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Book Arts

What is an Artists Book?

An artists book (also called artists' book) is a book created by an artist, rather than a collection of work by an artist (an art book). Artists can be drawn to the book format for many reasons and their forms often challenge the traditional definition of a book, and so artists books can vary wildly in presentation. Book artists tend to lean into the personal, tactile, temporal, and material nature of books. Like traditional books, artists books are often meant to be handled and interacted with, and the intimacy of this interaction distinguishes artists books from other forms of fine artwork.

Browse Artists Books Collections

Journals and Magazines

Books About Artists Books

A Century of Artists Books

Published to accompany the 1994 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, this book constitutes the most extensive survey of modern illustrated books to be offered in many years. Work by artists from Pierre Bonnard to Barbara Kruger and writers from Guillaume Apollinarie to Susan Sontag. An importnt reference for collectors and connoisseurs. Includes notable works by Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

Freedom of the Presses

The artist's book as activist tactic: a toolkit Freedom of the Presses is at once a textbook and a toolbox for using artists' books and creative publications to further community engagement and social justice projects. Booklyn's focus has always been voracious, encompassing street art, punk and activist culture alongside more conventional artists' books. This restless energy is present in Freedom of the Presses, which brings together a provocative mix of humorous, intimate and scholarly writing in order to expand how we think about the concept, content, design, production and distribution of artists' and activists' publications today.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.