Library Excavations #9: Chicago's Filed Artists
Earlier this month I completed a new publication in my ongoing artist book/artist periodical hybrid Library Excavations. As with all past issues, you can purchase this through Half Letter Press.
Library Excavations #9 goes digging into the Chicago Artist Files at Harold Washington Library. It's a slightly more fancy edition than usual. In addition to a five page essay there are 20 full color pages presenting obscure printed ephemera by as unusual and diverse an array of Chicago artists as you should expect from Public Collectors.
From the back cover:
In the 8th floor reference collection, the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center houses the Chicago Artist Files—a series of file cabinets measuring well over 70 linear feet with materials connected to Chicago artists, art movements, and arts organizations spanning from 1890 to the present. Archived materials include news clippings, letters, photographs, slides, CDs, artists’ books, gallery invitations and original artwork. Visitors may request artists whose files they would like to view and a librarian will pull that material for them.
With support from the organization Sixty Inches from Center and CPL librarian Bob Sloane, I was able to peruse these files directly and this booklet surveys my experience of this rich, varied, and unusually democratic collection. In addition to writing about the library’s holdings, I’ve made a personal selection of items to reproduce in color.