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Book Arts Collection

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

Works by African American Artists

Two African American portraits in profile surrounded by reds and yellows with protesters beneath them.

For My People

Walker, Margaret. For my people. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1992.
PS3545 .A517 F6 1992 FLAT, Rare

Lithographs by Elizabeth Catlett illustrate Margaret Walker's powerful poem, For my people, that both highlights African American struggles and celebrates Black culture and race.

Black and white abstract woodcut paired with text from Cane.


Toomer, Jean. Cane. San Francisco, [Calif.] : Arion Press, 2000.
PS3539 .O478 C35 2000 FLAT, Rare

Jean Toomer was born in 1894 and is the grandson of P. B. S. Pinchback, a Reconstruction politician who served as the Lieutenant Governor and briefly as the acting Governor of Louisiana. Toomer wrote Cane after spending time in Sparta, Georgia in the 1920s where he found the legacy of slavery strongly affected life in the Black Belt. -- Afterword by Leon T. Litwack. Marin Puryear is best known for his sculptures, and his minimalist, linear designs printed via woodcuts illustrate this text.

A small cloth dress is the container for a fabric book.

Island Girl

Banks, Alisa. Island Girl. Dallas, Tex.: A B Press, 2008.
N7433.4 .B36 I85 2008 FLAT, Rare

"Island Girl re-tells a story of longing, rejection, acceptance and pride that my mother, who grew up on the False River in Louisiana, often told us. It is in the form of one of the floursack dresses the children wore."--Alicia Banks

Shotgun style house accordion and tunnel book.

Poule Aye

Banks, Alisa. Poule Aye. Dallas, Tex.: A B Press, 2008.
N7433.4 .B36 P68 2008, Rare

Accordion and tunnel book structure exploring the artist's father's sense of place in Louisiana. The tunnel book reveals a shotgun style house and a 'field of text' represented by the accordion structure.

Overlapping wood type and large black African woodcut mask.


Kennedy, Amos Paul, Jr. Mask. Bloomington, Ind.: A. P. Kennedy, Jr., 2000.
N7433.4 .K46 A71 2000 FLAT, Rare

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. uses wood and lead type as a sort of vibrating image in much of his work, including this one. The poem "Mask" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar is the inspiration for this piece. This version is printed on handmade paper with heavily inked woodcuts and type, one masking the other.

Graduation portrait of a girl juxtaposed with a family portrait with poem titled

Lissen' Here!

Jones, Dorothy Mallory & Philip Mallory Jones. Lissen' Here! 2006.
PS3610 .O625 L5 2006 FLAT, Rare

Mother and son collaboration of poetry, family lore, family photographs, and found photos.

Sample of platinum, palladium, and cyanotype photographic prints by John Metoyer.

Blood Migration

Metoyer, John. Blood Migration. [South Dennis, Mass.]: 21st, published by Steven Albahari, [c2008].
PS3613 .E86 B56 2008 LARF, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Photographs by John Metoyer, ancestor of Marie Thérèse Coincoin Metoyer, the first freed enslaved person to build and operate a plantation. She called the buildings on the property Yucca House and African House. Later, the property became Melrose Plantation, where Clementine Hunter worked and began painting. John Metoyer pairs autobiographical poetry with platinum, palladium, kallitype and cyanotype photographic prints.

Colorful screenprint of animated minister preaching to his congregation.

The first book of Moses, called Genesis: the King James version

Lawrence, Jacob. The first book of Moses, called Genesis: the King James version. New York, N.Y.: Limited Editions Club, 1989.
BS1233 .L5 1989 FLAT, Rare

Bright, multi-colored, screen prints depict an animated minister preaching to his congregation, surrounded by stained glass, throughout this text of Genesis.

Bess in full profile holding a baby, surrounded by tall grasses.

Porgy & Bess

Heyward, DuBose & George Gershwin. Porgy & Bess. San Francisco [California]: The Arion Press, 2013.
ML50 .G384 P7 2013 OVER, Rare

Illustrated by Kara Walker via lithograph in her iconic silhouette technique.

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