Rare Book School

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I-10. Introduction to the History of Illustration

Also known as History of Printed Book Illustration in the West

Erin C. Blake

This introduction to printed book illustration in the West from the 15th century to the present day presents a chronological overview of techniques, genres, styles, and artists. The course centers on illustrations in typical publications, with an eye to changing technology and changing reader expectations rather than aesthetic appreciation, although private press books and major artists are also touched on. The focus of the course is English, French, and American material, though book illustration in other Western countries is discussed. The course relies largely on original examples from the extensive RBS collections and materials in UVa Special Collections.

In their personal statements, applicants should describe their background (formal and/or informal) in the topic, and their reasons for wishing to take the course at this time.

Course Resources

Course History


This course is added to the bulletin.
Erin C. Blake teaches this course for the first time.