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Anne Walker Artists' Book Collection, 1974-2006
7 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 114

Abstract:
The collection contains 34 books executed primarily in gouache and pastel by Walker with poetry or lines from various authors living or dead. Poets and writers include Michel Butor, Peter Davison, Emily Dickinson, Edward Kessler, Kenneth Koch, Ron Padgett and Henry David Thoreau. Also included in the collection is correspondence related to the books, exhibition materials, and general publicity on Walker.

Terms of Access and Use: Restrictions on use:

The Anne Walker Artists' Book Collection is the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Mortimer Rare Book Room
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Anne Walker is a printmaker and painter; she lives in Paris. Walker was born in 1933 in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1955 from Smith College; she spent her junior year in Paris, working at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse. In 1956 she returned to Paris to study with Johnny Friedlaender at his atelier; her first etchings were done there. She has continued to make prints, created etchings, and a number of fine-press books. Walker's graphic work has been exhibited worldwide since 1956 and is in public and private collections in Europe and the United States. Her husband, Bertrand Dorny, is also an artist.

In 1986 she took up painting, using gouache combined with pastel, a technique that has predominated in her work since then. With these materials she began exploring the format of the artist's book, which has allowed her to collaborate with poets and writers whom she admires-Michel Butor, Kenneth Koch and Peter Davison, to name a few. Much of her book work is concerned with the language of color and is characterized by a lyricism-sometimes playful, sometimes elegiac-that pairs well with literature.

Anne Walker has written the following about her artists' books:

“I believe the desire to create images originates in an early passion for pictures and paintings. Some of my fondest memories are of my illustrated childhood books, read over and over again, as much for the pictures as for the words. My dream then was to be an illustrator of children's books. Growing up in the Newton suburbs outside of Boston, where I was born, I was close to the Museum of Fine Arts, where I was enrolled in a Saturday morning art class by parents who always encouraged my interest in drawing, but I soon stopped attending in order to roam the more interesting museum. It was a wonderful introduction to seeing: having little knowledge of art history, I was free to admire or dislike as I wandered. The Oriental art rooms particularly impressed me.”

“Attending Smith College as a studio art major and taking my junior year abroad in Paris, where I was first exposed directly to the many forms of contemporary art, were essential in forming my vision as an artist. My first experiments were with printing techniques. I studied woodcutting at Smith with Seong Moy and etching with Johnny Friedlaender in Paris. Having taken up residence in Paris permanently, I could avail myself of the fine presses and printing studios to make numerous etchings and, most important, my first artist's books. These were made in collaboration with my poet friend Edward Kessler. Later, when I turned to using gouache and pastel, I began the series of 'painted books' which I continue to this day.”

“When conceiving a book, I work in harmony with writers whom I know personally, both French and American. Also, words of certain departed poets who speak to me across time can stimulate the visual pattern behind a composition. It is a question of words evoking images or, in direct collaboration with a poet, images evoking words. Because creatively I'm devoted to inventing landscape equivalences, the accordion form of 'folded paintings' suits my concept of an overall, amost unending piece that becomes a book when folded and can be read page by page, but that can also be viewed as a long picture, like a scroll. In my books I seek to illuminate rather than to illustrate the text, which the author inscribes after I've made the painting. If the poet is no longer living, I print the text myself in simple block letters. The words in the books are placed over and within the painting becoming inseparable from it, a form of intermingling that I try to render among the elements in the accompanying image.”

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Anne Walker Collection consists of a collection of her artists' books, letters and related items relative to the artistry of Ms. Walker. The majority of the artists' books were given to the Mortimer Rare Book Room as a gift from Walker in 2005 in celebration of her graduation from Smith College in 1956, with some of the others coming from other sources. The letters of Michel Butor were also donated by Walker. The other items in the collection are from various sources.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on use:

The Anne Walker Artists' Book Collection is the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Anne Walker Artists' Book Collection, Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Melvin Carlson, Jr., 2006


Additional Information
Contact Information
Mortimer Rare Book Room
William Allan Neilson Library
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2906
Fax: (413) 585-2904

Email: mrbr@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/rarebook
Language
English, French

Series Descriptions
(1989-2005)
2 linear ft.

Arrangement:

The collection of artists' books includes 34 books executed by Walker and inscribed with poetry or lines from various authors living or dead. Most of the texts by living writers are inscribed by them directly on the paintings by Walker. The artists' books are arranged by the author whose work is being illuminated by Walker.

(1974-2006)
.5 linear ft.

Arrangement:

This section contains letters to Walker, publicity materials and other items related to Walker's artistic endeavors.

Contents List
SERIES I. ARTISTS' BOOKS ,
(1989-2005)


Bachman, Ingebord. Im Gewitter der Rosen: In the Storm of Roses,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. Translation by Mark Anderson. (10 leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in slipcase) No. 3 of 3.
1990.

Box 1: folder 1
Basho. Book of Seasons: Haiku,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (34 leaves; 15 x 15 cm., in slipcase) No. 1 of 3.
1995.

Box 1: folder 2
Butor, Michel. L'Arrière automne, Text inscribed by Butor; signed by Butor and Walker. (14 leaves; 19.5 x 14.4 cm., in portfolio) No. 3 of 7.
2003.

Box 1: folder 3
Davison, Peter. Fogged in, Text inscribed by Davison; signed by Davison and Walker. (10 leaves; 10.5 x 11 cm., in slipcase) No. 3 of 3.
2002.

Box 1: folder 4
Davison, Peter. Thatch,Text inscribed by Davison; signed by Davison and Walker. (8 leaves; 15.5 x 12.5 cm., in slipcase) No. 2 of 3.
1994.

Box 1: folder 5
Deguy, Michel. Plafond sombre tire,Text inscribed by Deguy; signed by Deguy and Walker. (7 leaves; 14 x 9.5 cm., in slipcase) No. 3 of 5.
1996.

Box 2: folder 6
Dickinson, Emily. The Day grew small,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (8 leaves; 12 x 14 cm., in slipcase) [No. 1 of 1].
1992.

Box 2: folder 7
Dickinson, Emily. February Hour,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (8 leaves; 12 x 14 cm., in slipcase) [No. 1 of 1].
1992.

Box 2: folder 8
Dickinson, Emily. I Cannot Meet the Spring Unmoved,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (10 leaves; 18.5 x 10.5 cm., in portfolio) No. 1 of 1.
1997.

Box 2: folder 9
Dickinson, Emily. A Little Madness in the Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (10 leaves; 18.5 x 10.5 cm., in portfolio) No. 1 of 1.
Spring, 1997.

Box 2: folder 10
Dickinson, Emily. Of Bronze - and Blaze, Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (6 leaves; 14.5 x 10 cm., in portfolio) No. 1 of 1.
2002.

Box 2: folder 11
Kessler, Edward. After Holy Night, Text inscribed by Kessler; signed by Kessler and Walker. (8 leaves; 19.5 x 13.5 cm., in portfolio) No. 2 of 5.
2002.

Box 2: folder 12
Kessler, Edward. Cypresses,Text inscribed by Kessler; signed by Kessler and Walker. (7 leaves; 14 x 9.5 cm., in slipcase) No. 2 of 5.
1996.

Box 3: folder 13
Kessler, Edward. A Desert,Text inscribed by Kessler; signed by Kessler and Walker. (6 leaves; 19 x 14 cm., in slipcase) No. 3 of 4.
1997.

Box 3: folder 14
Kessler, Edward. The Elephant's Graveyard,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (10 leaves; 11.5 x 15.5 cm., in slipcase) No. 1 of 3.
1994.

Box 3: folder 15
Kessler, Edward. Gypsies,Text inscribed by Kessler; signed by Kessler and Walker. (5 leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in portfolio) No. 3 of 4.
1993.

Box 3: folder 16
Kessler, Edward. Words from a House,Text inscribed by Walker; signed by Kessler and Walker. (8 leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in portfolio) No. 2 of 3.
1992.

Box 3: folder 17
Koch, Kenneth. Endymion, Text inscribed by Koch; signed by Koch and Walker. (8 leaves; 18.5 x 11 cm., in portfolio) No. 1 of 5.
2000.

Box 3: folder 18
Koch, Kenneth. Nine Skies: A Likeable First Name,Text inscribed by Koch; signed by Koch and Walker. (6 leaves; 20.5 x 21 cm., in portfolio) No. 1 of 9. Collection "A mano" , Andre Biren, Paris. The poem inscribed is the first poem of Nine Skies; typescript of the poems Nine Skies laid in, and signed by Koch.
1993. 1994

Box 4: folder 19
Koch, Kenneth. Poem, Text inscribed by Koch; signed by Koch and Walker. (7 leaves; 14.5 x 10 cm., in slipcase) No. 2 of 5.
[1995].

Box 4: folder 20
Koch, Kenneth. Present but not Here,Text inscribed by Koch; signed by Koch and Walker. (8 leaves; 19 x 14 cm., in portfolio) No. 3 of 5.
1997.

Box 4: folder 21
Noël, Bernard. Le Reste du voyage,Text inscribed by Noël; signed by Noël and Walker. (7 leaves; 14.5 x 9.5 cm., in slipcase) No. 2 of 5.
1997.

Box 4: folder 22
Padgett, Ron. Solo for Piano,Text inscribed by Padgett; signed by Padgett and Walker. (7 leaves; 14 x 10 cm., in slipcase) No. 3 of 5.
1996.

Box 4: folder 23
Padgett, Ron. Thinking about the Moon, Text inscribed by Padgett; signed by Padgett and Walker. (8 leaves; 18.5 x 11 cm., in portfolio) No. 3 of 5.
2005.

Box 4: folder 24
Padgett, Ron. Two Haiku, Text inscribed by Padgett; signed by Padgett and Walker. (6 leaves; 14.5 x 10 cm., in portfolio) No. 3 of 5.
2001.

Box 4: folder 25
Padgett, Ron. Why,Text inscribed by Padgett; signed by Padgett and Walker. (8 leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in portfolio) No. 2 of 3.
1992.

Box 5: folder 26
Peyré, Yves. Pincées d'or ou d'écume, Text inscribed by Peyré; signed by Peyré and Walker. (9 leaves; 14 x 19 cm., in portfolio) No. 2 [of 7].
2004.

Box 5: folder 27
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Ode to the West Wind,Text inscribed and signed by Walker.

[See: Oversize]

1994.

Box 5
Thoreau, Henry David. Intangible,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (6 double-sided leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in portfolio) [No. 1 of 1]. Title from spine of the portfolio.
1989.

Box 5: folder 28
Thoreau, Henry David. Night,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (6 double-sided leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in portfolio) [No. 1 of 1]. Title from spine of the portfolio.
1989.

Box 5: folder 29
Thoreau, Henry David. October 3, 1858, Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (8 double-sided leaves; 15.5 x 12.5 cm., in slipcase) No. 1 of 1. Title from spine of the slipcase.
1991.

Box 5: folder 30
Thoreau, Henry David. Seasons,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (6 double-sided leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in portfolio) [No. 1 of 1]. Title from spine of the portfolio.
1989.

Box 5: folder 31
Thoreau, Henry David. Smile,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (6 double-sided leaves; 16 x 13 cm., in portfolio) [No. 1 of 1]. Title from spine of the portfolio.
1989.

Box 6: folder 32
Wilhelm, Evelyne. Mine de riens, Text inscribed by Wilhelm; signed by Wilhelm and Walker. (10 leaves; 13 x 16.5 cm., in portfolio) No. 2 of 7.
2004.

Box 6: folder 33
SERIES II. GENERAL MATERIALS ,
(1974-2006)


Letters from Michel Butor to Anne Walker, Written in French with English translation (1992 Jul 20, 1999 Aug 24, 2000 Feb 29, 2003 Jan 19). The letters are on large format postcards or other printed papers. Butor made additions to the design of the postcards and papers creating collages upon which he sometimes writes additional lines. Also includes a letter from Walker to Martin Antonetti (2005 Sep 10) explaining references in Butor's letters.
1994-2003.

Box 6: folder 34
Exhibition of Anne Walker's "Painted Books" at Neilson Library, Smith College,The file contains correspondence related to the exhibition, publicity materials and photographs. Also includes correspondence between Edward Kessler and Karen Kukil on the exhibition. An exhibition was held at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum of Bertrand Dorny's artists' books at the same time.
1994 Oct 10-Nov 30.

Box 6: folder 35
Exhibition of Anne Walker's artists' books at the Librairie Nicaise, Paris,The file contains publicity materials on this exhibition.
1999 Jun 3-30.

Box 6: folder 36
Exhibition of Anne Walker's artists' books at Smith College, Neilson Library, The file contains publicity materials and correspondence on this exhibition.
2005 Nov 8-2006 Feb 28.

Box 6: folder 37
Publicity materials,The file contains publicity materials from various exhibits of Anne Walker's works.
1974-1993.

Box 6: folder 38
Reproductions of Anne Walker's artists' books,
1998.

Box 6: folder 39
SERIES III. OVERSIZE ,
(1994)
.5 linear ft.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Ode to the West Wind,Text inscribed and signed by Walker. (14 x 303 cm. forming a circle and folded; laid in wood case with Plexiglas cover designed by Sün Evrard) No. 1 of 2.
1994.

Box 7

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Art, American-France-Paris
  • Artists' books-France.
  • Artists' books.
  • Butor, Michel, 1926-
  • Davison, Peter, 1928-2004
  • Dorny, Bertrand.
  • Expatriate artists-France.
  • Kessler, Edward, 1927-
  • Walker, Anne.

Contributors
  • Butor, Michel, 1926
  • Davison, Peter, 1928-2004
  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886.
  • Kessler, Edward, 1927-
  • Koch, Kenneth, 1925-2002
  • Padgett, Ron, 1942-
  • Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1886


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