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Subject: Artist's books

Artist's books

From: Tom Trusky <rentrusk>
Date: Thursday, June 16, 1994
    **** Moderator's comments:
   This query comes from a person who is not on the DistList and will
   not see any responses that are posted here.  Please respond directly
   to sender and if of general interest post it here as well.

At the suggestion of Alan Virta, BSU Archivist, I am contacting you for
advice regarding the care of unique artist's books.  These are works
done by an "Outsider" on found or scavenged materials (Kraft paper, milk
and ice cream cartons, recycled textbooks, envelopes, letters, etc.).

Primarily, the artist used home -made ink from stove soot and saliva; a
few works, however, are in pencil.  Fewer still are in ink (fountain or
felt tip).  Because the artist was not encouraged, he made his own
writing implements, usually sharpened twigs, sometimes sucker or
popsicle sticks.  Bindings were done in crude Japanese "stab-binding"
style.  Covers were made of found materials, such as Saltine Cracker
boxes cardboard, soap boxes "board," etc.  These books, which now suffer
from yellowing, some mildewing, etc., are undated but were made circa
1910-1977 with materials sometimes hailing from the 19th century
(recycled books, for instance).

My major concern is their illustrations (the maker was a deaf
illiterate) which are offsetting onto facing blank pages or, worse,
rubbing into facing illustrations.  I am hoping to advise family,
private owners, art dealers, libraries and galleries as to how best
protect and preserve (conserve?) these remarkable works--with you are
your subscribers' assistance.

Many thanks for your consideration.

Tom Trusky
(Fax: 208-385-4373
Idaho Center for the Book
Boise State University
Boise, ID  83725.

                   Conservation DistList Instance 8:2
                   Distributed: Friday, June 17, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-2-015
Received on Thursday, 16 June, 1994

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