What is an Artists' Book?
An artists' book is a book made by an artist that has a visual impact, whether it is through the overall design, the typography, the pictures within, or the binding. The books are usually produced with painstaking care in very limited editions, or as unique examples.
The collection at the Little Fine Arts Library has a wide-ranging variety of shapes and sizes, some more book-like than others. We have an emphasis on books that are 3-dimensional or have a sculptural quality, collecting objects that can be displayed in our two cases at the front of the Little Library, which were provided by the Donovan Trust at the University of Kentucky for this purpose. The A - Z tabs above link to lists of the books by the artists' last name.
If you are interested in using artists' books for a class, please contact the Library Director to make arrangements.
Artists' Books Available for Digital Viewing
Thanks to the efforts of Kimberly Trinh-Sy and Digital Library Services, digital versions of four of our artists' books are now available on the Kentucky Digital Library for viewing!
Please click on a title to visit that book's record (links open in a new window):
Winter Elk by Jill Timm
Little Pink Houses, too by Maryann Riker
The Beet by Mary Rezny
Memory Loss by Scott McCarney
Please note: These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.
Find Artists' Books at University of Kentucky
The library has many artists' books that have yet to be entered into the main catalog. A comprehensive list of artists' books in the collection is currently being compiled as of Summer, 2012. In the meantime, should you have questions regarding a specific work or works by a particular artist not found in InfoKat, please contact the Library Director.
To locate materials from the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library Artists' Books Collection in InfoKat, follow the following steps:
1. Open InfoKat and type "artists' books" in the search box.
2. Go to the drop down menu and select "Subject."
3. Hit search. This will pull up several list of artists' books grouped by subject heading.
Common subject headings: Artists' books, Artists' books--United States
Items cataloged as part of this collection should have the label "Artists Books Collection, Closed Stacks" in their description. This means the materials are not available in the regular circulating collection, and you must ask the attendant at the desk in order access the materials.
For additional resources for and about Artists' Books, please check out the Artists' Books Resources tab.
Artists' Books in Little Library's Collection
Red, Yellow, Blue, by Alice Austin, 2000. Edition of 500.
Little Pink Houses, by Maryann Riker, 2009. Edition of 3.
Seeker, Healer, by Su Lund. One of a kind.
The Spectrum A to Z, by Karen Hanmer, 2003. Edition of 20.
A Guide to Higher Learning
A Guide to Higher Learning, by Julie Chen, Flying Fish Press, 2009. Edition of 100. Letterpress printed from photopolymer plates, contained in a cloth-covered clamshell box. The book is a central box surrounded by rows of square pages which unfold clockwise. In the center is "The Answer Book." The inspiration comes from the field of mathematics, incorporating abstract algebra, analysis, geometry and number theory.
Family, by Rita MacDonald, 1994. Edition of 100. Silkscreen prints, bound in a wooden box.
The front door opens to reveal a collection of household items that represent portraits of individual family members. The concept relates to gender stereotypes and family roles.