The Art and History of the Illustrated Book

Moderators: Ellen Kosmer and Betsy Siersma
Time: Thursdays, 9:30–11:30 am
Place: Loomis Village, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 20 Bayon Drive, South Hadley
Parking: Ample parking on site

An introduction to the history of illustrated texts from the Early Middle Ages to the present

In this seminar we will explore the relationship of the text to the image and examine the varieties of media that were used for illustration. We will also discuss the audiences for whom these books were made. Children’s illustrated books will NOT be covered.

We will look at work ranging from medieval manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells and illuminated Books of Hours, early printed scientific treatises of the Renaissance with woodcut illustrations, to 18th and 19th century examples from the Arts and Crafts Movement. We will also look at 20th century artist’s books such as those by Picasso and Matisse, and present day artists’ work in book form. Japanese and Chinese scrolls will also be considered.

Format: Seminar

Role of participants: Each participant will select one topic or artist on which to present. Prior knowledge or expertise in art history is not necessary. We hope you will explore with us a fascinating and beautiful area in the history of art. In-class discussion will be encouraged.

Number of participants (including the moderators): 18

Resources: A list of web based articles on manuscripts, artists, and sources for images will be provided at the Preview.

The Moderators: Ellen Kosmer is an artist and an art historian who specialized in medieval manuscripts. Betsy Siersma is an art historian and was a museum curator specializing in contemporary art.