Beauty and the Book: Pre-Raphaelite Artistic Practice Contained

This exhibition approaches the book as a ‘container’ for Pre-Raphaelite artistic practice and, thus, as an access point to multiple arts (poetry, illustration, typography, bindings). These elements qualify the book as an integrated, visual art object itself.  While there are multiple examples of Pre-Raphaelite book arts, this exhibit focuses on Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (illustrations by Dante Gabriel Rossetti), 1862; The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems by Christina Rossetti (illustrations and binding by Dante Gabriel Rossetti), 1866; Tennyson’s Poems (illustrated by various Pre-Raphaelite artists), 1857; and the legacy of PRB book practice in William Morris' Kelmscott Press. Each of these examples offers a component to the artfulness of the book, and all but one of these books are held in the University of Victoria's Special Collections and Archives. The application of codicological methodology to these books brings these artistic qualities to light and affirms them as art objects.



Josie Greenhill