Rotch Library offers a small but growing collection of contemporary artists’ books. The collection focuses on artists’ books published from the 20th century to the present and explores a range of techniques and technologies employed by the books’ creators.
- Memories of Science by Dorothy Yule
- The City Within by Natalie Draz
- Zig Zag by Werner Pfeiffer
- The Actual Accordion Book by Peter Thomas and Donna Thomas
- Discovering Book Arts at MIT, Slice of MIT
- Sarah Hulsey, Picturing Language, Arts at MIT
- Object Lesson: Werner Pfeiffer’s Errantry, Arts at MIT
- Speculative Motion by David M. Moyer
Errantry, a 27-foot scroll housed in a howitzer shell casing, is inspired by Der Triumphzug Kaiser Maximilians or The Triumphal Procession of the Emperor Maximilian (1515), a series of 130 woodcuts by Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473-1531) and others, about which Pfeiffer comments: “One of the dominant features in this document is the militant nature of many of the characters depicted, as well as their posture in parading their arms on horse, by carriage or on foot.” The text in Errantry draws from a poem of the same name in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth mythology. The source poem, composed by Bilbo Baggins, describes one of his quest adventures in the usual self-aggrandizing yet self-pitying tone. As a model for Pfeiffer’s text, it makes the digitally printed images of war all the more horrible.