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Book Arts Collection

A guide to discovering artists' books in the Book Arts Collection at Hill Memorial Library.

About Pacific Editions

Charles Hobson established Pacific Editions in 1986 to publish his artists' books. Hobson's work takes inspiration from historcal sources, explores tactile book forms that emphasize sequence, utilizing structures like accordion folds, double bindings, gatefolds, and concertinas that one must navigate. In fact, the concept of navigation is a theme that appears in much of his work. Soft watercolors, chalk pastels, and monotypes are often his media of choice, therefore many of his books are produced by inkjet printing and embellished by hand.

Pacific Editions / Charles Hobson website.

Selected Works by Pacific Editions

Extracts from Eve's diary; Extracts from Adam's diary

Twain, Mark. Extracts from Eve's diary; Extracts from Adam's diary. San Francisco : Pacific Editions, 2003.
PS1309 .A1 2003 OVER, Rare

"The images of a running man and woman created as pastel monotypes are based on the human motion studies by Eadweard Muybridge made in 1901. The separate print entitled "Adam & Eve Embracing" contains the handwriting of Livy Twain in a letter to Mark Twain written August 5, 1903. The concertina and French door structure with cut-out pages and collaged folded sheets has been designed by Charles Hobson..."--Colophon.


Hobson, Charles. Flight: Tales of the Urge to fly from Daedalus to Lilienthal. [San Francisco, California] : Pacific Editions, 2017.
N7433.4 .H62 F55 2017 FLAT, McIlhenny Natural History Collection

"Each tale starts with a narrative of the attempt at flight followed by an image of the sky to which a paper airplane has been attached ... The airplane can be removed by the reader and unfolded to reveal a fictional message written to capture a personal incident in the life of the aspiring aviator..." --Artist's statment

Diderot Decaptioned

Hobson, Charles. Diderot Decaptioned. San Francisco: Pacific Editions, 2014.
N7433.4 .H63 D53 2014 FLAT, Rare

"The book contains some of the more intriguing illustrations from the [Diderot] Encyclopédie presented as vovelles with alternative captions to the original descriptions... includes a short essay on Denis Diderot and the Encyclopédie and a folder containing the vovelles." -- Artist's statment

1st image reads, "Damn predator drones!" 2nd image reads, "I'm ready for the flood but I need one of these birds for dinner."

Nelson and Emma: Aphrodite & Ares contemplate Admiral Nelson & Lady Hamilton

Hobson, Charles. Nelson and Emma: Aphrodite & Ares contemplate Admiral Nelson & Lady Hamilton. [San Francisco, Calif.] : Pacific Editions, 2008.
DA87.1 .N4 H63 2008 OVER, Rare

"The book is built around five signatures called 'intermezzos' attached to a concertina spine. Each intermezzo has a unique abstract acrylic painting on paper; an image of an historic sea battle printed on transparent film; a Renaissance-era painting of Aphrodite colored with acrylic wash; and a page with cutout windows. The book concludes with a pop-up square-rigged vessel containing the images of Admiral Nelson and Aphrodite." -- Colophon.


Merwin, W. S. (William Stanley). Trees. [San Francisco, Calif.]: Pacific Editions, 2010.
PS3563 .E75 T744 2010 FLAT, Rare
"The small tree in the opening at the front of the book is used to suggest the beginning of a recollection of trees in some distant, remembered time, following one of the threads of the poem. There are several ways to orient the book, much as the poem offers subtly varied interpretations. When one shines the flashlight on the tree and through the opening at the back of the book the light projects mysterious shadows of trees against the the luminous night sky.
A stop action animation about the making of Trees has been created as a video on Youtube. See the video.

Red Thread, Two Women

Sager, Paula & Lizbeth Hamlin. Red Thread, Two Women. [San Francisco, Calif.]: Pacific Editions, 2006.
PS3619 .A385 R4 2006, Rare

"The design of the book has been inspired by the poem and evokes the experience imbedded in the writing. The string/thread acts like a drawn line and can be moved around by the reader to change the “drawing” and the experience.

The reverse of the book uses images of beets, accentuating characteristics of the poem – their string-like roots and the fullness and ripeness of their shape. The back pages also carry and emphasize individual words from the poem: voice, awaken, heart, distance, silence, tears, flame, breath, birth." --Artist's website


Additional Materials about Charles Hobson

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