To celebrate the acquisition of the Tom Phillips archive, the Bodleian Library has asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, 'ordinary' people could afford to own their portraits. Readers shows people reading (or pretending to read) a wide variety of material from the Bible to Film Fun, either in the photographer's studio, in their own home or holidaying on the beach. This book contains 200 images chosen with the eye of a leading artist from a visually rich vein of social history. Their covers will also feature a thematically linked painting, especially created for each title, from Tom Phillips' signature work, A Humument.
Tom Phillips CBE, RA, is a major British artist who lives and works in London. www.tomphillips.co.uk