The Art of Steampunk, Second Revised Edition
For obvious reasons of proximity, I was unable to attend the Steampunk art exhibit at the Oxford Museum of the History of Science in 2009/10. I saw images of the exhibit on the web, but steampunk images on the web were already a dime a dozen, and so the event made no lasting impression on me (I was busy with focusing on steampunk, so the art had become tertiary in my attentions). Since that exhibit, the first of it's kind, the exhibit saw a second life in the 2011 publication of the first edition of The Art of Steampunk. I was hip-deep in full-time teaching and finishing the first major draft of my dissertation, and could do no more than smile at seeing Art's name on the cover of a book in a Michael's craft store.
An academic study of steampunk art would face a tremendous challenge, far beyond the one I faced in my literary study. Focusing on which books to study for steampunk research would be relatively easy compared to the deluge of devices, contraptions, and artworks a Google search for "steampunk" produces. And while I'd never claim that the art in The Art of Steampunk is comprehensive, it is indicative of what I've seen at conventions and online. It also has the distinction of being the record of a museum exhibit, which indicates a certain level of exclusivity that academia tends to celebrate. And before I am accused of being a snob, please understand, I'm merely showing how The Art of Steampunk could prove a valuable tool in playing the game of academia. Instead of trying to choose from millions of images, the steampunk scholar can use Art of Steampunk to focus their attention on selections from these 26 artists. The second revised edition further highlights how steampunk art continued to change from 2009 to 2013, with 8 artists added to the original 18.