The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

Prof. Mac Johnson

W.McAllister (Mac) Johnson is a retired professor of art history at the University of Toronto. Some years ago he donated his collection of close to 1000 scholarly, art historical titles to the Carleton University Library in Ottawa.  The collection is unusual, in that it was assembled not by titles, but by categories of art-historical scholarship, including works on provenance and association; technical and theoretical works; museum, exhibition, and auction catalogues; translations and re-editions; connoisseurship (attribution) and criticism; reference works and ephemera. Together the books offer insights into the intellectual, institutional, social, and commercial activity of the art world in France and other European countries in the period spanning the Renaissance to the 20th century.

Johnson, an American-born art historian of international repute,  taught at the University of Toronto, where he trained two generations of Canadian scholars and curators, as a professor of Art History. The library he has donated to Carleton University represents the material evidence of his scholarly activities over the past four decades.

We met recently to talk about some of the practical approaches, philosophies and joys of collecting.

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Copyright © 2010 by Nigel Beale.

Direct download: Mac_Johnson_031408-171551.mp3
Category:Book Collector -- posted at: 7:58am EDT

Jack Rabinovitch 011

Jack Rabinovitch is a philanthropist best known for founding the annual Scotia Bank Giller Prize (named after his late wife, Doris Giller, a former literary columnist and editor at the Toronto Star)for best Canadian novel. Rabinovitch, a reporter and speechwriter who later turned to business, making his fortune in food retailing and real estate,  was an executive with Trizec Corporation where he helped develop close to six million square feet of hotel, commercial and retail space. He was Maclean’s magazine’s man of the year in 1999 and is a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

This week his membership in the Order of Canada was upgraded to platinum…he is now an Officer of the Order. Part of the citation for this added honour reads:

"Jack Rabinovitch continues to lend extraordinary energy to the promotion of Canadian literature. Maintaining a very active leadership role in the administration of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, he has negotiated a partnership that has solidified the Giller as Canada’s most lucrative and illustrious literary award. Canadian authors and publishers alike have gained increased sales as a direct result of either a nomination or a win, while the awards have helped to raise the profile of new and lesser-known authors."

We met this morning to talk about the Giller, its contribution to the purchase, reading and discussion of Canadian novels,  the various strengths and weaknesses of literary juries  adjudicating merit, and his choice for ‘best’ Canadian novel of all time.

(Subscribe to Nigel Beale’s Biblio File Podcast here)

Copyright © 2010 by Nigel Beale.

 Please listen here:

Direct download: jack_rabinovitch_800928_01.mp3
Category:Festival Organizer -- posted at: 12:47am EDT