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Events
  • Patrons Circle Tour

    May 30| Special Event
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    Otis' Patrons Circle Tour of Downtown L.A.!

    Discover how the creative economy is transforming downtown Los Angeles.  Studios and galleries continue to move to the heart of our city and into areas that were off the beaten path just a year ago. Otis Patrons Circle members will enjoy an Otis-inspired tour of downtown L.A.'s vibrant scene.  

    Tour includes:
    Visit to Kent Twitchell's ('77 MFA) new studio, followed by a short ride to see a few of his downtown murals

    Inside peek of Cynthia Vincent's ('88 Fashion Design) fashion design studio

  • Design Week 2015

    Jun 21| Special Event
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    OTIS’ MFA GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM HOSTS:

    I AM THE CITY

    Design Week
    June 21-27, 2015

     

    VISITING ARTISTS

    Field Experiments: Benjamin Harrison Bryant, New York and Paul Marcus Fuog, Melbourne and Karim Charlebois-Zariffa, Quebec/NYC www.field-experiments.com

  • Bolsky

    Jun 27| Exhibition
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    Image: Erin Watson, Sausage, 2014, Inkjet print, 20 x 30 inches


    The Nature of Personal Reality

    June 27 – September 1, 2015
    Opening Reception: Saturday, June 27, 4-6pm
     

  • Opening Reception

    Jun 27| Special Event
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    Image: Erin Watson, Sausage, 2014, Inkjet print, 20 x 30 inches


    The Nature of Personal Reality

    Opening Reception: Saturday, June 27, 4-6pm

O-Tube

Short History of the Artists' Books Collection at Otis

Artists' books are exceptionally varied and creative by their very nature. The complex medium employs the book, in any of its various guises (scroll, codex, fold-out or single sheet boxed, to name but a few forms of books) as an original work of art. They usually integrate the formal means of conception and production with aesthetic or thematic aspects. Artists' books are considered unique works of art in one-of-a-kind or small edition multiples. Some now are mass produced. The variety of its form makes the artist book difficult to define. The twentieth century witnessed particularly varied and creative experimentation with artists' books culminating with an expansion of the medium in the '60 and '70s. California became a center of production.

The collection of artists' books at Otis College of Art and Design began and grew significantly during this period due largely to the efforts of librarian Joan Hugo, a recognized expert in artists' books. The Otis Library's current collection is approximately 2,300 works. Among the holdings are books by important contemporary artists such as Ed Ruscha and Joseph Beuys as well as work by recent graduates of MFA programs in the book arts such as Sarah Bryant and Daniel Mellis.

The collection also includes books made by Otis students in the Laboratory Press, which was begun by Sheila de Bretteville, Chair of the Communication Design and Illustration Department at Otis/Parsons from 1980-1990. Susan King, Simon Toparovsky, Cynthia Marsh, and Katherine Ng, all important book artists, were among the faculty over the years. This is a unique collection of books, often produced in editions of 2 or 3, with particularly good examples of innovative structures, excellent typography, and interesting content.

The goal of the Otis Artists' Book Collection is not to create a comprehensive archive, but rather to provide a valuable teaching resource available to artists and students. Since the collection is available on only a limited basis, providing access to the books via an online image database is a continuing project, one that we hope will assist those with interest in researching our collection as well as the medium in general.

 

History of Artists' Books

Sue Maberry, Director of Otis Library
Cathy Chambers, Catalog Librarian
Heather Cleary, Visual Resources Librarian