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More than 30 breathtaking examples of book art will soon be on display in UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC). Bibliophiles and artists alike will enjoy the variety and range of book samples, which feature highlights ranging from hand-made paper to special bindings.

book samples

Books featured in the exhibit. Photo credits to Mike Scullen

Art of the Book 2013 is the sixth juried travelling exhibition from the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG). Previously on display in Victoria, the exhibition will make its way across North America, travelling to academic libraries in Canada and, for the first time ever, the United States. 

“The artist’s book is as much a thing to play with as to read in the traditional way. But are these books? Certainly they are. Are they art? Well, naturally,” says Diana Patterson in the exhibition catalogue.


Destructors 2. Photo credit: Mike Scullen.

Book samples range from traditional texts with embellished covers or pages to hand-stitched or embroidered pages that unfold like accordions. Intricate bindings complement imaginative sculptures, showing that books can be enjoyed as art objects.

The exhibition opens to the public on April 14 in RBSC, with an informal open house on May 8. Local book artists and members of CBBAG will be on hand to discuss the exhibition.

The Vancouver Public Library is also holding an event for the public to coincide with its paper, art and the book exhibit. Three speakers will address their book arts practices from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on May 1.



April 14 – May 16, 2014
Free and open to the public.
Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Open house

May 8: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections
1961 East Mall
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Level 1


For the full touring schedule, visit the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG) website.

“Thanks for this. You are always three steps ahead!”

Sauder School of Business Staff Member

April 2014

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

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