This summer, three of the Smithsonian Libraries art libraries, the Hirshhorn Library (HMSG), the African Art Library (AfA), and the American Art Library/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG) have hosted an intern through the Katzenberger Foundation Art History Internship Program. Each library has a collection of artists’ books and has been working to provide better access and exploring ways that the collections may be used. This year, under the coordination of Anna Brooke (HMSG) in partnership with Janet Stanley (AfA) and Doug Litts (AA/PG), the Smithsonian Libraries welcomed Tim Vermeulen from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
The Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library is pleased to present an exhibition of some of its recently acquired artists’ books in the Library’s Reading Room.
The books, all acquired in the last two years, range from mass-produced publications to unique, hand-made book works. The artworks show a range of subjects, from the very personal, family stories, to the cult of celebrity.
To commemorate the opening of our newest exhibit, Artists’ Books and Africa, six artists will discuss how they develop and produce artist books. Panelists will address the inspiration for and recurring themes within their creations. The history of artist books in Africa will also be discussed. Curator Janet Stanley will lead a tour of the exhibit immediately following the discussion.
Smithsonian Libraries has been working to share its collection of artists’ books. One of the end products of this initiative has been the creation of a new Smithsonian Libraries artists’ book collection portal where visitors can explore the many artworks in the collection and learn more about the medium.
As part of my interest and research into the medium of artists’ books as and as the branch librarian for the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG), my participation as the juror for a national artist book exhibition held at Pyramid Atlantic has been detailed in a previous post on Unbound. All of this led up to the opening night.
Starting with a summer professional internship project in 2011, Smithsonian Libraries has been working to share its collection of artists’ books. One of the end products of the this initiative has been the creation of a new Smithsonian Libraries artists’ book collection portal where visitors can explore the many artworks in the collection and learn more about the medium.