Evolution and Innovation 1870-1920

The Modern Artist’s Book has its origins in France in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War. Artists like Manet rejected the mass-produced and often poorly printed books of the era in which a predominance of text was occasionally relieved by different illustrations. Instead, in volumes like Manet’s Le Fleuve (1874), the book was carefully designed to combine text and images in a sympathetic and unified whole. This revolution in book design spread throughout Europe and to America, reflecting the particular aesthetic sensibilities of each nation. The twenty-six books in this gallery display the rapid evolution of artists’ book design during the period and the innovative use of graphic techniques, typography, binding and scale.

Le Phanérogame (Phanerogamia) by Max Jacob

Le Phanérogame (Phanerogamia) by Max Jacob (Paris: Max Jacob, 1918).

Ballarde du pauvre Macchabé mal enterré

Ballarde du pauvre Macchabé mal enterré by René Dalize (Paris: Galerie Simon, 1919).

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The Innovation Gallery

Self portrait of Edouard Manet, from WikiMedia

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