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[BKARTS] Fw: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World

Sorry Beth, I had meant to send this to the list.

Hi Beth
My understanding is that the history of illustration extends to early Egyptian papyrus rolls and many of these illustrated papyruses recorded history, pharmacopoeia and story and were not necessarily religious documents. Diringer has an excellent account in his 1982: The Book Before Printing (Dover; New York) and in his 1967: The Illuminated Book: Its History and Production (Faber and Faber; London). And of course, illustration and symbolism on stone and clay tablets were extensive, whether we can call this religious is a broad debate as religion was not such a separate aspect of life in pre-history. I would venture that the origins of book art lie in story-telling, which at times is religious and at other times secular, but that this division of terms is a modern invention.Certainly, an illustrative language was the precursor to modern calligraphy which I would include as 'art' in my scheme of thinking.
best regards
----- Original Message ----- From: "Beth Embleton" <bethe@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 2:03 AM
Subject: Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World

James and Sally both agree scripture is the original book art. Forgive my
ignorance, but is this a generally held notion? Johanna Drucker writes of
the livre d'artiste, independent publishers, and artists producing books as
the history of the current artists' books. But, the first book produced that
was also art? Scripture, meaning to include all religions? Books meaning
only in codex form? Were clay tablets never illustrated? Did Egyptian
scribes produce art? Asian scrolls had beautiful illustrations very early.
Ivory palm leaf letters enclosed in custom boxes were certainly elaborate,
time consuming works meant to impress with presentation, maybe not art? I
don't know the answers, but this thread got me thinking...


Beth Madden Embleton
819 Emory Drive
Chapel Hill NC 27517

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