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Artists' Books

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  • A collection of artists' books from the Kislak Center for Special Collections. Books by (clockwise from upper right): Johanna Drucker, Elizabeth Pendergrass, Sibyl Rubottom, Tana Kellner, Patricia M. Smith, and Julie Chen. Photo by Camille Davis.
    A collection of artists' books from the Kislak Center for Special Collections. Books by (clockwise from upper right): Johanna Drucker, Elizabeth Pendergrass, Sibyl Rubottom, Tana Kellner, Patricia M. Smith, and Julie Chen. Photo by Camille Davis.

Artists' books are (often) limited edition books that are self-published by artists, published by small presses, or by artist groups or collectives. These books frequently challenge or interrogate the structure of a book or refer back to traditional book producing methods. The rise of the artists' book is a phenomenon of 20th-century bookmaking. 

Both the Kislak Center and the Fisher Fine Arts Library hold substantial collections of artists' books, which are available for consultation by researchers, students, and classes.

  • A Collection of Artists' Books from the Kislak Center for Special Collections. Books by (clockwise from upper right): Johanna Drucker, Elizabeth Pendergrass, Sibyl Rubottom, Tana Kellner, Patricia M. Smith, and Julie Chen. Photo by Camille Davis.
    A Collection of Artists' Books from the Kislak Center for Special Collections. Books by (clockwise from upper right): Johanna Drucker, Elizabeth Pendergrass, Sibyl Rubottom, Tana Kellner, Patricia M. Smith, and Julie Chen. Photo by Camille Davis.

Collection overview

 

The Kislak Center for Special Collections continues to grow its collection of artists' books. Well known book artists represented in the collection include Johanna Drucker, Julie Chen, Angela Lorenz, Werner Pfeiffer, Edward Ruscha, and many others.  

If you have any specific questions related to this collection, please contact Lynne Farrington, Senior Curator, Kislak Center: lynne@upenn.edu.

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