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Re: Artist's Books



This was a personal message to me in response to comments on the difficulties
of storing and protecting artists' books. However, I think Rebecca thought her
response was going to the whole list and I thought it worth puttting into wider
circulation in order to generate more discussion on the practical aspects of
the care and storage of such materials.  Louis H. Silverstein, Curator, Arts
of the Book Collection, Yale University
Incidentally , Peter, this list is wonderful and I for one am delighted with
the mixture of philosophical and practical -- I am also delighted to be able
to admit that I am learning a great deal from it.  Thanks for getting it off
the ground.  Louis
Original message
 Louis,
I, alas, had to put thoughts of publication of the paper on hold for my
thesis...You've brought up some excellent points about storage, handling, etc.
of artists' books.  This is an area where I feel that artists' books and
finely crafted or rare book have the most, and at the same time least, in
common.  Some artists' books have protective cases or covers, either as a part
of the larger piece, or as just a cover.  For those that do not: adding a cover
to store or protect them on display may interfere with the design or intent of
the piece, and also further discourage the viewer/reader from handling the
volume.  But how else will you protect them?  When it comes to rare books, on
the other hand, if it needs a box or some kind of protective case, you don't
think twice about protecting it.  Both the one-of-a-kind or limited-edition
artists' book and the rare book, for their very survival, need to have some
sort of protection to further their "lives", as it were.  This has often led me
to wonder if the one of a kind or limited edition variety aren't really artists
 books, but really sculpture.  If the intent of the artists' book is to put art
into as many hands as possible, that means that only the mass produced--whether
commercially published, hand bound in great quantities, xeroxed, etc.--are the
true artists' books. Blasphemy!!!!

Have a nice weekend, all.    Rebecca Stone
American university, Washington DC


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