Essential Reading is a project that aims to enlarge, diversify and enrich Kunstenbibliotheek’s book collection. Which books are, today, really indispensable for an art library? Guests of Essential Reading bring together and present in the library the books they consider most valuable in their life and work.
BOEKS is a platform for showing books on the Bijloke site in Ghent. Every month, for one night, a book, its maker and publisher take center stage. Afterwards, remains stick around on walls, ceilings and floors. Along the way a BOEKS collection comes into being.
BOEKS celebrates printed matter, thick and thin, young and old, unique and serial, legible and illegible. Above all, BOEKS loves and highlights precisely those books that ask for it, because they are good, still unknown or fed up with the stacks or boxes they are confined to. BOEKS collaborates, contextualizes, supports and produces. The platform shows text, visual art and graphic design.
BOEKS is houses in a 15th-century convent corridor connecting the Kunstenbibliotheek with the STAM. BOEKS is an initiative of KASK and the Kunstenbibliotheek.
More info at boeks.gent
In 2015 1m3 was initiated as an exhibition space dedicated to artists’ books from Kunstenbibliotheek’s collection. A guest curator is asked to make her/his selection from the library and present it within the vitrines of 1m3.
With Summershelves our library invites a smaller book collection to present their library in our Cellarium throughout the summer.
Research can be a maze many struggle to make sense of. With our little selection on specific topics, the Kunstenbibliotheek is trying to help you find your way through our vast collection. Since we constantly are making an effort to give space to & focus on marginalized topics, these lists will be regularly updated. We are still learning. Our little labyrinth logo on the book’s spine will help you find the suggested books in the shelves. Enjoy!
Kunstenbibliotheek holds a collection of 100 000 titels (books, catalogues, magazines, dvd’s,…) with a focus on contemporary art (dance, performance, visual art, film, photography, architecture), arttheory, design, landscape architecture and urbanisation, bringing together the libraries of KASK/School of Arts, SMAK, Design museum Gent, STAM, HISK and Gentse Gidsen.
Kunstenbibliotheek contains a special collection of artist books and the collection Karel Geirlandt.
Kunstenbibliotheek closely follows up the artscene and weekly presents new aquisitions. Next to general collection development, Kunstenbibliotheek focusses on the following themes:
• The city of Ghent, books on artists, designers, architects or writers born or living in Ghent.
• Publications linked to the activities of Kunstenbibliotheek’s different partners (KASK, Design museum Gent, HISK, SMAK, STAM, Gentse Gidsen). Kunstenbibliotheek’s collection wants to become an accurate reflection of the activities of collaborators, staff, guests, alumni or students)
• Positions from the so-called geographical and/or intellectual periphery: publications on art and art theory from Asia, Middle East, Africa, South America with a special attention for decolonization theory, gender and LGBTQ studies.
• In the past three years a first catch-up movement was made in collecting publications about and from female artists and/or authors or curators. Kunstenbibliotheek continues this policy in the year to come.
The artists’ books collection comprises different types of artist’s publications, limited editions, book objects, and other multiples. The collection is devoted to historical as well as contemporary bookworks. A large part of the historical collection comprises books of the 20th century avantgarde movements and minimal art, whereas the contemporary section has a specialized focus on artist’s self-publishing of the recent years.
In addition to the self-published works by artists, the collection carries works by specialised publishers such as Lubok, Motto Books, MER Paper Kunsthalle, Art Paper Editions, Roma Publications, and Imschoot Uitgevers, etc. The collection can be consulted via the online catalogue and the image bank. The publications themselves are available on request by making an appointment.
A selection of the book presentations can be found at:
The current volumes of the magazine subscriptions are available in the art library but are not lent out. Articles from previous years can be requested by e-mail.
The Karel Geirlandt Collection is named after the first chairman of the Association for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent (now SMAK). The collection was started when the Association was founded and grew with the museum. It forms a closed whole and contains books on art from 1945 to 2003 with a specialisation in conceptual and minimal art in Europe and the United States, and the artworks and artists collected by SMAK. This collection can only be consulted in the library.
Consult the databases at home (only for students and staff KASK & Conservatorium)
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) was founded by painter Ph. K. Marissal in 1751. KASK’s archive dates from 1770 and was supplemented until the middle of the 20th century. It consists of an arts archive and an administrative archive.
The arts archive consists mainly of academic drawings, architecture and visual arts, as well as sculptures, paintings and posters. The academic drawings contain examples of the different drawing methods that were taught, more specifically drawing according to prints, plaster or living models.
The collection includes drawings by artists from the Latem group, such as Gust De Smet, Léon De Smet, Albert Servaes and architectural drawings by former students such as Alphons Groothaert, Victor Horta, Geo Henderick, Gaston Eysselinck, paintings awarded the J.Pipyn prize by H.Malfait, J.Burssens, Steve Schepens, Steven Balen and others.
The art archive can be consulted via the catalogue and the image bank http://bib.hogent.be and can be viewed by appointment.
In the summer of 2018 Kunstenbibliotheek started its Zine collection to preserve recent & independent creations. This unique collection is constantly growing and we invite artists and writers to send us their self-published printed works.