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A Humument

Artist book by Tom Phillips
Two copies bound by Kelm
1989, 1991


Tom Phillips created loose prints that were produced and distributed over time.

Steve Clay of Granary Books commissioned Kelm to make enclosures for two complete sets.

In 1966 artist Tom Phillips set himself a task: to find a second-hand book for threepence and alter every page by painting, collage and cut-up techniques to create an entirely new version. He found his threepenny novel in a junkshop on Peckham Rye, South London. This was an 1892 Victorian obscurity titled A Human Document by W. H. Mallock and he titled his altered book A Humument. The first version of all 367 treated pages was published in 1973 since when there have been four revised editions. A Humument is now one of the best known and loved of all 20th Century artist’s books and is regarded as a seminal classic of postmodern art.

A Human Document text by W. H. Mallock, altered by Tom Phillips.

Enclosure by Daniel E. Kelm.


Fallback box opens to reveal telescoping top on the right with one of the interior prints reproduced as an etched copper label.