Ruth Laxson Artist Book Archive

Ruth Laxson, an Atlanta-based artist, studied printmaking, drawing, and painting at the Atlanta College of Art from 1958-1965.  For many years she was a printmaker, poet, and performance/installation artist before coming to artist’s books.  She founded her own imprint, Press 63+ at the age of 63.  Using a variety of techniques such as letterpress, etching, offset, collage and drawing, Laxson produces visually playful content-driven books.

Ruth’s visual poetry, use of symbols, rebuses, and inventive hieroglyphics, hand-drawn images, and shaped texts are rich in texture, pattern and rhythm.  Her pages seem to break all the rules of printing and layout.  In addition to her quirky visual poetry and playful use of text and image, she is also known for her highly relevant social and political commentaries.

During her career Ruth has produced 30 artist’s books and the RISD Library has over 25 of these books in its Artists’ Books Collection.  In 2004 Ruth donated her bookmaking process archives to the library.  This collection is comprised of research notes, preliminary sketches, text edits, camera-ready pages, test prints, extra printed pages and mock-ups for these books.

The Fleet Library at RISD mounted an exhibition of Ruth’s books and materials from her Archive entitled IT IS UP TO US IF WE GO ON AS IS: Ruth Laxson’s Persistent Muse, May 9-July 3, 2008.  Copies of the accompanying exhibition catalog are available in Special Collections.  Here is a link to a posting on the our.risd blog.




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