What is Ópla
childrens artist’s book Archive
Ó.P.L.A. MERANO

Why the artists’ books?
 
Since ever the artists have expressed their creativity in research as well as in the applied arts. In the graphics art, design, stage design they have experimented, introduced innovations, realized avant-garde ideas. In the publishing field as well, many artists, painters, sculptors, designers, directors, have consecrated part of their planning to the creation of books, and in particular of children’s books. From their art “courageous” books were born, which were set apart from standard books, different in images and text, as well as in layout, from the ones traditionally meant for childhood and adolescence. Books were born made of pictures without text, sponge, rubber, tracing paper books, books made of cardboard sheets collected in a folder, etc. which started the “book-object”.
 
Why a project dedicated to children’s books?
 
Because children’s books can be a decisive stimulus to curiosity and knowledge (of adults as well). Because children’s books today are acquiring, as far as circulation and use is concerned, a specific identity .Because we think that in this way attention is being paid to a sector where artists have attained, often unexpectedly, high quality results. Artists works dedicated to children, in fact, have frequently become examples of great creative freedom, and have given birth to some of the most significant and challenging productions in the field of publishing , opening up a path followed by children themselves and by the most attentive experts (professionals, specialists). Probably, the similar spirit (artist/child ) creates a working closeness and hence an affinity which appears, upon a second reading as extremely interesting. The peculiar relationship between artists and children’s books urged us to research, collect and supply with documentary evidence, what has been produced in this field, so that it can be studied, used, discussed. Ó.P.L.A.’s choice is thus to simplify as much as possible access to the collected material, making it available to anyone who might be interested on an amateur or professional basis.
 
Ó.P.L.A.’s target
 
Ó.P.L.A. places its documents (on paper and computer) at the disposal of scholars, teachers, historians, and critics to enable a deepening of knowledge, analysis, formulation of hypotheses, comparisons etc.; and also of graphic designers, illustrators, designers, publishers, researchers to grant them a chance to examine, compare, find inspiration, look at trends and styles, find relations; and of course it is addressed to children who will have at hand and at sight books and works often not well known, difficult to find, sometimes not even published as they are considered difficult for the market or for mass-production.
 
 
Project manager: Barbara Nesticó
Scientific advice: Marzia Corraini

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