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Comprehensive retrospective exhibition of artists’ books published over 30 years by Women’s Studio Workshop on view at Vassar, January 18– March 2, 2012.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Archives and Special Collections of the Vassar College Libraries will present a retrospective exhibition of artists’ books created and published for over 30 years by Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW). Hand, Voice & Vision: Artists' Books from Women's Studio Workshop, on view from January 18 – March 12, 2012, will include works by some of the most influential contemporary book artists in America. On Wednesday, February 1, art professor Lisa Collins will discuss the artists’ books of WSW in a public presentation at 5:30pm in the Class of 1951 Reading Room of the Thompson Memorial Library.

The works in Hand, Voice & Vision celebrate three facets that characterize the artist’s book program at Women’s Studio Workshop: the hand-made mark of the book-maker, the unique voices and viewpoints of a broad and diverse range of artists, and the visionary nature of artwork that forges new directions in the medium of book arts.

The Vassar College libraries are an official repository for the collection of artists’ books produced by Women’s Studio Workshop, which since 1979 has grown to become the largest publisher in the country of these hand printed and hand bound works. The Women’s Studio Workshop is based in nearby Rosendale, NY, and its artists’ books gain their first Hudson Valley archive with this Vassar partnership.

Vassar’s interest in books and book arts is an example of its long-established tradition of learning by “going to the source.” Ron Patkus, Head of Special Collections and Associate Professor of History at Vassar College, says, “The Vassar repository reaches its fullest potential not just through collecting, but also by creating and realizing possibilities for teaching, research, and ongoing collaboration.” This exhibition is one example; another was a course that art professor Lisa Collins and Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center curator Mary-Kay Lombino offered last spring titled “Artists' Books from the Women's Studio Workshop.”

This exhibition was curated by Kathleen Walkup, professor of book art and director of the Book Arts Program at Mills College in Oakland, CA. It originated at the Grolier Club in New York City, and was on display at University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME as well as Smith College in Northampton, MA. Following the exhibition at Vassar, Hand, Voice & Vision will travel to Carleton College in Northfield, MN and Scripps College in Claremont, CA.  

A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue is available. It contains more than a dozen essays on the topic of artists’ books and WSW’s role in the field, written by artists, teachers, librarians, and curators, including Mary-Kay Lombino and Ronald Patkus.

Related Events

February 1, 2012
Presentation by Lisa G. Collins, associate professor of art at Vassar College
“Hand, Voice & Vision: Artists' Books from Women's Studio Workshop”
Class of 1951 Reading Room, 2nd floor of the Thompson Memorial Library

About the Women’s Studio Workshop

Since 1974, Women’s Studio Workshop has provided close to 200 artists, both emerging and established, with studio facilities and technical expertise to produce limited edition artists’ books. Currently the publishing program at WSW adds five new artists’ books each year. The variety in form and content of the books in the exhibition demonstrates the breadth of the Workshop’s publications, reflecting an assortment of ideas, topics, and methods spanning thirty years of women responding to pressing political and cultural issues, as well as themes of a social or personal nature. (www.wsworkshop.org/)

About Archives and Special Collections

The Catherine Pelton Durrell ’25 Archives and Special Collections Library is the principal repository of the College's noteworthy collections of rare books, manuscripts, archival records of Vassar College, and other special materials.

Works in Archives and Special Collections are accessible for research and review. To make an appointment, call(845) 437-5799 or email spcoll@vassar.edu. For additional information about Archives and Special Collections, see http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at http://www.vassar.edu/directions.  

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, December 21, 2011