Book art

DEFINITION

Bound text of single or limited editions that were custom illustrated and/or decorated and generally produced before the 19th Century when mass printmaking methods were not available. The method in western civilization is linked to medieval manuscript illumination by Catholic Church monks, and then to books created with movable type invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th Century. Book Art, often with Art Nouveau motifs, was promoted by members of the late 19th and early 20th Century Arts and Crafts Movement in England and America. Also, Bauhaus School curriculum, influenced by Russian Constructivism, promoted individualizing books with original designs, and among those artists were Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Herbert Bayer. In 2005, an exhibition of Book Arts was held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. Curated by Krystyna Wasserman, it featured works from the collection of the museum, which is the only one in America featuring contemporary Book Art. Book Artists Carol Barton and Molly Van Nice were represented. Sources: Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE; www.marylandprintmakers.org/newsletter

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