Monday, 11 July 2011

Book Arts Network: CCW* Graduate School/Tate Research 7th July 2011

On Thursday 7th July 2011 I attended the seminar Book Arts Network: CCW Graduate School/Tate Research held in the Old Reading room at Chelsea College of Art Library.  A bit of a Book Arts star studded affair that brought together the likes of Helen Douglas (Book artist); Eileen Hogan (Book artist and professor); Clive Phillpot (writer, curator and Director of the library at the Museum of Modern Art in New York); Adrian Glew (Tate Archivist) and Steve Woodall (Director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College in Chicago).
The meeting began with a brief presentation by Steve Woodall focusing on  Dieter Roth's 1960's Daily Mirror books which he had earlier selected from  the Chelsea Special Collection. The construction, concept and archival aspects were discussed as was the context of the man himself, Dieter Roth.

The conversation veered, brushing many of the more quintessential areas of discussion within Book Arts:
 -  The terminology/definition debate: Book Arts or Artist's Books (even Artists Books!!!); interestingly Steve Woodall frequently referred to 'Visual Books'. 
- The institutionalisation of a once radical activity and 'container' of concept was considered; it was further pointed out that in today's digital world artists are able and do use a whole host of alternative 'containers'.

The Book Arts Network discussion again raised some interesting proposals and possibilities that will see the collaboration of an Art School and an Art institution enabled via the relationship of their Book Arts collections. 

What did I learn from this seminar as a LIS student?
The art of collection development is still as vibrant and original as it was in the 70's and 80's when  many of today's internationally acclaimed Book Arts collections started.  Visionary art librarianship along with  FRBR theory and RDA practice will no doubt be pivotal in enabling and curating  tomorrow's Special collections.

* Camberwell College of Arts - Chelsea College of Art and Design - Wimbledon College of Art

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