Discoveries from the Archive: Research Behind the Scenes

Ephemera and Archive Materials on view in the exhibition Craft & Conceptual Art: Reshaping The Legacy of Artists’ Book, curated by Megan Liberty. On View at Center for Book Arts 01/13/2023 -03/25/2023. Photo Oswaldo García. February 2023.

Event Info

Please join us on March 23 at 6.30pm for the hybrid event: Discoveries from the Archive: Research Behind the Scenes  in conjunction with the exhibition Craft & Conceptual Art. Reshaping The Legacy of Artists’ Books with curator Megan N. Liberty.

Fifty years after the first exhibition titled Artists Books, at Moore College of Art, the history of the field is at an urgent moment. With such limited documentation available, and those present during that time less and less able to share their own stories, historical research is needed now more than ever. But how does one track down and find these books, images, and documentation? Where do we start? And what are the necessary considerations during a special collections research visit? This workshop will look behind the scenes at curator Megan N. Liberty’s year-long research process for Craft & Conceptual Art. Focusing on a few artists’ books in the exhibition and a few pieces of historical ephemera, Liberty will trace her steps to selecting and locating works in the exhibition. It will include behind-the-scenes videos and images from her research visits in special collections across the US, including the Getty Research Institute, Millard Sheets Library at Otis College of Art and Design, the Watson Library at the Met, and the Walker Art Center. Following the presentation of her own research methods, this workshop will give attendees the opportunity to look over some of Center for Book Art’s archival materials and workshop how they would trace leads from these materials to locate books. Attendees will receive a research packet in advance with selected digitized checklists and materials and are encouraged to browse in advance.

About the exhibition

Craft & Conceptual Art: Reshaping the Legacy of Artists’ Books, revisits the early history of artists’ books, focusing on the intertwined legacies of book art centers across the US whose primary goal has been to teach the craft practices of book arts, and other institutions focused on distribution and collecting. Tracing the foundation and production of book art organization across the US—including, Center for Book Arts in 1974, Printed Matter and Franklin Furnace in 1976, Minnesota Center for Book Arts in 1983, and San Francisco Center for the Book in 1996—this exhibition shows craft and conceptual art not to be opposites, but rather two ends of a spectrum of book art practices.

This is a hybrid event at 28 West 27th Street 3rd Floor. 10001 NYC and on Zoom.

Upon registering, please consider making a donation in support of Center for Book Arts. You can do so by editing the field below displaying the suggested amount of $5 to reflect the amount you would like to give. If you are not able to give at this time, you can enter “0” as the amount. If you have difficulty registering, please contact us at


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