Unpacking My Library: Artists and Their Books

Unpacking My Library: Artists and Their Books
Library Shelf Location 13c.STEF
Publication Date 2017

A captivating tour of the bookshelves of ten leading artists, exploring the intricate connections between reading, artistic practice, and identity

Taking its inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s seminal 1931 essay, the Unpacking My Library series charts a spirited exploration of the reading and book collecting practices of today’s leading thinkers. Artists and Their Books showcases the personal libraries of ten important contemporary artists based in the United States (Mark Dion, Theaster Gates, Wangechi Mutu, Ed Ruscha, and Carrie Mae Weems), Canada (Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller), and the United Kingdom (Billy Childish, Tracey Emin, and Martin Parr). Through engaging interviews, the artists discuss the necessity of reading and the meaning of books in their lives and careers.

This is a book about books, but it even more importantly highlights the role of literature in shaping an artist’s self-presentation and persona. Photographs of each artist’s bookshelves present an evocative glimpse of personal taste, of well-loved and rare volumes, and of the individual touches that make a bookshelf one’s own. The interviews are accompanied by “top ten” reading lists assembled by each artist, an introduction by Jo Steffens, and Marcel Proust’s seminal essay “On Reading.”

ISBN 9780300216981
Quantity 1
Pages 184 pages: 140 x 203mm
Authors Jo Steffens, Matthias Neumann, Marcel Proust
Format Hardback
Publisher Yale University Press
Related Artists Mark Dion, Theaster Gates, Wangechi Mutu, Ed Ruscha, Carrie Mae Weems, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Billy Childish, Tracey Emin, Martin Parr
Category Library and Archive Science
Keywords Collections, Libraries, Literature
Language English

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