Monday, December 5, 2011

The Art of the Library Company

Papier-mâché binding, 2010
Jennifer Rosner, Chief of Conservation

The inspiring talents of a number of Library Company staff members are on display at the entrance to the Reading Room through mid-February.  The "Art of the Library Company" exhibition presents a sample of recent work by six current staff members paired with the sources of their inspiration--from an elaborate mother-of-pearl binding, to a broadside with a curious advertisement for the "Dance of the Six Dinner Plates," to a tiny paper love token found tucked in the pages of a bible.

Artists have long been drawn to the Library Company as a place to work, finding wonder and delight in the individual items in the collections as well as in the routine procedures of the library.  The work of collecting, preserving, and interpreting early American imprints and ephemera has also been known to inspire non-artists to express themselves creatively. 

The work displayed in this exhibition shows the breadth of forms in which Library Company artists work, as well as the range of objects, texts, and processes that have inspired them.  They include the arts of printmaking, poetry, bookmaking, collage, drawing, and painting, and were created by staff from the Conservation Department, the Cataloging Department, the Reading Room, and the Digitization Department. 

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