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Artists' Books

This guide provides information about artists' books. It includes examples held at UNC Charlotte and resources to help study and create artists' books.

What is an Artist's Book?

Artists’ books are not easily defined. Simply put, an artist book is a piece of artwork in book form. The content and form of artists’ books are inescapably tied together. As a result, they are able to communicate ideas on multiple levels.

Artists have been creating books for centuries, but artists’ books comprise a new field. The term "artist's book" was originally used to describe books created in the conceptual art movement of the 1970s. Artists’ books today stand out from earlier creations because the books themselves are considered works of art and not just ways to display art.

A typical artist's book is handmade and a limited edition. It may defy the traditional book format by going beyond simple text with visual images, unfolding pages, unusual bindings or materials, and molded cases.

North Carolina Artists' Books at UNC Charlotte