Artists' Book Collection

URLs to browse or search the collections

This database is an illustrated, descriptive index to the Artists’ Book Collection, located in the Kohler Art Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Presently, the Artists’ Book Collection contains over 800 titles. The database indexes approximately 760 of those titles, over 500 of which have one to four images to visually represent the structure and/or content of the book. With the goal to create a “visual finding aid” to the entire Artists’ Book Collection, the database will be expanded and updated on a periodic basis.

Each record in the database contains the title of the book, creator’s name, publisher, date (if known), subjects, physical description, and a complete transcription of the colophon. In addition to searching names of book artists or press names, one can also search type of book structure, type of binding, medium/technique, and contributor roles. All words in each record are searchable. See below for a sampling of search terms.

The artists’ books are finely crafted and visually stimulating works made by more than 150 presses and artists worldwide. They comprise limited edition, one-of-a-kind, and offset books, representative of major book artists working during the past thirty years, including many who trained in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department. Forming a body of information on typography, papermaking, paper engineering, graphics, bookmaking, design, and creative writing, the Artists’ Book Collection is an important laboratory for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students from institutions around the state.

For more information on artists’ books, including biographies of book artists and links to related websites, visit the online exhibit created in conjunction with the Spring 2002 exhibition: Artists’ Books: Highlights from the Kohler Art Library.

The Leonora G. Bernstein Artists’ Book Endowment Fund was established in 2001 for the Kohler Art Library’s acquisition, support and promotion of artists’ books and related materials. The endowment will help assure the care and continued growth of the Artists’ Book Collection as well as this database. Those interested in supporting this special collection can contribute to the endowment by contacting the Kohler Art Library or by visiting the UW-Madison Libraries’ website for information on gifts and donations.

The purpose of the database is to enhance access to the Artists’ Book Collection. Faculty, students, and the general public are encouraged to explore the collection online, and to visit the Kohler Art Library for hands-on access to the artists’ books. To view the Artists’ Book Collection, please make an appointment with Lyn Korenic, Director, Kohler Art Library (608 263-2256).

Image Source:

Lonesome Rows by Jim Lee


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Sampling of Book Artists Represented:

Harriet Bart, Carol Barton, Susan Bee, Carol Chase Bjerke, Susan Chamberlain, Ken Campbell, Julie Chen, Maureen Cummins, Tracy Doreen Dietzel, Tennesse Rice Dixon, Henrik Drescher, Johanna Drucker, Tim Ely, Jim Escalante, Barbara Farner, Diane Fine, Ian Finley, Marta Gomez, Walter Hamady, Caren Heft, Anna Hepler, Caryl Herfort, Tracy Honn, Susan Johanknecht, Daniel Kelm, Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., Shelagh Keeley, Ron King, Susan King, Lewis Koch, Katherine Kuehn, Karen Kunc, Mary Laird, Jim Lee, Ruth Lingen, Jeffrey Morin, Kevin Osborn, Tom Phillips, JoAnna Poehlmann, Pati Scobey, Clarissa Sligh, Joan Soppe, Buzz Spector, Barbara Tetenbaum, Walter Tisdale, Mark Wagner, Christopher Wilde, Karen Wirth, Claire Van Vliet, Xu Bing, and Paul Zelevansky.

Sampling of Book Presses Represented:

Arcadian Press, Artichoke Yink Press, Brighton Press, Circle Press, Flying Fish Press, Gefn Press, Granary Books, Heavy Duty Press, Janus Press, Moonkosh Press, Perishable Press, Pyramid Atlantic, Ragpicker Press, sailorBOYpress, Salient Seedling Press, Scripps College Press, Silver Buckle Press, Granary Books, and Women’s Studio Workshop.

Sampling of Book Structures Represented:

Accordion books, alphabet books, altered books, broadsides, dos-a-dos, exquisite corpse, flip books, Jacob’s ladder, miniature books, one of a kind books, pop-up and moveable books, sculptural books, toy and moveable books, tunnel books and volvelle.

Sampling of Bindings/Binders Represented:

Concertina binding, Coptic stitch binding, Daniel Kelm, exposed spine binding, interlocking binding, Jill Jevne, lapped stitch binding, leparello binding, long stitch binding, non-adhesive binding, pamphlet binding, piano-hinge binding, spiral binding, stab binding, and wire-edge binding.

Sampling of Medium/Techniques Represented:

Aquatints, blind stamping, calligraphy, chine colle, collage, collagraphs, computer thermal wax prints, drawings, eraser stamps, hand coloring, hand lettering, handmade papers, inkjet prints, intaglio prints, laser prints, linocuts, lithographs, marbled papers, monotypes, photographic transfers, offset, photographs, photo lithography, photo-polymer prints, pochoir, pressure prints, pulp paintings, relief etchings, relief prints, screenprints, watercolors, xerography, wood engraving, woodcuts, xerography, and Xerox prints.

Sampling of Contributor Roles Represented:

Artist, author, binder, boxmaker, calligrapher, casemaker, collaborator, colorist, composer, designer, illustrator, papermaker, photographer, poet, printer, producer, and typographer.