One of the more unusual additions to the Christchurch Art Gallery Library's artists' book collection in recent years is The Shock of the Newt which is included in Face Books at the Peterborough Street Library.
This book is a first edition copy of Robert Hughes's The Shock of the New, a classic account of western art in the twentieth century, recently gifted to the Gallery's library by Jim Barr and Mary Barr. Artists visiting the Barrs' house were invited to make additions / deletions to this iconic study on Modernism over the years and included among the pages is Julian Dashper's slightly tongue-in-cheek intervention with a reproduction of a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh. The artist's left ear has been cut out of the page, referring to Van Gogh's infamous breakdown when he cut off part of his own ear, and reveals the text beneath on the following page.
Other artists, including Max Gimblett, Marie Shannon, Neil Dawson, John Reynolds, Richard Killeen and more, abound throughout the pages.