Artists’ Books Project

Collection Background

The primary purpose of the collection is to meet the needs of the faculty and students at George Mason University. The artists’ books provide an invaluable teaching tool. On a broader scale, the artists’ books serve several different communities: artists, scholars and critics, librarians and curators, and interested readers.

Over the last six years, artists’ books have become an integral part of the libraries’ efforts in teaching, research, and programming. It is imperative that we continue to grow and develop this recognized collection to meet the needs of faculty and students.


Criteria for selection*

1. Artists established in the medium of book arts

a. Name recognition and multiple publications

b. Women’s Studio Workshop

c. National Museum for Women in the Arts

d. Pyramid Atlantic

e. Additional presses as deemed appropriate

2. Artists with a geographic connection to the area

a. Artists who live in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland

b. Fellows from the National Museum for Women in the Arts

c. Pyramid Atlantic (founded by George Mason University professor Helen Frederick)

d. Virginia Arts of the Book Center

e. George Mason University students and faculty

3. Showcase the variety of the artists book medium

a. Various shapes, formats, sizes

b. Miniature books

c. Movable books

d. Non-traditional book formats

e. Affordable offset/letterpress editions

f. Broadsides (in consideration of artist book genre)

4. Showcase the variety of artist book subjects

a. Poetry and literature

b. Art and art history

c. Interdisciplinary topics (to support emphasis of George Mason University


5. Support academic themes addressed at George Mason University

a. School of Art

i. Interarts (e.g. social aspects)

ii. Graphic Design (e.g. typography)

iii. Drawing

iv. Printmaking (e.g. papermaking)

v. Photography

vi. Agri-art/Eco-art

vii. Social issues (to compliment Provisions Research Center in School of Art)

viii. Painting

b. English Department and Related Departments

i. Poetry

ii. British avant-garde landscape writers and artists (faculty research)

iii. Themes of time and space

iv. Folklore (e.g. fairy tales)

v. Women’s Studies

vi. American and British literature (e.g. works by Shakespeare translated into artist book format)

*Criteria developed in conjunction with Jen Stevens (English Liaison Librarian), Helen Frederick (School of Art Faculty), and Susan Tichy (English Department Faculty). Primary author is Jenna Rinalducci (Art and Visual Technology Liaison)