Yale University’s Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, 180 York Street, will extend the exhibition “Material Meets Metaphor: A Half Century of Book Art by Richard Minsky” through December 21, 2010.
The exhibition covers 50 years of Minsky’s work — from his first business card, used when he started his letterpress printing business at age 13, to “Self-Portrait 2010,” a book that documents the evolution of a canvas, from pencil sketch through many layers of oil paint.
A centerpiece of the exhibition is “Freedom of Choice: Three Poems of Love and Death by Lucie Brock-Broido” (2009) on loan from the artist. The ultimate in reading experience, the binding of the book consists of a replica electric chair, created by the artist, to which the book of poems is chained. Readers are encouraged to get strapped in for the full experience.
“Minsky’s work as an artist and as founder of The Center for Book Arts in New York changed the way people see and make books,” said Jae Jennifer Rossman, the Haas Family Arts Library’s Assistant Director for Special Collections. The Library is pleased to be the home of the Richard Minsky Archive, acquired in 2004. It documents Minsky’s working process and career, and includes maquettes for book projects, correspondence, and biographical materials. The Archive also documents Minsky's exploration of printing technologies from the mimeograph and spirit duplicator to his early use of inkjet printing on handmade paper.
Many of Minsky's editioned works (non-commissioned work made in multiple copies) will be on view in the exhibition, along with unique works that have become iconic in the field of book art. These include his 1975 binding of “The Birds of North America” and “The Crisis of Democracy,” bound in sheepskin, gold and barbed wire.
A free PDF-format catalog of the exhibition is available on the Haas Family Arts Library web site at www.library.yale.edu/arts/specialcollections/exhibitions.html
More information about Minsky and his work is available online at www.minsky.com. His new book, “The Art of American Book Covers, 1875–1930,” was published this year by George Braziller, Inc.
The Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library opened in August 2008 in the renovated Paul Rudolph Hall and the new Loria Center for the History of Art. The library brings together the collections, staff, and resources from the former Art + Architecture and Drama libraries and the Arts of the Book Collection, as well as staff and services for the Visual Resources Collection. It serves as the library for the Schools of Art, Architecture, and Drama, as well as the Department of the History of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. The library is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.library.yale.edu/arts/.
For information on the exhibition or the Richard Minsky Archive, contact Jae Rossman at (203) 432-4439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.