The term “artists’ books” usually refers to the publication of works that exist only as books—not catalogs of exhibitions or monographs— where the affordances of the book are integral to the creative expression. Photographic artists books are a smaller subset of artists books—the technology of printing books with photographs used to be inaccessible to most artists, and the capital required to produce a book with those technologies limited output to artists and publishers with significant financial resources.
The exception was when artists gained control of the means of production and participated directly in the making of the book. I’ll present examples of this practice as forerunners of the Print On Demand photobook explosion of the past 20 years.
Clifton Meador makes books. His work is held in many collections, including the Library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Yale Art of the Book collection. His work has been supported by grants from the Rubin Foundation, the NEA, The Soros Foundation for Open Society, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was twice awarded a NYFA fellowship and was a Fulbright Scholar to the Republic of Georgia. He currently serves as Chair of the Department of Art at Appalachian State University.