Reading on Wheels

It’s the fifth and final day of Five Days of Friday! Tonight, September 7, Friday Nights at the de Young hosts a ton of great events, including live music, performances, art demonstrations, video installations, and of course, art making for all! One of tonight’s highlights is a visit by the San Francisco Public Library Green Bookmobile, featuring titles used by Artist Fellows Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth to research The Conflicts, a triptych of monumental tapestries. Guest bloggers Hope and Roth share their reading list below—check it out and then check out a book tonight at the Bookmobile!

DY Bookmobile

When we began work on our first tapestry, Allegory of the Monoceros, our first stop was the San Francisco Public Library. We headed straight to the Main Library in civic center, got our new library cards, and spent the rest of the day in the blissful collection of information. After the initial success of that first visit, we now begin each new tapestry with a trip to the library.

Tapestry Research

As we finalize work on the third tapestry in our triptych, we look back at our reading list and its far-ranging subject matter, which includes architecture, virtual reality, gaming, evolution, social anthropology, the Singularity, medicinal plants, astronomy, philosophy, and much, much more.

Book pile

Here's a small sampling of some of our favorite books from our research at the library:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
An exploration of one woman's life and death and the bioethics involved.

The Architectural Interpretation of History by John Gloag
An interesting and informative timeline of architecture and its associations with history and technology.

Lucy's Legacy: Sex and Intelligence in Human Evolution by Alison Jolly
An explanation of evolutionary biology in a whole new light—clearly written and fascinating.

The Square Halo, and Other Mysteries of Western Art by Sally Fisher
Full of informative and often surprisingly humorous explanations of symbology and stories of medieval (and later) art.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman
An exploration of globalization and how the age of the World Wide Web is changing the economy and culture.

You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier
An interesting counterpoint to the possibility or desirability of the Singularity.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
A sci-fi classic that incorporates ancient Sumerian myth, computer coding, viral theory, and neurology into one admittedly goofy but thought-provoking fun ride.

Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation by Andrea Wulf
The beginnings of the United States as seen through the agricultural leanings of the Founding Fathers.

The Oak King, the Holly King and the Unicorn: The Myths and Symbolism of the Unicorn Tapestries by John Williamson
An exploration of the symbology of the Unicorn Tapestries.

The Unicorn Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Adolfo Salvatore Cavallo
Great pictures and descriptions of the Unicorn Tapestries, indispensable to our studies, especially before we could go see the tapestries in person at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Tonight, September 7, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will provide free valet bike parking, and the first 100 cyclists to check their bikes will receive $2 off admission to the de Young's permanent collection galleries. Don’t ride a bike? Not to worry—the first 100 guests with a San Francisco Public Library card are also eligible to receive this discount.

For more information about Friday Nights at the de Young, contact Gregory Stock at or 415.750.7694.

Follow us on Twitter @deyoungmuseum #FridayNightsDY.