Ah, the art teacher always wants to know! *L* I asked around when I first
discovered ABs, and here is what I've come up with:
Here is a brief history of AB courtesy of ISABA:
Altered books is an art form in which existing books are reworked into works
of art, often manifests in a variety of ways. The existing book becomes the
canvas for the new ideas and images. Sometimes words or images from the
are retained as a part of the altering. At other times it is the books is
entirely obscured to become a new idea totally.
Altered books are actually an old way of recycling. In the 11th Century
Italian monks recycled old manuscripts written on vellum by scraping off the
ink and adding new text and illustrations on top of the old. This was known
as "Palimpsest." In the late 19th century people used old books as a sort of
scrapbook, pasting on its pages the ephemera from their society including
magazine images, personal recipes, and family pictures. This is
a Victorian practice of illustrating a particular book with engravings torn
from other books.
Today artists are exploring the form of the book along with its substance.
Existing images and text become something entirely new. Tom Phillips'
Humament is one of the first contemporary examples of this art.
By covering, cutting, and changing the structure, altered books run the
from books that have become shrines to books that are transformed into
colorful images totally unrelated to their origins.
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
> Hi, Can anyone remember how the concept of altered books as an art form
> got started? I'm interested but cannot recall when I first heard about
> it. J.