Women of the Book Jewish Artists Jewish Themes
47 Artists Books from national and international artists
Opening Reception Thursday February 24th 5.30 – 7.00
Artists around the world began making books as an art form in the second half of the 20th century, experimenting with innovative combinations of images, text, and format, sometimes creating single works and at other times publishing multiple copies. The aim of artists’ books is not to merely see words on the page, but to think about how the words, pictures, and physical form of the object all contribute to the meaning. Artists’ books assume many forms and have made use of every artistic medium and method of bookmaking. A wide variety of structures and formats are employed, such as traditional codex, unfolding accordion books, pop-ups, fans, and scrolls. The materials used in these works range from handmade and commercially produced papers to nontraditional materials such as found objects, fabric, ceramic, wood, and metal.
One of the most compelling exhibitions of artists books is this collection, Women of the Book: Jewish Artists, Jewish Themes. I first saw it at the Missouri State University Art and Design Gallery in 2000 where I was fortunate to meet Judith Hoffberg while she was installing the exhibition. Judith’s knowledge and understanding of the artists and their books allowed me to gain insight into their stories of family, religion and history, and to bring them to life. Her energy focusing on the exhibit was unique and inspiring.
Judith and I had been in contact several times about recreating the exhibition here at Park School, but sadly, she died in 2009 before we could get the project off the ground. A number of the participants, beginning with Elena Mary Siff, encouraged me to follow through with a new, slightly altered, version of Women of the Book. It was because of Judith Hoffberg’s enthusiasm that this interdisciplinary art form was brought to Park School, and we present this exhibition in her memory.