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[BKARTS] Granary Books at Smith College Museum of Art

Too Much Bliss: Twenty Years of Granary Books
40 Artists’ Books on View at Smith College Museum of Art
November 12, 2005 – February 19, 2006

SEE WEBSITE: http://www.smith.edu/artmuseum/exhibitions/granarybooks/index.htm

Northampton, MA November 1, 2005 – Too Much Bliss celebrates the work of Granary Books,
publisher and catalyst for the creation of some of the country’s most innovative artists’ books, and a key
entity in the fields of poetry and scholarship on the history of the book arts. The exhibition focuses on 40
limited-edition artists’ books, including collaborations between a diverse selection of important artists,
writers, poets, printers, and binders such as Susan Bee, Charles Bernstein, Ted Berrigan, John Cage,
Henrik Drescher, Johanna Drucker, Larry Fagin, Phillip Gallo, Barbara Fahrner, Yvonne Jacquette,
Daniel Kelm, Jerome Rothenberg, Carolee Schneeman, Anne Waldman, and Jonathan Williams.
[Please read through end of press release for related program information.]

Serving the vital function of bringing together writers, artists, and bookmakers to investigate verbal/visual
relations through the making of artists’ books, Granary’s mission is to produce, promote, document, and
theorize new works exploring the intersection of word, image, and page. Since 1985, Granary Press has
produced over 100 outstanding publications, including artists’ books, books on poetry and music, and
scholarly writing about the history of books. This exhibition celebrates Granary Books’s twentieth year of
operation, featuring 40 examples of artists’ books, and displaying what has earned them the reputation as
one of the most unique and significant small publishers operating today.

Initially, founder and director Steve Clay regarded Granary Books as a vehicle for the distribution of
small press books, particularly poetry, with a lot of attention paid to the crafts of bookmaking—printing,
papermaking, and binding. Granary Books occasionally produced small broadsides and ephemeral
pamphlets until the early 1990s, when a conversation between Clay and artist Barbara Farhner sparked the
production of Nods, a book that combined the talents of Farhner, letterpress printer Philip Gallo, binder
Daniel Kelm (who operates The Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton), and an existing text by the avantgarde
composer/writer/artist John Cage. This spontaneous collaborative effort brought to life Clay’s view
of the book as an interactive process involving writer, visual artist, typographer, binder, and reader, and
reaffirmed his sense of the creative role of the publisher.

Since that time, Granary Books has branched out, producing important scholarly texts on the history of
writing, poetry, and the book arts, which are printed in trade editions and are widely available, alongside
limited edition books that display the cross-media creativity for which Granary has become known.

While the exhibition primarily focuses on the limited-edition artists’ books produced by Granary, a
reading room within the gallery allows viewers to peruse the trade editions, representing the full scope of
Granary Books’s unique creations. Some works in the exhibition indicate a local collection where that
item can be seen in its entirety, as only selected pages are shown in the exhibition. We encourage
everyone who sees the exhibition to visit these local collections and experience the books fully

Presentation of Too Much Bliss: Twenty Years of Granary Books at the Smith College Museum of Art
has been made possible in part by a gift from the estate of Selma P. Seltzer. Exhibitions and programs at
the museum are also supported by the Tyron Associates, Friends of the Museum, and the Museum Shop.
Media sponsorship for this exhibition has been provided by The Valley Advocate.

Special Programs in Conjunction with Too Much Bliss:
Friday, November 11
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Smith College Museum of Art
Fee to attend.

Opening celebration for Too Much Bliss: Twenty Years of Granary Books. This event – part of the
monthly Northampton Arts Night Out! series – will also feature the opening of Now It Has Stopped
Raining (Ya dejó de llover), a show of paintings by local Puerto Rican-born artist Rosa Ibarra.
Admission to the Ibarra/Granary/Northampton Arts Night Out at the Museum event is $5 per person plus
Museum Admission (visit www.smith.edu/artmuseum or call 413/585 2760 for more information). Sam’s
Café at the Museum will provide refreshments; wine and beer will be available for purchase.

Tuesday, November 15
5:00 pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College
Free and open to all.

In conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition celebrating Granary Books’s twentieth year of operation,
founder and director Steve Clay will discuss the history and highlights of the country's most important
and influential artists' book publishing house. Since 1985, Granary Books has produced over 100
outstanding publications, including artist’s books, books on poetry and music, and scholarly writing about
the art and history of books. The talk will be followed by a reception in the Book Arts Gallery on the
third floor of Nielson Library.

Tuesday, February 14
7:30 pm, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College
Free and open to all.

In conjunction with the special exhibition, Too Much Bliss: Twenty Years of Granary Books, The Poetry
Center at Smith College will sponsor a reading of poems with Jerome Rothenberg and Charles Bernstein,
whose work is featured in the Granary Books exhibition. Free and open to all. Museum Members may
reserve two seats in the front of the auditorium: scmarsvp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx by February 10. Reception
with the poets immediately following the reading.

Smith College Museum of Art – General Information
Widely regarded as one of the most distinguished college museums in the country, the Smith College
Museum of Art is best known for its 19th- and 20th-century European and American collection. In
addition, it is developing holdings in Asian, African, and Latin American art. The permanent collection
features works by Manet, Monet, Picasso, Copley, Eakins, Stella, Motherwell, O’Keeffe, and many other
famous painters, along with noteworthy sculpture and classical antiquities, prints, drawings, and

The museum reopened in the spring of 2003, following a two-year renovation and expansion. The new
building is fully accessible and encompasses four floors of galleries for the permanent collection as well
as an active program of 12 to 15 special exhibitions each year. Visitor amenities include two artistdesigned,
fully functional restrooms, 11 hand-crafted gallery benches, the Museum Shop and Café at the

Museum hours are 10-4 Tuesday through Saturday and noon-4 on Sunday. The museum is closed on
Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students with ID, and $2
for youth ages 6-12. Admission is free for museum members and for the Smith community, as well as for
Five College students and faculty and all children five and under. Free passes are available at Forbes
Library with a Forbes library card (20 West St., next to the Smith campus), and no admission fees are
charged on the first Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m..

The Smith College Museum of Art is located on Elm Street at Bedford Terrace in Northampton,
Massachusetts, a short walk from the downtown shopping, dining, and gallery district and less than a five
minute drive from I-91. For additional information about museum programs, parking, directions, and
amenities, please call 413.585.2760 or visit www.smith.edu/artmuseum.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Margi Caplan,
413 585 3587
Images: Upon request.
Web: smith.edu/artmuseum ***********************************************
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