Shop Boston Art Review Magazine

Books of Beauty: The Boston Athenaeum Presents a Symposium on Artists’ Books in the 21st Century March 10-11

Suzanne Moore, "Zero: Cypher of Infinity" (Vashon Island, Washington, 2014). Photo by George Bouret.

Artists’ books—books created to be works of art in and of themselves—are a vibrant emerging art form at the beginning of the 21st century, even as they form part of a continuum with beautiful and compelling books made throughout the history of the book.

In the most outstanding contemporary artists’ books, content, form, materials, and method intersect in an integrated artistic vision.

This symposium, which runs from 4:00–8:00 PM on Friday, March 10, and 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM on Saturday, March 11, will focus on the powerful impact these works have on their viewers and readers. Discussions will explore key ideas that have emerged from the CODEX Foundation’s Materialia Lumina catalog and its related exhibitions, including the intersection of concept and craft, and the convergence of creativity and conscience. Featured speakers include CODEX founder Peter Rutledge Koch, German book artist Veronika Schäpers, and bookbinder and book artist Daniel E. Kelm.

For more information, including to register ($120 fee for the two days), please visit the Boston Athenæum site here.  

Sue Anderson and Gwen Harrison, Howl for a Black Cockatoo (Sydney: Impediment Press, 2015). On loan from a private collection. Middle panel in this tri-fold spread. Photo by George Bouret.

Complete Program:

Friday, March 10, 2023

4:00–6:00 PM: Registration Opens
Materialia Lumina exhibition open in gallery.

6:00–7:00 PM: Keynote Conversation | Materialia Lumina in Context
Peter Koch (CODEX Foundation, Berkeley, CA), in conversation with John Buchtel (Boston Athenaeum)

7:00–8:00 PM: Reception

Felicia Rice, artist, with collage images by Enrique Chagoya and text by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol (Santa Cruz, California: Moving Parts Press, 1998)MOn loan from a private collection. Photo by Geoge Bouret.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

8:30–9:00 AM: Coffee and registration

9:00–10:30 AM: Panel Discussion | Luminous Books: Curating Materialia Lumina
Featuring presentations by Peter Koch (CODEX Foundation, Berkeley, CA), Roberto Trujillo (Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA), Susan Filter (CODEX Foundation, Berkeley, CA), and John Buchtel (Boston Athenaeum)

10:30–10:45 AM: Networking break

10:45 AM–Noon: Panel Discussion | Concept, Craft, Creativity, & Conscience: Artists’ Books as Integrated Works
Moderated by Ken Botnick (Haydenville, MA) with Sarah Hulsey (Somerville, MA), Michael Kuch (Northampton, MA), and Veronika Schäpers (Karlsruhe, Germany)

Noon–1:45 PM: Lunch (on your own)
Exhibition is open and Athenaeum tours available

1:45–3:00 PM: Panel Discussion | Collaborative Making as Creative Catalyst for Artists’ Books
Moderated by Ian Kahn (Lux Mentis, Booksellers, Portland, ME) with Gabby Cooksey (Tacoma, WA) and Daniel E. Kelm (Easthampton, MA)

3:00–3:45 PM: Mutable Form and Enigmatic Meaning: The Language of Artists’ Books
Closing remarks by Ruth R. Rogers (Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA)

Suzanne Moore, Zero: Cypher of Infinity (Vashon Island, Washington, 2009). Unique original calligraphic manuscript. On loan from a private collection. Photo by George Bouret.

For more information and to register, please visit the Boston Athenæum site here.