MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Art enthusiasts can now experience the beauty and diversity of artists’ books thanks to the new exhibition “By the Book: A Tribute to Dolph Smith” running through Nov. 26 in the Goodman Gallery at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
Memphis artist Dolph Smith is recognized for his art in a variety of media, including watercolor and sculpture, but among the finest are his artists’ books. “By the Book: A Tribute to Dolph Smith” is built around six of his examples, and honors him through the inclusion of 11 artists who have worked with and admire him.
Artists’ books have been described as cabinets of wonder, reliquaries, or portable studios that come in a variety of forms, styles, and materials. They can seem traditional with a cover and text, can challenge the notion of what constitutes a book—often appearing closer to sculpture—and allows artist a great deal of freedom to experiment.
Artists’ books are handmade by artists and exist as single objects or in very limited editions. Smith’s are all individual works.
The artists included in “By the Book: A Tribute to Dolph Smith” all bring personal approaches to their art, which is reflected in such issues as the materials they use and the forms the books take. The works ultimately express their individual personalities and voices, which can be seen in Smith’s work and that of his daughter Allison Smith and his colleagues, Alicia Bailey, Doug Beube, Margaret Cogswell, Daniel Essig, Julie Leonard, Randi Parkhurst, Robbin Ami Silverberg, Kathleen Strother, and Peter and Donna Thomas.
This exhibition is sponsored by the Klyce Family, Mr. Cecil Humphreys, and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene R. Katz. As the books in this exhibition cannot be opened and fully experienced, Smith will bring in other examples to demonstrate the various techniques and format he employs 2 p.m. Sept. 10. This special event is open to the Brooks membership.
For more information, visit www.brooksmuseum.org.
About Dolph Smith
Dolph Smith is a longtime educator, painter, and bookmaker from Memphis. Smith taught drawing and painting at Memphis College of Art for 30 years, developing a curriculum in hand papermaking and an artist’s book program, The Flying Vat. Smith was honored with the Humanities Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Germantown Arts Council and was the only individual winner of First Tennessee Bank’s Bravo Award. He was granted an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Memphis College of Art in 2004 and has received Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts, the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award in the Distinguished Artist Award category. In 2014, Smith received the Penland School’s Art and Educator of the Year Award. Smith now lives in Ripley, Tennessee, where he calls his home Tennarkippi.
About Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Founded in 1916 and located at 1934 Poplar Ave. in historic Overton Park, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is home to Tennessee’s oldest and largest major collection of world art. More than 10,000 works make up the Brooks Museum’s permanent collection, including works from ancient Greece, Rome and the Americas; Renaissance masterpieces from Italy; English portraiture; American painting and decorative arts; contemporary art; and a survey of African art. The Brooks Museum enriches the lives of our diverse community through the museum's expanding collection, varied exhibitions, and dynamic programs that reflect the art of world cultures from antiquity to the present. For more information about the Brooks and all other exhibitions and programs, call 901.544.6200 or visit www.brooksmuseum.org.
Art from everywhere. An experience for everyone.
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