In the 16th century, an Italian artist named Cesare Vecellio began to use the long “fourth” outside edge of books as a canvas on which to make small paintings.

Bienecke Library

Fore-edge painting had been done since the tenth century as a way of identifying books, but Vacellio may have been the first to push them into art.

Bienecke Library

We never imagined those edges as a canvas. It has us wishing for lovely, somewhat mysterious bonus on the edge of our books…

…And looking around at the many spaces waiting in plain sight for our creative mark.

Keith Haring transforming a subway ad space: Tseng Kwong Chi

Discovered on the Bieneke Library instagram

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