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Regarding the Exhibition of Books and the Eternal Quest for One Person Shows



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Hello, everyone.  I want to ask for your thoughts and experiences regarding one
person exhibitions for book artists.  I should begin by noting that I work for
the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, and that we very
seldom do one person shows ourselves; we tend to do large group shows (such as
our Biennial) and small group shows; we have put on about 3 solo shows out of
the 40 or so that we've done altogether.  Our rational has always been that we
wanted to show as many artists as possible.  However...
    I recently completed a book that took me 14 years and consists of 80
aquatints, printed on handmade paper, bound in calf, etc, etc; all very Large
and Magnum Opusish and Museum Quality and what not.  To exhibit this book (it's
called The Three Incestuous Sisters) I printed an entire copy for the wall, so
the exhibit consists of the book itself and 83 12" x 30" spreads.  And of course
after all that work, I would like to show it around, so I've been contacting
various institutions and lo and behold, frequently I am being told, "Oh, gee, we
only do group shows, because we want to show as many artists as possible..."
    So my question to you all is: have you been having this same experience?
Are there institutions that want to do one person shows?  I'm not talking about
commercial galleries, but about museums, libraries, and university galleries.
What sort of exhibits best serve the book arts community?  Regards, Audrey
Niffenegger

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