Artists books at the Victorian and Albert

Artists books at the Victorian and Albert

For those lucky enough to get there in person I bet Blood on Paper will be a great exhibit. Blood on Paper: The Art of the Book is an exhibition hosted by the Victorian and Albert Museum which celebrates artists books. The work of 38 artists is on display. Key artists include Picasso, Matisse, Miró, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor and Anthony Caro.

Since the Blood on Paper exhibition page is thin on visual material (to be fair it is just an announcement page) I went exploring the Victorian and Albert Museum Prints and Books collection online as my interest in artists books was once again tweaked. Artists books are defined as “books, unique or multiple, that have been made or conceived by artists. There are fine artists who make books and book artists who produce work exclusively in that medium, as well as illustrators, typographers, writers, poets, book binders, printers and many others who work collaboratively or alone to produce artists’ books.”

You can search the V&A Artist’s book collection and discover not only artists books but altered books and an old favourite pop up books! Use the drop down menu found under the object type tab on the right hand side of the screen .

So what did I find? I thought I would share three objects from the collection that caught my eye.

I really liked the concept behind Karen Chance’s ‘Parallax’ as the book folds out like an accordion to literally present ‘two sides to a story’. I also liked how Sarah Jackson’s use of a Canon copier machine to produce ‘Votes for women ; Exercises for the growing girl’ echoed the concept driving this piece ie democracy. Mapa ed Veneiis’ Geneviève Seillé is a book object made from an old wooden school desk.

As you can tell I am still obsessed with artists books.


  1. I have a morning free in London next week and,as I am doing Sue Bleiweiss’ journal making class I was checking out further classes on doing somthing with the journals. I found yours, I googled studio journals to see if anyone had blogged about yuor stuff. I found your blog and you found me the perfect thing to use up my hanging about time in London! Thank you so much.

  2. Thanks for the heads up and the fascinating link to the V&A collection. On the practical side, I have a book called ‘Cover to Cover’ Lark books ’95 by Shereen La Plantz which gives insights into the construction of unusual albums.


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