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On Thursday, Sept. 19, this message came over Book_Arts-L:

>Re: Change in my URL address
>From: COLEMAN@ucs.indiana.edu
>Content-Length: 13
>who cares!

It's surprising how many people do care, and what they care 

 Peter Graham cares about intent and effect in a copyright 
notice. And I'm glad he does.  He wrote

>Therefore, and in the second place, to email details of use to
>minsky  would be to flood him with messages such as "I looked
>at your home  page today and reproduced your images on my
>screen."  This is not what  he intends.

Actually, I do want everybody who looks at my home page to get 
in touch. But it made me think about what I want to achieve by 
notice, not just put in a form from an old medium. I will 
change the (c) notice to reflect my actual concerns, i.e., that 
people don't take "low" resolution images of my work and use 
them in a presentation that requires sharper images, and that 
the descriptive information accompanies the image wherever it 
goes. If anyone has suggestions or models, I'd welcome the 
input. For those who may have browsed Minsky Online and have 
thought to use the images for further publication or in 
teaching, the new notice may be something like:

(c)1994 Richard Minsky. If you want to use these images beyond
browsing them on your computer, and plan to retransmit them or
use them in electronic, print or other media, please copy all
the information about the image and give proper credit. Please
do not reproduce from these low resolution gif files. You can
get higher resolution digital images (PCD), slides or chromes.
e-mail your request to: minsky@pipeline.com

Artists and curators from Book_Arts-L have been contacting me 
@pipeline this week with comments like

>I've just been looking at your URL as announced last night 
with great enjoyment and fascination.
>Your www site is an inspiration.

So instead of following my first inclination--letting "who 
cares" slide as a rhetorical misquoted outdated punk epithet, 
I'll assume there are subscribers to this list who don't know 
what there is to care about at Minsky Online, and are curious 
enough about Book Arts to take a look. I've spent over 25 years 
working to get Book Art seen as ART by our civilization. This 
involved both making BOOKS that are ART (that is, they changed 
the way people look at books), and educating the public that a 
book can BE Art.  One assumes that people get on this list to 
engage in meaningful dialogue about Book Art, so for those who 
don't know, here are a few of the achievements that make my 
work as an artist and artists' advocate worth caring about:

1960  Bought a 5 x 8 Kelsey letterpress and six cases of 
foundry type. Started a printing business. Age 13.

1973  Bound Pettigrew's "History of Egyptian Mummies" (1834) in 
strips of linen. The collector who brought it in to me for 
repair was shocked, but liked it. It was in the landmark 
exhibition "The Object as Poet" (Renwick Gallery, DC and Museum 
of Contemporary Crafts, NY, 1977).

1974   One man show at Zabriskie Gallery, New York. I believe 
it was the first time an artist bookbinder was chosen to 
exhibit at a 57th
Street Art Gallery.

1974  Founded the Center for Book Arts, the first independent 
not-for-profit organization in the USA to promote the art of 
contemporary book as a visual and sculptural medium, bringing 
together artists and book artisans to collaborate and influence 
other, establishing the Book Arts Gallery in the context of a 
working book production studio (with papermaking, typesetting, 
printing, printmaking and binding) and school. Exhibited book 
artists like Syl Lebrot (Pleasure Beach), Barton Lidice Benes 
(Letters from Aunt Evelyn, etc.), Stella Waitzkin (acrylic 
resin library), Tom Phillips (A Humument, Dante's Inferno),  
Jean de Gonet,  and historical book art. Mounted exhibits with 
letterpress books, bindings, sculptural and conceptual 
bookworks. Encouraged artists to stretch the boundaries. This 
model has been widely copied for regional Centers, including 
Artists Bookworks in Chicago (Barbara Metz), the Minnesota 
Center for Book Arts (Jim Sitter), and BookWorks London (Pella 
Erskine-Tulloch and Jane Rolo), as well as many college 

1975-81  Received five individual Visual Arts fellowships and 
grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and 
organizational funding for Center for Book Arts. The first 
artist bookbinder to receive an NEA Visual Arts fellowship. The 
first artist bookbinder to represent Visual Art in the USA in 
an international cultural exchange (US/UK Bicentennial Fellow). 
Designed and circulated petition to establish Book Arts as a 
grant category. This led to new Federal and state recognition 
of the field as a separate area of funding, with its own 

1975  My work was pulled out of a Guild of BookWorkers exhibit 
at Yale because the binding was too radical (I sewed a whole 
skin onto The Birds of North America). Polly Lada-Mocarski and 
Prof. Norman Pierson made them put it back in. Hedi Kyle told 
me last
year that when she shows a slide of that book these days no one 
can understand what the fuss was all about--it now looks rather

1976  First contemporary bookbinder commissioned by the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a work for their 
collection of 20th
Century Art (Henry Geldzahler, Curator).

1979  Bound Patti Smith's "Babel" in Ratskin and Safety Pins. 
The first punk binding?

1980  Bound the Trilateral Commission's "The Crisis of 
Democracy" in Sheep, Gold and Barbed Wire. Bookbinding as 

1988  Bound Michael Brown's "Laying Waste" (the Poisoning of 
America by Toxic Chemicals) in a binding of Crack vial caps, 
needles, my own toxic lacquer thinner label,  etc. extending 
the meaning of the book to how we poison ourselves. When viewed 
in the
dark, a painted phosphorescent image of a death's head in 
rivulets of glowing waste becomes apparent.

So if you are one of those who does care, photos of the above 
and a lot more are at Minsky Online. In case you missed it, the 
URL is:


The Canadian Book Arts Guild recently reprinted a short essay I 
wrote in a "koob stra," the Center for Book Arts occasional 
newsletter, about establishing a history of contemporary book 
arts. If people want I can post it to Book_Arts-L. The point is 
that it's up to everybody in the field to "correct" history 
continuously. If anybody believes I am in error about any of 
the above "firsts",  please post the information to this list. 
I believe Book_Arts-L is an appropriate forum to begin 
assembling a history of Book Arts in the USA, or even 
internationally. Let's hear from Designer Bookbinders or Amis 
de la Reliure d'Art.

There are a lot of book artists working and exhibiting today 
whose work derives from a small group of artists working about 
20 years ago. It's exciting to see where the next generation 
takes it. But let's not forget who got the ball rolling. I 
broke a lot of rules over the years, and there are still some 
die-hard tight assed bibliophiles who can't get over it. But it 
freed up a lot of mentality and made it easier for the next 
wave. I mentioned Hedi Kyle, and let's not forget that every 
time you have a juried book arts show these days more people 
you never heard of before are using book architecture developed 
by Hedi in the 70's. And I'd be surprised if half of them knew 
it. And while I'm ranting on, keep in mind that Gary Frost's 
Dada Reliquary binding on "The Tracts of Moses David and the 
Children of God," also from that period, did more than pick up 
where Mary Reynolds left off. Besides which, Gary's 
contributions to book arts philosophy should be required 
reading for every book artist, curator, collector, dealer or 
critic, right next to Ulises Carrion's "The New Art of Making 


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