Last Friday Vamp & Tramp, a bookseller from Alabama who specializes in handmade artist books, came to the UNC Art Department to show off some pieces from their collection. I drove to Chapel Hill (a whole 30 minutes, geez) to check it out, and spent about an hour and a half pouring over the 50 or so books they toted from Birmingham. They ranged from a few hundred dollars to thousands.
One of my favorites was an oddball of the group, an altered book which seller Bill Stewart tends to shy away from. This one is by Zena Zipporah, an artist from Philadelphia. It’s a collage of famous women, created in an antique photo album.
A Field Guide to Irregular Birds by Katy Dwyer and illustrated by Jody Arthur was another favorite. It’s full of imaginary birds, with hilarious descriptions and absolutely beautiful illustrations. From Jody Arthur, via the Vamp & Tramp website:
“This book grew out of a fascination with the way that European explorers and naturalists described and catalogued the natural world. When I started working on this book, I was reading the journals of ornithologist John James Audubon and studying nineteenth century bird and animal prints. I began making collages using clip art of old etchings of birds. I felt like a mad scientist, creating bizarre creatures by pasting ears or fins on illustration so sparrows and sandpipers…. We strove to mimic the formal yet catty tone that tone might find in an old informational book. The introduction, with its delusions of grandeur, set the scene for the absurd birds to follow”
Sylvae was hard to photograph, but it was a jaw-dropping book about trees by Ben Verhoeven & Gaylord Schanilec. The 53 engraved illustrations were so beautiful, and the pictures just don’t do it justice. (Yes, a book about trees can make your jaw drop). More here.
And some other favorites:
Havana: A Living City
Anything From Anywhere by Emily Tipps, High5 Press
The Gardens of Delight by Jim Machacek and Sibyl Rubottom
O is for Opera by Jim Machacek and Sibyl Rubottom
thanks to yulianna for the heads up