Editors: Michelle Elligott and Tod Lippy
Publisher: Esopus Books (2020)
More than a year in the making, the 354-page book features all 18 installments of the eponymous series that appeared in issues of Esopus—several of which are sold out—from 2006 to 2019. Modern Artifacts offers readers a virtual visit to MoMA’s extraordinary collection—ranging from documentation related to never-before-realized exhibitions to pages from the Museum’s first guest book—curated and introduced by MoMA’s Chief of Archives, Library, and Research Collections Michelle Elligott. Items are reproduced in facsimile to approximate the experience of being in the archives, and a number of these are presented as removable inserts.
Six contemporary artists—Mary Ellen Carroll, Rhea Karam, Mary Lum, Clifford Owens, Michael Rakowitz, and Paul Ramirez Jonas—have contributed projects related to a particular aspect of the archives. These vital contributions appear throughout the book, which also includes an introductory essay by Elligott and a foreword by Esopus editor Tod Lippy.