Exploring the Book as Art
Bookworks IV is the next installment in an on-going series of exhibitions exploring the broad spectrum of the book as art. These works are drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection and H. A. & Mary Chapman Library, as well as several promised gifts. In 1979 the museum began developing a small collection of artist’s books with the assistance of several generous donors.
The Philbrook collection has particular strength in works produced by the Circle Press and Flockophobic Press. Established in England by Ron King in 1967 the Circle Press is particularly noted for production of Deluxe books or livre d’artiste, such as The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer. Ron King collaborates with artists and writers to create books incorporating original art with text. In the late 1980s the Flockophobic Press was established by Alexander S. C. Rower in New York City. In contrast to the Circle Press, Alexander R. C. Rower followed the opposite path, creating works like Strip Poker and Human House, subverting conventional book design, often producing a provocative, artistic, or social significance. These works are also collaborative in nature. Among the promised gifts are works that were conceived and created by solo individuals, including Nora Lee McGillivray’s book Mapping the Great Book and Some Specimens by Jody Williams.
Curated by Thomas E. Young.