Wednesday 22 April 2015

Exhibition: The Kraszna-Krausz and First Book Awards (until 28/07/2015)

The Kraszna-Krausz and First Book Awards 2015 is a temporary exhibition in the Media Studio at London's Science Museum. I wanted to talk about it because of its creative approach to displaying books and the way it makes the content accessible.

Exhibition view featuring Lady in the Dark: Iris Barry and the Art of Film by Robert Sitton

On display are theory, coffee-table and high-end books - the exhibition style seamlessly caters for each.

The theory and coffee-table books are exhibited in two ways. Firstly, the desk-like tables have a dip built into them so the books can rest and be viewed fully. The dip ensures they don't move from their position. The books themselves are strapped to the display to keep them secure without damaging them. Secondly, above these are sealed copy of the books, so they can be seen from a distance.

Reading tables - detail featuring Stephen Shore: Survey.

The high-end books (limited editions of books, within uncommon structures or bindings) are exhibited in a slightly different way. A sealed copy is still presented, but below them is a touchscreen with page spreads, so visitors can flick through the contents.

The First Day of Good Weather by Vittorio Mortarotti

Several of the photographic books are supported by prints displayed on the gallery walls (this is a nice touch, as it gives the visitor a better idea of how the images may have been intended to be seen) and a book of postcards is exhibited next to the original postcards (so the visitor can see how faithfully the colour and size has been reproduced).

Exhibition detail featuring book and loose postcards from Mrs. Merryman's Collection.
Exhibition view featuring My Paper Chase by Harold Evans.

In addition the space is bright and well-lit, so the content can be seen at its best and the 'desks' all have chairs, so visitors can pull up a chair if they wish.

See here for more information about the prize.


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