It's a miniature book! Yes, they really do make books that small and it has a special category all by itself. Miniature books are little gems and there are people and libraries and universities that have special collections devoted to them. But what makes a miniature book miniature? In the United States, a miniature book is exactly no higher, wider or deeper than 3". In Europe, a miniature book can be as large as 4" in any one dimension. There is even an organization that is devoted to miniature books. Would you like to venture what it's called? It's The Miniature Book Society. Yes, and they have an annual exhibit of miniature books by miniature book artists, publishers, and presses who are members. The Miniature Book Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 in the United States which touts worldwide membership. That's quite a feat for an organization that deals in the miniature. There are booksellers and dealers who specialize in miniature books. There are special collections devoted to JUST miniature books such as Beinecke Library, Yale University, Bodleian Library, Oxford University, University of Iowa and the Library of Congress. Who knew! One of the most interesting facts about miniature books is that the original purpose of them was to teach school children bible verse, maxims to live by and their basic ABC's and arithmetic. These early miniature books are very collectible and were produced by printing houses who printed regular size volumes. Contemporary book artists have rediscovered the joys of miniature books. Many MBS members are book artists who have discovered the delight in the idea of creating smaller tomes; and, the same rules apply. Miniature books can be created in limited edition, or one-of-a-kind or unique books. The world is expanding in this world of the miniature. For more information about miniature books, check out the website of The Miniature Book Society at www.mbs.org. The website provides a wealth of information and take some time to view the online catalogs of past-year exhibits. You'll rethink the phrase that "bigger is better".
Legend has it that the Twelfth Night Celebration incorporated a cake with a hidden bean baked inside of it. Whoever found the bean was crowned King or Queen of the Night's festivities and a suitable way to end the traditional Christmas holiday. Perhaps you are celebrating the closing of the holiday season in other ways, but let's start off 2011 with some great exhibits that spanned 2010 and 2011! First up, is the "Seductive Subverions: Women Pop Artists 1958-1968" at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The first survey of this fun time period in art history organized by Sid Sachs highlight the women of the pop art movement. Closing January 9, 2011...catch it while you can. For more info go to www.brooklynmuseum.org. Secondly, the great contemporary Italian sculptor, Michelangelo Pistoletto whose show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an outstanding survey of work from the past 30 years as well as his contemporary works closes January 17, 2011. Go to www.philamuseum.org for times. Third up, is one of my personal favorites, "Cage" at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery on 57th Street with contemporary assemblages by Bettye Saar. If you haven't seen this exhibit, go now...right now! The exhibit has been extended to January 16, 2011. The catalog is in production. For a virtual view go to www.michaelrosenfeldart.com! And last but not least is a phenomenal book arts exhibit "The Book, A Contemporary View" which opened before the holidays at The Delaware Center of Contemporary Arts. Featuring work by Doug Beube, Briane Dettmer, Buzz Specter and many others, the exhibit remains up until April 14, 2011. For more info go to www.thedcca.org. Happy Twelfth Night
Maryann J. Riker, owner of JUSTARIP Press is a mixed-media artist who delights in designing and creating artist's books and creating collaborative book art projects as well as viewing other book artists' work. She definitely enjoys the process!