Show and Bestow

Initiated by Alice Austin, the Ruth Hughes Collection of Artists’ Books was created entirely through donations, primarily from the artist-creators themselves. The resulting collection reflects the great diversity of materials, themes, and formats employed by book artists from all over the Unites States and Britain. The books range in size from 59 cm. down to a diminutive 6 cm., and incorporate materials such as clay, plastic, glass, wood, hair, Tyvek ®, a button, and a mascara wand, as well as the more expected paper, leather, and cloth. Even the papers used incorporate unusual materials including cotton, silk, plants, and shredded money. Please enjoy this sampler of the ingenuity, vision, and artistry to be found in the vibrant book arts community.


This exhibit of artist books, gathered in honor of Ruth Hughes, was displayed from November 20 - January 12, 2010 in the Art and Print and Picture Department Galleries on the 2nd floor of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

The collection was donated to Oberlin College's Clarence Ward Art Library.


The Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 23, 2009 – January 12, 2010

Oberlin College Library, Oberlin, Ohio
April 5, - June 4, 2010

Oberlin College's web site for Show and Bestow »



Show and Bestow opening, November 23, 2009