Chapter Three

Wordless Picturebooks

A wordless book offers a different kind of experience from one with text…. Each viewer reads the book in his or her own way.

David Wiesner

A significant number of the artists' books discussed in the previous chapter are wordless books that could also have been examined in this chapter, including all of Warja Lavater's accordion books and Iela and Enzo Mari's picturebooks, as well as many works by Bruno Munari and Katsumi Komagata. With the exception of a few relatively rare artists' books often published for bibliophiles, the majority of wordless picturebooks prior to 1970 tend to be educational books with an explicit pedagogical purpose. An early French example, published by Nathan in 1902, bears the descriptive ...

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