2019 is the 200th birthday year of Walt Whitman (1819-1892), who is known today as one of the most influential poets of the nineteenth century. In addition to his work as a poet, Whitman is also remembered as a book designer and printer, essayist and journalist. Calling himself “the Bard of Democracy”, Whitman broke the mold in his prolific writings – calling for equality, inclusivity and a more humanist world for all to live in.
The Center for Book Arts is marking this bi-centennial by looking at how Whitman’s writings have influenced contemporary artists working in the book arts. The exhibition, curated by Deirdre Lawrence, follows several themes Whitman focused on in his writings, providing the connective tissue that links these works together. Geography, history, identity and immigration are a few themes that emerge from the works of art on view. Whitman’s fascination with Ancient Egypt, photography as a branding tool, and his notion of the world as he imagined it are all evident in the art on view. These diverse objects range from books, drawings, photographs, sketches, broadsides and a scroll. For more information: https://centerforbookarts.org/2019/10/03/walt-whitmans-words-inspiring-artists-today/
Please register here for a private tour for ARLIS/NY members led by curator Deirdre Lawrence on Friday December 6th from 4:00-5:30pm. She will discuss the Whitmanesque themes that the artists have focused on in their work.