The Artist Book as an Agent of Social Change

Denison Library holds a remarkable collection of medieval manuscripts and incunables, finely printed books, and artist books. In this exhibition, artist books from this collection which function as an agent of social change will be highlighted. The selections will be made by the members of the Core III course, “From Materiality to Immateriality: The Coming of the Artist Book.” The collection contains contemporary artist books which might advocate a change in policy, comment on an existing situation, critique social positions, or highlight injustices. Such books often express a personal point of view, or might present impersonal information which is meant to be subversive or illuminating. The fact that they are artist books means that they use the aesthetics of the book form to emphasize their point, utilizing not only text and visuals but layout, format and binding to communicate their position. This exhibition will reinforce the fact that there is a wide range of perspectives on any issue.

The exhibit will be designed and installed by Professor Maryatt’s students. A catalog written and produced by the students will contain thoughtful and knowledgeable essays critiquing the books, supported by their experiences in discussing the issues of the day in the Core Curriculum. A DVD showcasing the books in the exhibition with additional commentary about historical influences, will be produced by the students. The opening reception for the exhibition will be coordinated with the Frederic W. Goudy Lecture sponsored by the Scripps College Press.

For further information concerning this exhibition, please contact Professor Kitty Maryatt.