A book is a book is a book until it’s not just a book
The Centre for Book Arts at the Wits Art Museum is one of the top five such collections in the world
At a time when the printed book is fast getting replaced by digital formats, artists’ books are offering some kind of resistance and carving a physical niche. These are artworks in the form of books and they’ve become highly collectible. Art collector and philanthropist Jack Ginsberg, who has been collecting book arts since the early 1970s, recently donated his collection to the Wits Art Museum.
The collection, now known as The Centre for Book Arts, is one of the top five in the world and the largest in the southern hemisphere. It consists of 3,500 book-like artworks, including 400 works by SA artists. The centre plans to host four themed exhibitions annually to introduce parts of the collection to the public.
So what is book arts and what is its appeal to art collectors?..