Russell Crotty

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Russell Crotty
Small Atlas of Selected Celestial Drawings
Ballpoint pen and graphite pencil on paper in bound book.
Closed: 20 x 19 7/8 x 1/2 inches (50.8 x 50.5 x 1.3 cm); Open: 20 x 40 inches (50.8 x 101.6 cm)
Gift of Lisa and John Miller.
Lisa and John Miller.

Fascinated with astronomy, Crotty finds inspiration in the stars, comets, and planets he observes from a telescope in his homemade observatory in California. The present book includes eight unique drawings. Some of the drawings are map-like and labeled with names of specific planets, star clusters, and constellations such as Auriga and Taurus. To these schematics, Crotty added personalized descriptions of certain formations such as the star cluster Pleiades which he labeled as "hot blue young stars shrouded in faint nebulosity." The book also includes full-page skyscape drawings that correspond to the labeled map-like pages. Other drawings in the book are in a circular format as if viewed through the lens of a telescope. Combining scientific observation with fiction, Crotty conjures up fantastic visions reminiscent of Romanticism's sublime landscape.

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