Nashville Public Library Presents "Why a Beautiful Book?" Exhibit

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Gallery features rare showcase of Limited Editions Club books illustrated by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and others.

Nashville Public Library presents the Wilson Limited Editions Collection, featuring well known artist illustrations inspired by notable authors.

Interpretations of Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Ulysses by James Joyce, Three Poems by Octavio Paz and more are captured by famous artists as Pablo Picasso, Jacob Lawrence, Robert Motherwell, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Romare Beardon and Betye Saar.

The exhibit will run through Dec. 30, 2012. .

The Wilson Limited Editions Collection was donated to the Nashville Public Library by local author and book collector Dr. Sadye Tune Wilson in 2001, through the Nashville Public Library Foundation.

The Limited Editions Collection includes over 800 books, dating from 1929 to the present, most published by the Limited Editions Club and Arion Press, as well as separate portfolios of some of the fine artwork that illustrates many of the beautifully-bound books. Books and artwork from the collection are on display in the East Reading room at the Nashville Public Library downtown branch. Additional pieces not on display can be viewed by appointment by calling 615-862-5804, x6092.

About the Limited Editions Club

George Macy founded the Limited Editions Club in 1929 as a fine press book-of-the-month club. Publishing in New York City, the Limited Editions Club has never owned a press of its own. Instead, the books have been designed, illustrated, and produced by artisans in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 1978, Sid Shiff bought the club, bringing more emphasis to the artistic value of the books.

Over the years, such renowned artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Betye Saar, Robert Motherwell, and Willem de Kooning have illustrated the club's books. Mr. Shiff has worked with talented modern writers, such as Octavio Paz and Seamus Heaney, who each had works published by the Limited Editions Club prior to receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1983, the Limited Editions Club began featuring great African-American artists and authors, including Jacob Lawrence, Derek Walcott, and Maya Angelou. It continues to publish beautiful, unique books and prints.

More than 100 years ago, Andrew Carnegie built four Nashville libraries in partnership with the city. Today, the Nashville Public Library Foundation builds upon his historic vision by continuing to employ private funds to ensure great Nashville libraries.

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