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Bridwell|Art Library

Artists' Books: Introduction

Artists' Books


This is a guide to the collection of handmade and fine press books in the Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library's Rare Book Room. The primary use of this guide is to provide an A-Z list of our artists' book holdings and featured artists. Visit the Artists' Books Index digital collection to view high-resolution images of our collection and browse by material, structure, and technique.

"Artists' Books" are difficult to define, but Johanna Drucker explains in her book, The Century of Artists' Books, "Artists' books take every possible form, participate in every possible convention of book making, every possible "ism" of mainstream art and literature, every possible mode of production, every shape, every degree of ephemerality or archival durability." Artists take the bookmaking opportunity to disperse their work more widely than is often possible in a gallery setting, and often have control of the entire production process. Many of the items in the Bridwell Art Library Artists' Books Collection are printed in a limited edition, and some are entirely unique and only available through the Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library.

The collection supports the teaching and research needs of the faculty and students at the University of Louisville, with specific emphasis on areas of study in the Hite Institute of Art and Design. The Artists' Books Collection has been built over decades through purchases made by the Art Librarian from the Art Library Endowment and individual gifts from donors. The Art Librarian continues to add new materials to support the University of Louisville's teaching and research needs.

Items in this collection may also be viewed in person by contacting the Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library, University of Louisville.

Featured Books