A triangular book; a movable book; a round book; a glass book; a metre wide pop-up book; a ten-metre-long folding book. These are a few of the collector’s favourite things that will be on display until 6 July 2019 to celebrate the exciting opening of the new Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts.
Artists’ books are artworks in the form of books rather than books about art. Art collector and philanthropist Jack Ginsberg began collecting in this field in the early 1970s, almost from the inception of this contemporary art form. He has recently donated his world-renowned collection to Wits Art Museum in order to make it accessible to future generations of students and researchers.
The collection is unrivalled in Africa and in the Southern Hemisphere and includes more than 3 000 artworks plus a unique archive of an additional 3 000 items on the history and development of the book art genre.
One of Ginsberg’s many legacies has been the encouragement and support for South African book arts. Also present are precursors to, and landmarks, in the founding of the book arts form. There are works by well-known international artists better known for other genres of artmaking include Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Barbara Kruger, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Ed Ruscha and Kara Walker. A large proportion of books in the collection are by women artists. Popular culture is also well represented through graphic novels and comics.
The collection will offer insight and inspiration to typographers, graphic and book designers, papermakers, bookbinders, etc., but perhaps most breathtaking, the collection speaks to the human capacity for limitless creativity and innovation. The exhibitions promise an unmissable visual and intellectual feast.
The Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts Opening Exhibition runs until 6 July 2019, Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 to 16:00, at the Wits Art Museum, corner of Bertha (ext. of Jan Smuts Ave) and Jorissen streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
To read more about what the collection has to offer, purchase the April 2019 issue of Creative Feel or, to continue supporting our role in the arts and culture sector, subscribe to our monthly magazine from only R180.00 per year.