Mortimer Rare Book Room History

Unique Artists Books

The Mortimer Rare Book contains a large collection of contemporary artists books from the 1960s to the present.

These books and book objects are hard to define, since they vary greatly in content, imagery, and form. This book is a one-of-a-kind creation by Tim Ely. It consists of pen-and-ink painted illustrations and text (invented script, not actual letterforms in any language or alphabet). Ely also bound the book in painted and sculpted boards and made the painted cloth-covered protective case. This book could serve as the ultimate definition of an artists book, one in which a single person is the source of all elements of the book. Many artists books involve collaboration among visual artists, printers, bookbinders, and other contributors to the arts of the book. All of these books provoke discussion about the meaning of books and how to read them.

Timothy Ely. Graphocephela. Portland, Oregon: Planetary Collage, 1996
PURCHASED ON THE FUND ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH MCCONNELL,
CLASS OF 1918, AND ANNE L. BOHNING, CLASS OF 1915

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