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Re: Book Art History

>> Amazing work has been done for thousands of years. Everyone in
>> this field--artists, collectors, librarians, curators, writers (critics?),
>> dealers-- *needs* to spend at least a hundred days in museums, rare book
>> rooms, galleries, auctions, etc. seeing and touching THE REAL THING.
>> binders. Handle the incunabula-- the ones in original bindings.
>> Particularly with hardware (chains, bosses, clasps). See how the hinges
>> work, how nicely they open and close. Feel it.
>> have Jean Brown's collection from the Shaker Seed House. Get a hold of a
>> few books of William Blake's (not facsimiles). Look at 10,000 "Artist's
>> Books" in the Franklin Furnace Archive (now part of the MOMA library). It's
>> a beginning. Maybe then one has the possibility of becoming an artist.
>> Handle enough great stuff and it begins to rub off on you.

While I agree with much Richard says, I don't much like the attitude that
one "has the possibility of becoming an artist" by virtue of what
experiences one has built with previous art. Such experiences can have no
effect whatsoever on some; they are certainly valuable to most. But one is
an artist by virtue of what one makes. There are many examples of great
artists who did not have such direct experience with previous art. There are
also examples of extremely boring artists who have the best of experiences
with previous art. Thinking one HAS to do something before one has the
possibility of being an artist -- that seems like a snob attitude to me.


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