Category Archives: The Art of the Book Conference

50 Years of Artists’ Books

The Library’s Artists’ Books Collection is growing rapidly. The term ‘Artist’s Book’ refers to books made or conceived by an artist – artworks in their own right.

Picture1Dieter Roth 2 Picture Books 1976

Whilst many contemporary books have been bought for the collection, others have been donated or moved from the main shelves of the library into the Special Collections. From these we find that we have books representing each of the decades since the 1960s.  To celebrate this – that our collection covers fifty of the 150 years of Cardiff Metropolitan University and the School of Art & Design – we feature examples from across those fifty years in a display on the ground floor of Llandaff Library. In this exhibition, individually crafted books, hand printed and bound, sit alongside works that were published inexpensively in unlimited editions in order to bring artwork to a wider audience. Some are recognisably traditional casebound book format, whilst others have more sculptural qualities.  All can be seen during workshops run for students, staff and community groups.

 A Humument by Tom Phillips 1982, The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson 1965, An Anecdoted Topography of Chance by Daniel Spoerri 1966, They Called Her Styrene by Edward Rusha 2000


Further examples can be seen in the Heartspace of Cardiff School of Art & Design 4 Dec 2015 to 18 Dec 2015 12 noon. Please Turn Over: The Artists’ Book is an exhibition of book arts work by students and staff of Cardiff School of Art and Design which considers artists’ books as creative process, living archive and research catalyst. Also on show will be artists’ books from Cardiff Metropolitan University Library’s Artists’ Books Collection, some donated by Ron King from his personal collection, also works by other significant artists such as Gilbert & George, Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth and Sol Lewitt.



These exhibitions complement the conference Livres d’Artistes: The Artist’s Book in Theory & Practice held at Cardiff University 4 – 6 Dec 2015.


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The Art of the Book: Call for Papers

‘The Art of the Book’, Cardiff University, December 4-6 2015

Call for Papers

In 2014 Cardiff University received a considerable donation of Artists’ Books from Ron King of the Circle Press, one of the most influential practitioners of the Book Arts. In December of this year, the University’s Special Collections and Rare Books (SCOLAR) will be hosting a major international conference to celebrate this bequest. Speakers will include Ron King (Circle Press), Sarah Bodman (University of the West of England), and Chris McCabe (Poetry Library).

Proposals are now invited from practitioners and scholars for presentations of 20 minutes on any aspect of the Book Arts. A brief biographical note, along with an abstract of 200-300 words, should be sent NO LATER THAN October 1, 2015, to Practitioners in attendance are encouraged to bring examples of their work for display at the conference.


Cardiff Metropolitan University Library also received a donation of almost 40 books from Ron King in 2014; further details of which can be seen in blog posts for the month of March 2015. These are now included in the Artists’ Books Collection in the Library and can be found in the library catalogue.

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