I-10. The History of Printed Book Illustration in the West

Erin C. Blake

Course Length: 30 hours
Course Week: 21–26 July 2024
Format: in person, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA
Fee: $1,395

This introduction to printed book illustration in the European tradition from the fifteenth 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 mainly 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 give their reasons for wishing to take the course and their background with the topic. Please note that this is an introductory course, so familiarity with the topic is not required.

Course History

Erin C. Blake teaches this course as "The History of Printed Book Illustration in the West."
Erin C. Blake teaches this course.
Alan Fern teaches this course as "Introduction to the History of Illustration."
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Erin C. Blake

Erin C. Blake

Erin C. Blake is currently the Senior Cataloger responsible for art and manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She first came to the Folger in 2000, as Curator of Art and Special Collections. In 2014, she became the Folger’s Head of Collection Information Services. After a four-year tour of duty in senior management, she happily returned to working hands on with the collection in 2018. Outside the Folger, she served as Chief Editor of Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Graphics), the national standard for art cataloging in libraries, and she remains an active member of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford, and has written and lectured widely on issues related to book illustration.

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