from Plant Kingdoms The Photographs of Charles Jones

A favorite way we’ve found to savor an artwork or image without owning it is simply to prop a book with the work open against a wall, on a shelf or sideboard or mantle. Every time we pass by or glance up, it is there for us to enjoy. When we tire of it, or become “blind” from seeing it frequently, we open the book to another page, or display another open book altogether.

We’ve found this is a great way to put ideas we want to remember in our field of vision…

For example, it allows us to have flowers in our place when no live ones are available or worth buying, like the begonia and sunflower, above, from Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs of Charles Jones

We can contemplate  photographer Lynn Davis’ beautiful Walking Buddha, from her book Monument

Walking Buddha by Lynn Davis in Monument

…or the extraordinary images of a woman brushing her hair made by Yasuzo Noijma
in 1930:

Woman Brushing her Hair by Yasuzo Nojima 1030

Sometimes, we like to be reminded of expansive places in nature, as well as another time, like these waterfalls from The American Space: Meaning in the Nineteenth-Century Landscape Photography

image from The American Space

…The enduring images are from books we’ve had for many years, bought at second-hand stores or given to us by friends. We never tire of them. Our current favorite book to prop open is Tantra Song, which we wrote about recently.

image from Tantra Song

The possibilities are endless. And if you don’t want to own the book, BORROW it, from a friend or the public library, enjoy it, then give it back…

Related posts: mimimalist book bar/paperweight (d-i-y or buy)
stacked-book display cases and other great ideas via scott newkirk
career change: mark givre reinvents the book business (and his life)
mary delany and late blooming
marcel breuer: sun and shadow, the philosophy of an architect

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One thought on “open art books as decoration + artwork

  1. Simple & elegant. I always want to buy those big beautiful art/photography/architecture books but then i think ‘it will just wind up on a shelf and i’ll probably never get it out to look at” so i don’t buy it. this is the answer.


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