing Laboratories calendar from 1940.
"Education for Better Living" is the theme of this 1956 calendar created by Arts High School students. Cover designed by Margo Hoess.


An illustration from Tres Riches Heures du duc de Berry.
Other calendar topics covering a wide range of designer projects include ecological interests, calendars originating from Newark and New Jersey, books of hours from the Middle Ages, appointment books and historic calendars going back to a 1905 calendar issued by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company showing a fussily costumed girl sipping tea. The scores of calendars selected for viewing plus descriptive texts and decorative accessories are from The Special Collections of The Newark Public Library as arranged by William J. Dane, supervisor of posters, prints and a wide variety of works on paper at The Library. For additional information, please call The Library at 973-733-7745.


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