Horse hair, glass, metal screws, handmade paper, a cotton t-shirt—these are just some of the materials that compose the nearly three hundred artists’ books housed in the Corcoran Artists’ Books Collection at GW Libraries. Conceived by renowned artists such as Ed Ruscha or by up-and-coming artists from the Corcoran’s MA Art and the Book program, these art objects stretch the boundaries of what ‘book’ can mean: Alice Austin’s Milk, Butter, Eggs (2004) resembles a codex, but when opened reveals its accordion folds with illustrations of domestic scenes; Beth Thielen’s The Tower (2007) appears largely sculptural until small booklets unfold from its architectural, watch-tower-like form. Thielen’s work, made in collaboration with women prisoners from San Quentin State Prison and the California Rehabilitation Centers, embodies the collection’s thematic focus of social justice and consciousness.
Now through March 20th, you can view a selection of nineteen artists’ books from the Corcoran collection at GW’s Luther W. Brady Gallery. The exhibit entitled “Paper Window” presents a wide range of artist book categories, including photobooks, pop-ups, mixed media books, and altered books. The exhibit also features customized book housings and book-making tools on loan from the Art and the Book graduate program. Visit often as paged books will periodically have new spreads on display. Located on the second floor of GW’s Media and Public Affairs Building (805 21st Street, NW), the Brady Gallery is free and open to the public.
Learn more about this unique teaching collection for book arts students in this blog post by Art & Design Librarian Shira Loev Eller.