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MU museum exhibit showcases changes in art of bookmaking

Friday, December 15, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:37 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In the last 350 years, the craft of bookmaking has undergone a dramatic transformation, and a presentation at the MU Museum of Art and Archaeology details many of those changes.

“The Art of the Book: Illustration and Design, 1650 to Present,” an ongoing exhibition that runs through Dec. 24, aims to trace the evolution of book design and show how entrepreneurial publishers joined famous authors and artists to produce special editions of various texts. The show includes books written by William Blake, Eugene Delacroix, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Robert Motherwell.

“The evolution of the art of the book is more like a framing process,” said Alex Barker, the director of the museum. “Authors have to learn how to construct their ideas through texts, pictures and the physical design of the books. In other words, what’s for certain is that the art of the books will change.”

Barker delivered a lecture Wednesday night at the Columbia Public Library about the exhibition.


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