Gunnar Kaldewey and the Global Book on Display in the Clark’s Library September 25 to January 26

For Immediate Release

September 20, 2006

Three extraordinary artists’ books produced by master printer and publisher Gunnar A. Kaldewey will be on view in the library of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute from September 25 to January 26. The display, Gunnar Kaldewey and the Global Book, includes works that were created at his press in nearby Poestenkill, NY.

Featured in the display will be Grimod de la Reynière, Hamburg, Kaldewey Press, 1976, with text by Austrian writer Franz Blei (1871-1942); Hiroshima Mon Amour: Synopsis, New York, Edition Kaldewey, 1985-86, with text by French writer Marguerite Duras (1914-1996); and Zakovannaia Fil’moi (The Celluloid Heart), New York, Edition Kaldewey, 1984, based on the film by Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930). Additional supplementing items related to the books will complete the display. The objects are on loan from Kaldewey and the Chapin Library at Williams College.

Artists’ books do not resemble most volumes found in a library. They are art objects employing a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs, or loose items contained in a box, printed in small editions. As with painting or sculpture, much of the "story" in these books is visual. An idea may be illustrated in the book's shape or binding, in the materials used, or in the artist's choice of images. Words may be used to reinforce a message, but they are not always essential to the book's meaning. Although artists have been active in printing and book production for centuries, the artist's book is primarily a 20th century form.

Kaldewey’s books are expertly crafted compilations of varying material from all areas of the world. Cedar tree bark from Japan, Plexiglas, Baja desert sand, handmade paper, and aluminum are among the many materials used in his “global books.” Born and raised in Germany, Kaldewey brings a European perspective to each project. His interest in Asian cultures finds its outlet in choice of materials, subject matter, and artistic collaborators.

This display completes the four-museum retrospective of Kaldewey’s books on view in the northern Berkshires this past year. The Chapin Library, the Williams College Museum of Art, and Mass MoCA have each presented a selection of Kaldewey’s books. A catalogue of Kaldewey’s books published to date is available for purchase in the Clark’s museum shop.

The Clark’s library is one of the major art reference and research libraries in the country. Its resources include over 200,000 books, bound periodicals, auction sales catalogues and current journals. It has a significant collection of both rare books and 20th century artists’ books. Arranged in open stacks, the library is non-circulating but open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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