American writers, artists, and publishers have long explored the book form — its intimacy, portability, and physicality — asserting its position as a multifaceted method of communication, as well as its significance as an evolving cultural object. The books that document these explorations raise questions about textuality, verbal and visual metaphor, tensions between language and image, and the shape of texts and books. The Collection’s strength in the vast and growing body of materials uniting art and text includes fine press editions and handmade works, traditional codex formats and imaginative alternative bindings. The history and development of books and literature in American culture is reflected in these dynamic materials. Image: Hart Crane, with photographs by Walker Evans, The Bridge, Paris: Black Sun Press, 1930.
Collection Highlights Exhibited in Multitudes: A Celebration of the Yale Collection of American Literature: Book works by Richard Brautigan, Hart Crane and Richard Benson, Rita Dove, Langston Hughes and Prentis Taylor, and Buzz Spector. Image, Text, and the Art of the Book–Checklist & Object Descriptions