One artist's whimsical and inspiring way to keep track of the books she has read, Book Marks is a visual journey through a lifetime of reading and remembering that features 434 richly illustrated artworks created on old library checkout cards.
This alluring blend of art book and autobiography will capture the imagination. At its heart are hundreds of captivating 3 x 5-inch artworks-intricate collages and drawings created on old library checkout cards, each one representing a book that left an indelible mark on artist Barbara Page. She began creating these illustrated "book marks" as a colorful way to remember titles she was currently reading. Before long, Page embarked on a decade-long art project recreating her reading history, starting with picture books from early childhood.
Every artwork serves as a bookmark for a moment in time connected to a specific title, and, as a collection, they present over seventy years of literature, politics, thought, and culture-as colored by one woman's reading choices. Some images may evoke your own memories of a story. Others may feel like little puzzles that require reading or rereading a title to interpret the artistic references.
Over half of the more than 800 cards housed in a two-drawer library case are illustrated here. Interwoven with personal accounts of the artist's life, each card represents a literary work that drives the narrative, directly and indirectly. Book Marks underscores the interplay between our experiences and our reading and can remind us how a good book can linger in our mind for months, if not years.
These compelling artworks resonate and inspire, as will Page's story. Like many, the artist discovers strength in the words of authors many of us know and love, and, through reading, she gains knowledge that feeds her personal growth and scientific interest in the world around her. As Page's life is disrupted by tragedies-one husband's mental illness and another's decline into dementia-she forges forward, finding new focus and reinventing her life.
Features for readers
A complete bibliographic list of books referenced in the artworks-fiction, science, art, gardening, travel, history, biography, aviation, ecology, children's literature, and more-to inspire future reading;
Author and title indices for easy referencing of the 434 artworks;
Bound with two ribbon bookmarks, allowing readers to mark their place in both the chapter and the plate section.
Barbara Page is an artist, triathlete, and avid reader. She received her MFA from Cornell University and is a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and was artist-in-residence at the Golden Foundation. Page's work is included in museum and corporate collections. The Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York, was designed around her series of 544 bas-relief paintings depicting the history of life-Rock of Ages, Sands of Time. The University of Chicago Press published a book on the project in 2001. In 2012 she completed a commission for a geological timeline on a 140-foot-long pedestrian bridge and a mural at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. This "Bridge Across Time" displays 268 porcelain tiles and connects the two buildings of the museum. Her love affair with printed matter led to the Book Marks project, which currently includes more than 800 library checkout cards that have been converted into compact artworks. The project was exhibited at The Center for Book Arts in New York City and at various libraries as part of a traveling group show, Artists in the Archives: A Collection of Card Catalogs.
Among the books represented in the 400+ artworks: Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's The Yearling, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, George Orwell's 1984, Shakespeare's MacBeth, Kathryn Hulme's Nun's Story, Ernest Hemingway's A Farwell to Arms, Benjamin Spock's Baby and Child Care, Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring, Wolfgang Langewiesche's Stick and Rudder, Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice, Alix Kates Shulman's Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, Wassily Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Don Marquis's Archy and Mehitabel, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Louise Nevelson's Dawns + Dusks, Jane Austin's ,i>Pride and Prejudice, Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook, William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways, Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines, David Quammen's The Song of the Dodo, Paul Theroux's Old Patagonian Express, Elisabeth Sheldon's A Proper Garden, John McPhee's Annals of the Former World, Alex Haley's Roots, Italo Calvin's Cosmicomiche, Alfred Wainwright's A Coast to Coast Walk, Alexander Stille's The Future of the Past, Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, Alan Weisman's World without Us, Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, Andrew X. Pham's Catfish and Mandala, Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings, Katharine Harmon's The Map as Art, Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland, Louise Penny's A Trick of The Light, Oyinkan Braithwaite's My Sister, The Serial Killer, Dave Eggers's The Circle, Orhan Pamuk's Museum of Innocence, Daniel James Brown's Boys in the Boat, Will Schwalbe's End of Your Life Book Club, Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, Susan Orlean's The Library Book, Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow.