Category: Artist’s Books

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National Poetry Month: Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz would have been 100 years old on March 31, so we're honoring him and celebrating National Poetry Month with a look at his 1988 collaboration with artist Robert Motherwell.  In this volume, the original Spanish poetry is printed in red, with an English translation in black.  Paz and Motherwell respond to each other artistically throughout the volume; Motherwell's lithographs are inspired by Paz's poetry, while one of Paz's poems, "Piel, sonida del mundo," is a contemplation of Motherwell's artwork.  The book is quite large; the lens cap from our camera is included in one of the images below to indicate scale.

Three Poems / Tres Poemas was published by the Limited Editions Club in an edition of 750, signed by the author and illustrator.  Special Collections has copy number 263.  MERLIN catalog record.

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Posted in Artist's Books, Rare Book Collection

New Acquisition! A Line by Suyeon Kim

We recently purchased an artist's book entitled A Line by Suyeon Kim. A Line tells the story of a blind fisherman and his dog through linocut and woodcut illustrations, using very few words.  The images form a continuous strip of narrative, over sixteen feet long, which is accordion folded into the binding.  Special Collections has copy number 83, signed by the artist.

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Posted in Artist's Books, Our New Acquisition, Rare Book Collection

God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson

This month's final post in our series celebrating African-American artists and writers brings together two greats of the Harlem Renaissance: James Weldon Johnson and Aaron Douglas.  Johnson was multi-talented: an educator, writer, attorney and musician, he was the author of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a leader of the NAACP, and the first African-American professor at New York University.  God's Trombones is considered one of his most important works.  Douglas was one of the leading artists of the Harlem Renaissance.  He developed a distinctive style that blended modernism with African influences and was highly influential in the development of later African-American artists.

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Posted in Artist's Books, Rare Book Collection

The Black Christ by Countee Cullen with illustrations by Charles Cullen

This post is the third in our series highlighting the work of African-American artists and authors in Special Collections.  Countee Cullen was one of the leading poets and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.  This book of poetry, published at the height of his career, examines the relationships between faith and injustice.  Cullen draws parallels between the suffering of the crucified Christ and the suffering of African Americans in the climate of racial violence that characterized the 1920s. The copy in Special Collections is inscribed by Cullen to Frank Luther Mott, who was Dean of the School of Journalism from 1942 to 1951.

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Posted in Artist's Books, Rare Book Collection, Special Collections

King’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail with Prints by Faith Ringgold

This week we're highlighting Faith Ringgold's illustrations for Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Produced in 2007 for the Limited Editions Club, the book contains eight original serigraphs by Ringgold alongside a beautifully printed text by King. Special Collections has copies 119 and 132 from an edition of 400.

Title page and frontispiece Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King

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Posted in Artist's Books, Rare Book Collection
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