About Artists’ Books
An early proponent of the medium, WSW has produced over 230 limited edition artists’ books since our publishing imprint began in 1979. WSW’s publishing schedule includes 4-6 artist’s publications annually across three genres of focus, including handmade artists’ books, zines & print multiples, and our latest addition research publications.
Women’s Studio Workshop is known for artists’ books. These books can have a traditional book structure with a cover and sequential pages, they can be sculptural objects, or elaborately folded constructions. Hand printed and bound in our studios with the artist as the leading visionary for the project, these books are created onsite during the artist’s residency with our artistic director and studio manager overseeing the production process. The studio staff including interns work in support of all projects, as needed.
Our books are in collections world-wide, including ten institutions that are repositories for all our publications: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Indiana University (Bloomington), Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Delaware, Vassar College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Yale University, University of Michigan, The Library of Congress, and Bucknell University.
WSW’s artist’s publications are chosen through an open application and panel selection process. All selection panels at WSW include individuals from a diverse range of identity, experience, professional trajectory, and aesthetic perspective. All selection panels at WSW change annually. The open selection process is a vital element of WSW’s mission. Check back soon to read more about WSW selection process and active panelists.
WSW books are characterized by the combination of media available at WSW, and may incorporate handmade paper, letterpress, silkscreen, intaglio, relief, photo-based elements, and/or ceramics. Book proposals with photography based imagery, especially photo books requiring full color inkjet spreads are typically out of range for WSW’s publishing style. Interested candidates are encouraged to research our recent publishing history on the web catalog before applying.
Past Exhibits and Lectures
WSW’s executive and artistic directors regularly travel around the country to develop tailor-made exhibits, lecture for various audiences, and present hands-on workshops for your institution, schools, or groups. To learn more about book arts at the Workshop or on location, contact Erin Zona.
Carolee Schneemann’s Parts of a Body House Book Virtual Release – 2020/2021
In 2020 WSW published a reprint of Parts of a Body House Book, originally published in 1972 by Beau Geste Press, which was run by Felipe Ehrenberg in Devon, England. This reprinting is a facsimile of Carolee’s personal copy from the first edition. Her intentions were to paint the back cover of each book and create a new set of hand interventions for the present day. This publication was in production at the time of her death in 2019. All hand interventions including corrections, stamping, staining, drawing, and highlighting were recreated to the artist’s exact wishes. From author Kate Silzer for the Brooklyn Rail: “As an artwork and a relic, this book provides a dizzying vantage from which to consider [Schneemann’s] legacy. The object is a temporary vessel for her oeuvre, a pulsing manifestation of something ultimately uncontainable.”
Two virtual events were held in celebration of the release. In August of 2020 Erin Zona was in conversation with Rachel Churner, Director of the Carolee Schneemann Foundation and Kenneth White, Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the Cinema Department at the State University of New York at Binghamton. See the recording of this virtual event here. This event centered Carolee’s beloved eighteenth century farmhouse in New Paltz, NY and included a discussion of Carolee’s personal archives as they relate to the book, as well as a mini-tour on the grounds of Carolee’s home. In February 2021 WSW held an event in conjunction with Printed Matter featuring readings from the book by artist Lorraine O’Grady, curator Jasmine Wahi, and writer Stephanie LaCava. You can view the recording of the Printed Matter event here.
Wells College Susan Garretson Swartzburg ’60 Memorial Book Arts Lecture – 2020
Executive Director Lauren V. Walling and Artistic Director Erin Zona presented in conjunction with Wells Book Art Center’s The Susan Garretson Swartzburg 60’ Memorial Book Arts Lecture Series. Working closely with Wells faculty and staff, Swartzburg helped to organize the press, bindery and other components that became Wells’ Book Arts Center. She served on the Book Arts Board and established a biannual book arts lecture series in memory of her father, developing contacts, raising funds, organizing events and finding speakers. You can view the recording here, and see a list of notable speakers and topics in the lecture series here.
Hand, Voice, & Vision Exhibition – 2011
Hand, Voice, & Vision: Artists’ Books from Women’s Studio Workshop features artists’ books by thirty-six artists published over thirty years by Women’s Studio Workshop. Curated by Kathleen Walkup, Director of the Book Arts Program at Mills College, the exhibition is a comprehensive retrospective featuring some of the most influential contemporary book artists in America. It opened at the Grolier Club in New York and traveled to University of Southern Maine, Smith College, Vassar College, Carleton College, and Scripps College, among others.
The forty works in Hand, Voice, & Vision celebrate three facets that characterize the artist’s book program at Women’s Studio Workshop: the handmade mark of the book-maker, the unique voices and viewpoints of a broad and diverse range of artists, and the visionary nature of artwork that forges new directions in the medium of book arts. Hear more about the exhibition in a short video featuring curator Kathleen Walkup, or view the recording of the panel discussion at the Grolier Club featuring artists Susan Mills, Clarissa Sligh, and Emily Speed.
A comprehensive, fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition and makes a great supplementary teaching material for any book arts curriculum. It contains essays by WSW alumnae Susan Mills, Clarissa Sligh, and Emily Speed; Deirdre Lawrence, art librarian at the Brooklyn Museum; Patricia Phillips, Dean of Graduate Studies at Rhode Island School of Design; Jae Rossman, Special Collections curator at Yale; Erica Van Horn, independent artist; Mary-Kay Lombino, Curator at Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College; Susan Viguers, Director of the MFA of Arts Program at the University of the Arts; Dawn McCusker, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at James Madison University; Ron Patkus, Head of Special Collections and Associate Professor of History at Vassar College; Sylvia Turchyn, Director of Cataloguing at Indiana University in Bloomington; Steven Andersen, independent writer and artist; and Kathy Walkup, the exhibition curator.
The catalog is 120 pages, fully illustrated, 11″ x 7.5″ $35, shipping included. Order online through PayPal, or call (845) 658-9133.
This catalog is currently out of print.