Volume 8, Number 2, May 1986, pp.11-12

In the News


Henry Hopkins Accepts Directorship of Weisman Foundation

On 2 May, Christopher Knight reported in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner that Henry Hopkins will resign his position as director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to take directorship of the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation of Art in Beverly Hills. This past February the Weisman Foundation secured a 50-year lease with the City of Beverly Hills to open a museum of modern art in, and to fully restore, the landmark Greystone Mansion.

When interviewed by phone Hopkins said, "I was ready for a change and the challenge (of a new museum) was very appealing." Although Hopkins headed the Bay Area museum since 1974, he has long had ties with Los Angeles. He completed his doctoral work at UCLA and held a variety of education and curatorial positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Among his most ardent supporters at the time was Frederick Weisman.

Hopkins will assume his new post in November, giving priority to the restoration of Greystone and to the international touring program of the Weisman collection.

Research on Gutenberg Bible

A Time Magazine article from March 10 reports that an early model of a refurbished cyclotron is being used at UC Davis to determine the chemical composition of ink and paper. By focusing the penetrating but low intensity beam on the documents and then analyzing the spray of the x-rays emitted, the chemical composition of both ink and paper can be determined in remarkable detail.

Research has shed new light on the production techniques used in Johann Gutenberg's printshop. Testing has resolved a controversy which involves the first book printed using movable metallic type. Most experts have considered the Gutenberg Bible, printed between 1450 and 1455, to be the first and finest example of this printing method. Two other early works also printed in 36-line type have for some time raised doubts about this distinction which has been awarded to the Gutenberg Bible. But tests have established that instead of a carbon-based ink, Gutenberg had used a slurry of copper and lead and that the other works are of a near identical composition. Therefore it appears that the other works were in fact early attempts made by Gutenberg in perfecting this printing process.

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