Behind the Personal Library: Collectors Creating the Canon

Behind the Personal Library: Collectors Creating the Canon considers the influence of private collectors on the critical dialogue in the field of book arts. Rather than curating the works around a central theme, the goal of this exhibition is to examine works in these collections that have become seminal artworks in the field at large, thus becoming influential to establishing a canon. The exhibition also analyzes the collectors themselves: how they came to collect books, what drove them to continue collecting, whether they consciously built and curated their collections, and how these factors influenced and informed artist bookmaking practices. On top of continuing the conversation of the book arts canon, Behind the Personal Library is a walk down memory lane with the Center for Book Arts. Many of the works and artists in this show are coming full circle, having exhibited at the Center previously.

Collections featured include:

Philip E. Aarons & Shelley Fox Aarons (NY), Mary Austin (CA), Duke Collier (MA), Jack Ginsberg (South Africa), Arthur Jaffe (FL), Monica Oppen (Australia), Barbara Pascal (CA), Robert Ruben (NY), Marvin & Ruth Sackner (FL), Julia Vermes (Switzerland), Francis H. William (MA/NY), Martha Wilson (NY), and the Estate of Tony Zwicker (CT).

Support for the Center for Book Arts’ visual arts programming is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


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