One of my earliest exposures to books as art was through the amazing bookbinder and artist Barbara Mauriello** and the The Center for Book Arts.
The Center for Book Arts is committed to exploring and cultivating contemporary aesthetic interpretations of the book as an art object while invigorating traditional artistic practices of the art of the book. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary art and literature through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting. Founded in 1974, it was the first organization of its kind in the nation.One year, due to bad weather or some scheduling mishap, my family was among the few people who went to the Center's yearly open house. That year, instead of just watching the artists work on books and make paper, my sister and I got to try it out for ourselves. It was a fantastic experience. I think my mom still has some of the beautiful marble paper and prints we made. I know the Center offers classes, so if you are interested in book art and in the NY area, I suggest you check them out.
*So much so that I should really go back though all my posts and create a tag for this subject, so as to not bog up my generic Books tag.
** Who is, in full disclosure, a good friend of my family.
All images courtesy of the Center for Book Arts.