Artists books in Australian Collections

Artists books in Australian Collections

I have spent a good part of the weekend poking about the Artist’s books sites. If you are not sure of what an artist book is check out how wikipedia defines an artist’s book. Reading it you might think that this type of work is an American genre but it is not. They are made world wide and Aussies make them too.

State Library of Queensland defines and artist book as “an artwork in a book format, or an artwork which has its origin in the form or concept of the book. The term was originally coined to describe books which had their origin in the conceptual art movement of the 1970s.”

The State Library of Queensland publishes a selection of images of artists’ books from the collection which you can browse by theme or type. An artist statement describing the key concept that drove making the book is accompanied by extensive photographs of each book. It is an online exhibit that is worth making a cuppa and settling down to browse each section.

Also online is another exhibition Bookscapes: exploring contemporary Australian artists’ books. There are a small selection of artists books from the National Library’s Collection in the exhibit Beyond the Picket Fence which features Australian Women’s Art

Robin Wallace-Crabbe discusses the pleasure of making books in A Shy Genre: the Artist’s book. This brief article teases out a few ideas and touches on the history of book studio at the Canberra School of Art (the school is where I work). On that note readers may enjoy the blog that is written by those at the studio under the title of the same name. Also Sasha Grishin has written an article on Collecting Australian Artists’ books for the Australian Art Review.

The Calligraphy and Artist books Galleries is a site run by Australian Cecilla which features a numner of Australian book artist.

Make a cuppa and enjoy!


  1. I always find some links that fit right into my current “mindscape,” and this is not exception. These links are wonderful. I’m thinking of a trip to Australia to visit a daughter who lives in Sydney. The only problem I’m having at this point is how to squeeze in time between the many glorious exhibits to actually visit!


  2. These look like great links. I think I’ll try to find some for Canada. Might be curious to see whether (and how) styles are different or similar. Also: here in Calgary we have a wonderful little gallery/shop that features artist’s books: Arts on Atlantic (see http://www.artsonatlantic.com/ for current and upcoming displays). The owner is a bookbinder, and has a penchant for artist’s books. πŸ™‚

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