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One of our biggest thrills has been seeing works of art "in person" that we were familiar with from our books.
I would never cut anything out of a book (unless it was a cheap duplicate copy purchased expressly for that purpose.)
Amancine, I completely agree with your last sentiment; I have a wonderful memory of seeing Edward Hopper's Chop Suey in person at the Seattle Art Museum a couple of years ago.
amancine - I know what you mean. 2 years ago I got to see a Van Gogh self-portrait in person in Washington DC. I could see details in the paint which you miss in a print or a book. My husband took my picture with the painting and I have a HUGE grin on my face. It was a fantastic experience.
However, I have created a shelf for drawings and other visual things that inspire me, i.e. this book or certain vases... does that count?!
One of my favourite places to look at big and beautiful art books is a gallery in Toronto in the Distillery District called Pikto. I highly recommend stopping by there if you're in the area!
Edited to say - And no, no, no - I would never cut out of them - some were purchased with considerable difficulty at some expense, but all have great sentimental value. I tend to but them on vacations, so they remind me of those times.
I haven't so far been able to cut up any of my art books but lately I've found myself collecting old books in second hand and charity stores which have great images that "I might use in an artwork one day" (e.g. in a collage), such as really old art books that are falling to pieces, and technical and medical texts and magazines which have great illustrations. Of course, these days you can scan pictures in and print them out so maybe there's not such a need to cut them up, but it's very hard to reproduce that lovely aged look to the pages that you get in old books, which is really useful in collage.
drbubbles: What a lucky little boy to have a mother who's instilling in him a love of art right from the beginning. Maybe you already know this, but there are some absolutely wonderful art books for children that I've seen, mostly in art gallery bookshops. I can't name any off the top of my head right now but let me know if you're interested and I'll have a look at the bookshop when I'm at our great new Gallery of Modern Art here in Brisbane tomorrow. I wish they’d had them when my children were young.
VictoriaPL: l grew up in the country and we didn’t have access to any kind of art gallery at all. Even when I went away to boarding school at age 11 (in a much larger country town) I don’t recall ever being taken to an art gallery. Maybe that’s why I feel, too, as though I’m “making up for lost time”, and now can’t have enough art books!
drbubbles: I shared many of my art books with my children when they were young. My daughter has a more abiding interest in them than my son, an avid ESPN fanatic, does. I am constantly sending art appreciation books to my grandsons (currently 7 and 4). Since they live in Toronto and have a family ROM membership, I sent them quite a few books on Egyptian culture. They also have Playmobil Egyptian sets. Recently we discovered that Playmobil has animated videos made to stimulate interest in the set. Great fun! They seem far less interested in the Art Gallery of Ontario, despite the presence of child level drawing tables in many rooms, eg the Henry Moore space. I think the 7 year old has quite a haptic sensibility since he has huge collections of seashells from trips to Florida, Costa Rica, and Caymans, rocks from Lake Ontario, fossils from a beach on Lake Huron near Collingwood, quartzes, etc. from the ROM shop, and loves old coins and keys. They have an extremely enviable creative space as well.
inner_artist: I am loath to cut up any art books. Fortunately the Somerset Studio publications provide some really nice images and papers for collaging in each issue of their not inexpensive magazine. I also enjoy seeking out images in old New Yorkers, New York, Antiques, Art & Antiques ads, etc. My mother, on the other hand, when in a manic fit of decoupaging tore up a number of lovely art books that she owned. They came to me mutilated, so sometimes I may use them if I find the space to do more collaging in my book-cluttered home.
The alumnus got a job on the faculty. He did not have room for the collection in his home. One day he came into the seminar room where many were shelved, and lambasted a graduate student working on her MFA for pulling down a book from a shelf to look at it. TO THIS DAY, I have never quite forgiven him. He is no longer alive, but that memory rankles. Eventually, his library became a bequest to the University, but many of the more fragile rarities were sold, and having been merged into the millions currently on the shelves of the libraries, it's hard to know which are his.
We do need to share. My collection is holistic, totally reflecting my outlook and learning experiences. I am not sure if another reader would have quite the same interests in making use of it. But that's not the point. If you expose books to other readers, you naturally want people to open them, look at them, and want to learn more about the artists, the culture, the history, how it might affect you to want to imitate, exploit, play with the images.
That being said, I've "cut" out pages of books that, to me, are art. Not on the subject of art, but are artistic creations. I take the page and frame/hang it. They tend to be books from a specific publisher, because the books are made in a folk art style and the book itself was handprinted and silkscreened. So the book as object is destroyed in order to display the art content. I've met many other people who do the same with these books, so I know I'm not alone--and yes, it is hard at first to "destroy" the books by cutting out pages! But the result is worth it.
Though I've read a couple hundred from cover to cover, most of my time with them is spent admiring and studying the illustrations. Alas, much as I love art I'm stuck 120 miles away from the nearest significant museum (no offense to the great local galleries!) and I have no car, so access to the actual paintings is hard to come by. Which is especially painful as a fan of Rothko! At least Miro translates well to book form. :)
I can't bring myself to cut up books. When I've ended up with duplicate books (rarely because I double ordered something, more often because I bought a lot on eBay or Craigslist) I've given the extras away. I'd rather something poster sized for my wall, anyhow, and I don't do decoupage. For some artists without posters available (I'd say I'm too poor to buy large prints, but the reality is the money goes to books) I've found the Super Poster Calendar line a good value.