Staff Picks: Artists’ Books / Dimensional Stories

| February 5, 2019

Shine      Book 1      Book 2

As the model of the library continues to evolve from a collection of printed material into that of a learning environment, patrons are becoming interested in utilizing the library as a creative space, or a sort of “third place” away from home or the office.

Here at the Gottesman Libraries, the Myers Foundation offers funding, exhibition space, and support to artists who explore the intersections between education, technology, data, art, and media.

It seems natural to me, then, that the artists’ book bridges the gap between the written word and visual art.

When people think of an artists’ book, they are likely to assume this is a book about an artist. Although there are some wonderful books published on the works of artists, an artists’ book is a work of art that either uses a book as art medium, or is a sculptural or conceptual piece that is inspired by the idea of the book.

I studied book arts while earning a BFA at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN. As an artist, the fundamental theme that has remained incorporated into my work is the idea of storytelling. I enjoy pushing the boundaries of telling a story visually.

For this display, I have chosen compilations, such as Artists and their books: books and their artists (curated by Marcia Reed and Glenn Phillips), instructional books (Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books by Dorothy Simpson Krause), and games (Building stories by Chris Ware).

Also included in this collection are several artists’ books that have been purchased or are on loan for the Gottesman Libraries collection.


Artists’ Books:


Libreta by Jackie Duvall-Smith

Libreta by Jackie Duvall-Smith


Libreta by Jackie Duvall-Smith

The artists’ book that I decided to include this display is called Libreta. This story is my response to visiting Cuba in 2016 and includes a series of 10 houses made of cardboard. These houses tell the story of how the people of Cuba live: crowded housing, ration booklets, and crumbling yet colorful infrastructure. Inside some of the houses you will find pages to a Cuban ration booklet, called a Libreta de Abastecimiento, which are still used today to purchase household necessities.


Rocketship by Marian Crane

Rocketship by Marian Crane


Rocketship by Marian Crane

This accordion-fold book celebrates the old romance and future shape of the Space Race with retro-style applique and embroidered sci-fi rocketships on painted linen, original text gel-transferred onto cotton, glass bead accents, and Swarovski crystal accents. Covers are wood burned and painted cedar with faux-lapis blue glass bead accents.


Shrine by Tatiana Potts

Shrine by Tatiana Potts


Shrine by Tatiana Potts

“Tatiana Potts is native of Slovakia and has been living in the USA for the past fifteen years… For Potts, the opportunity to live, travel and study in different places has provided her with a wide range of perspectives and informs her ideas about artmaking. After arriving to the United States, she became especially interested in architecture and the built environment… The work represents the essence of a city that will never be built and has the potential of continuous change. Constructed entirely out of paper, the work of this exhibit will amaze you in its complexity reminiscent of origami paper folding. Potts provides us with a glimpse of how a city (her city) using architectural details is created from paper.”


Woven Center by Janet Goldner

Woven Center by Janet Goldner


Woven Center by Janet Goldner

“Hinged sculptural steel books with movable pages range in size from small indoor tabletop/book shelf size to large outdoor sculptural installations including fences and gates.

The books are pieced and pierced by imagery and text resulting in varying degrees of transparency through made of steel. Viewers can see thru the pages to “read” the following pages. These playful layered, steel collages are constructed from Goldner’s own scrap steel.”


Please enjoy this collection that I have gathered that contains compilations of artists’ books, instructional references, and actual artists’ books.



The Artist’s Library: A Field Guideby Erinn Batykefer, Laura Damon-Moore, and Pigza Jessica

The making of a LIVRE DE LUX and artists’ books in America 1960-1982by Eve Eisenstadt


Artists’ Books:

The book as art : artists’ books from the National Museum of Women in the arts
by Krystyna Wasserman ; with essays by Audrey Niffenegger and Johanna Drucker
N7433.35.U6 W37 2007

The Book as Art welcomes readers to the amazing world of artists’ books. Treasures of intricate craftsmanship, artists’ books take every possible for, include every artistic medium and method of bookmaking, and engage every subject from food and family to politics and poetry, familiar tales to wild fantasy. A majority of gifted book artists are women, owing perhaps to women’s attraction to storytelling, intimacy, and collaboration.”

Building stories
by Chris Ware
PN6727.W285 B85 2012

An extraordinary collection of separate yet related graphic novels, tabloids, and even a game board, this a story that is to be assembled as the reader chooses.

A book of one’s own: developing literacy through making books
by Paul Johnson; graphic illustrator, Jayne Restall
LB1027.25 .J65 1998

I love how this book explores the inherent creativity of children and encourages them to explore the boundaries of their imagination. It is illustrated by a wonderful collection of original children’s art.

Literacy through the book arts
by Paul Johnson
LB1027.25 .J65 1993

“The fact of the matter is that a book can be anything you want it to be, and that is part of its mystery. What I say to myself when confronted with a child’s self-made book is, What has this child learned about the book concept? and how has the book concept been changed by this child’s work?”

Botticelli’s bed & breakfast
by Jan Pieńkowski ; [paper engineering, Rodger Smith and Helen Balmer ; with special thanks to Hilary Saunders]
N7440 .P5 1996  

Though I would not normally include a pop-up book in a collection of artists’ books, this particular story folds out into a beautiful paper sculpture.

I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now

by Damien Hirst ; designer, Jonathan Barnbrook ; editor, Robert Violette
N7433.4.H57 I93 1997

This is a book that covers the some of the ideas of artist Damien Hirst. I included this book because it transcends documentation by introducing the reader to the inner workings of the mind of this unique artist.

Cover to Cover
by Michael Snow
TR654 .S655  

Michael Snow’s innovative photo book is compiled of images from the cameras of two separate photographers, shooting simultaneously from different points of view. The result is a stunning narrative that tells a story with no words and reads almost like a film.

Dazed & confused

Edited by Mark Sanders, Phil Poynter, and David James
TR654 .D394 1999  

This is a book compile of dazzling images compiled from the magazine Dazed & Confused, which was founded in 1991. “A book of ideas and imagination.”

The Century of Artists’ Books
by Johanna Drucker
N7433.3 .D78 2004  

“Artists’ books have come of age in the 20th century. The Century of Artists’ Books provides an overview of the development of this artform by mapping a history of major areas of activity in artists’ books over the last hundred years and offering a critical structure for looking at work in this field.”

Artists and their books: books and their artists
by Marcia Reed, Glenn Phillips
N7433.3 .G48 2018

“This volume and an associated exhibition of artists’ books, conceptually structured and carefully curated by Marcia Reed and Glenn Phillips, is intended to show the range of ingenious and thoughtful ways artists embed ideas about books into their work.”

Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books
by Dorothy Simpson Krause
Z271 .K755 2009  

“Discover what happens when you add art making and bookbinding together.”

by Brooklyn Ink

“The book aims to expand and enhance scholarship about creative book-making relevant to the diverse global community of librarians, publishers and readers.”

Make it! Write it! Read it! : simple bookmaking projects to engage kids in art and literacy
by Wendy M. L. Libby ; photographs: Wendy M. L. Libby ; Illustrations: Jim Spense
Z246 .L675 2015

“The projects in this book guide children to make their own books that they then fill with their own stories.”

1000 artists’ books : exploring the book as art
by Sandra Salamony ; with Peter & Donna Thomas
N7433.3 .S35 2012  

“Explores the book as an art form, including various aspects of hand-crafted books: covers, bindings, scrolls, folded and origami structures, books made from found objects, altered books, and book installations, as well as books created from a variety of printing processes.”

500 handmade books, volume 2
Julie Chen, juror
N7433.3 .A6155 2013  

“Along with more traditional, richly embellished volumes, the collection features pieces that push boundaries, such as books that unfurl, scroll, and flip.”

Art made from books : altered, sculpted, carved, transformed
Compiled by Laura Heyenga
TT896.3 .H49 2013  

“These artists turn books into new objects within their own right, 2-D and 3-D sculptural works that evoke a visual pleasure and also challenge our own understanding of what a book has been and what it should be.”

The Penland book of handmade books : master classes in bookmaking techniques
Z271 .P45 2008  

“Both an instructional howto guide and a dialogue by artists about their craft, The Penland Book of Handmade Books will inspire and challenge you to push the limits of your own work.”

Masters : book arts : major works by leading artists
Curated by Eileen Wallace ; [editor : Julie Hale]

The selections demonstrate conceptual, aesthetic, and technical excellence, as well as incredible beauty.”

Making big books with children. Grade: K-2 : resource book and reproducible patterns
by Joy Evans, Kathleen Morgan, Jo Ellen Moore
LB1044.9.B54 E83 1989  Grade: K-2

This is a fun instructional book that teaches children creative storytelling and book construction.

The cutting edge of reading : artists’ books
by Renée Riese Hubert [aut] ; Judd D. Hubert [aut]
N7433.3 .H83 1999

“… a welcome addition to the growing body of serious critical work now being done on artists’ books.”

Making books that fly, fold, wrap, hide, pop up, twist, and turn : books for kids to make
by Gwen Diehn
Z1033.T68 D54 1998  

“Presents instructions for making various kinds of books including those that carry messages across space and time as well as those that save words, ideas, and pictures.”

Making books with kids : 25 paper projects to fold, sew, paste, pop, and draw
by Esther K. Smith ; type-o-graphics by Dikko Faust
Z271 .S633 2016  

“A manual for the child in everyone…”

No longer innocent : book art in America, 1960-1980
by Betty Bright
Z1033.F5 B75 2005

No Longer Innocent is a full-spectrum history of the artists’ book.”

White Noise, A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages
by David A. Carter
QC225.5 .C37 2009  

“In this final installment of the critically acclaimed color series, modern and elegant paper structures create mesmerizing displays certain to stimulate the senses.”