Magic books but not only: Pop-ups, pop-outs, pull down, collages, foldouts!

Bibliothèque d’Art et d’Archéologie of Geneva (BAA) holds many curiosities in its contemporary collection. Among these are books containing collages and foldouts that spring up out of the original format, into three dimensions or unusual shapes.

The Library exhibits about thirty of those fragile works, and among these are the works of two contemporary artists, the American artist Tauba Auerbach and the Swedish artist Jockum Nordström.

These surprising pieces show the artists creativity of the book – a two-dimensional shape used as an experimental playground.

This exhibition is concentrating on pop-up books created by artists. From children books, science books or manuscripts, to the classics like “The Little Prince” or “Moby Dick” which are iconic works for the history of books.

The Pop-ups are works that have been designed by specific artists developing their own concept, above standards and collections imposed by publishers. Some artists like Niki de Saint-Phalle, Robert Filliou, Marcel Broodthaers or Christian Boltanski are realizing real works of art. They saw in “pop-up” a creative way of book design.

In time, the book concept has reinvented itself under the influence of poets, artists and publishers. The artists experiment even more nowadays, as books have became a multimedia means of expression.

 History of Pop-ups

The audience for early movable books were adults, not children. It is believed that the first use of movable mechanics appeared in a manuscript for an astrological book in 1306.

Throughout the centuries the movable books have been used for such diverse purposes as teaching anatomy, making astronomical predictions, creating secret code, and telling fortunes.

While it can be documented that books with movable parts had been used for centuries, they were almost always used in scholarly works. It was not until the 18th century that these techniques were applied to books designed for entertainment, particularly for children.

Ernest Nister and Lothar Meggendorfer produced the first real pop-up books. These books were popular in Germany and Britain during the 19th century.

Go get inspired for Christmas three-dimensional cards and greeting cards!

Open until April 31st 2013 from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon. Closed on Sundays. Free admission.

Bibliothèque d’art et d’archéologie

Promenade du Pin, 5

CH-1204 Genève.

About the Author
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I am originally from Bucharest, Romania and some of the things I enjoy are life, Art and Geneva. I arrived in Geneva almost a decade ago and after all these years, I am still very much in love with its size, its sunsets, the lake, its diversity and mix of cultures. I am passionate about Art because it allows me the freedom to imagine anything I want, there are no restrictions or mistakes. It’s a world where everything is possible. And I enjoy life because all those small things make me happy! I am in charge of the Art &Culture section and with my articles, I’ll try to show Biskotti readers Geneva’s cultural side through my eyes. Stay tuned!