MINE!: Rhode Island Collectors at the ATH Thursday, Dec 11 2014 

The theme of the Rhode Island Center for the Book, Art of the Book Program, is ownership. Book ownership marks, by libraries and individual owners, tell a story about the provenance of each book. Marks of ownership may include inscriptions, bookplates, stamps, special bindings, or binding stamps and they can be used to determine the collections, libraries, and booksellers through which the book has passed. This exhibit will showcase books from Rhode Island collectors at the Athenaeum and illustrate the institutional stamps that have been used since the founding of the Providence Library Company in 1753. Curated by Collections Librarian, Kate Wodehouse, the exhibit will be available until January 11th 2015.

BookPlateExhibit 005

There is a wonderful post at Melville House on the history of bookplates and especially note the examples from the Library of Congress.


Justin Rowe, Book Sculptor & Paper Artist Friday, Jul 26 2013 


Justin Rowe’s “Love’s bright dream”

UK Artist Justin Rowe has a marvelous portfolio of book/paper sculptures that are well worth your time. He recently had an exhibition at the British Academy’s Literature Week, this video is an expression of that work:

If you’d like to see Justin’s work on a regular basis you can follow him on Facebook. (Ravenous did)

Ravenous writes regularly on book arts, if you’re interested, here are some older posts.


Library Catalog Cards into Art Friday, Jul 12 2013 

Libraries stopped using card catalogs many years ago but the cabinets and the cards live on in an array of artistic ways.  Greenfield Community College Librarian Hope Schneider spent 14 years collecting author signatures on their particular catalog card then framed and displayed them on a wall in the library:

Photo credit: AP

Photo credit: AP

Artists like Vickie Moore use catalog cards as their canvas as this Library as Incubator Project interview explains. Here’s a sample of her work:

Photo credit: Library as Incubator

Photo credit: Library as Incubator

But the grand-daddy of all projects is from 1996 when Artist Ann Hamilton used 50,000 catalog cards to create public art for the then new San Francisco Public Library. The walls are covered in annotated cards:

6. San Fran. library_credit timothy hursley

Photo credit: Timothy Hursley

If you would like to try your hand at catalog card art you can buy them at eBay or Etsy for more than Ravenous would have imagined!

Ravenous has previous posts on card catalogs here.


Su Blackwell, Book Sculptor Extraordinaire Wednesday, Feb 27 2013 

Ravenous has found another wonderful book artist from the UK, Su Blackwell.  Here is a sample of her work:



In her profile she discusses her process:

I always read the book first, at least once or twice, and then I begin to create the work, cutting out, adding details. The detail is what brings it all together, the magic element.

To view more of Su’s sculptures go to her portfolio.

The Providence Athenaeum has a budding paper sculptor, Robin Wetherill, Circulation and Development Assistant. A sample of her work:


Creative and clever, what a great combination.

Dragonfly Bindery/Studio Exhibit Wednesday, Jan 9 2013 


John Russell Bartlett Society members Pat and George Sargent have operated their Dragonfly Bindery for thirty years, offering a wider range of services than most binderies, including restoration and design work that makes use of their art background and training as alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design. They have been able to challenge their creativity and explore new directions in producing unique bindings, casings, and displays for rare books and other printed artifacts which elevate the presentation up to and beyond the artistic level of the content.


The Providence Athenaeum will be exhibiting books, posters and artifacts in the Philbrick Rare Book Room from January 8th to January 29th.

The Sargents will be presenting a talk:  Looking Back at 30 Books from 30 Years at Dragonfly Bindery / Studio on Saturday January 26 at 1 pm.

Thanks to guest blogger, Kate Wodehouse, Collections Librarian



Luzinterruptus Wednesday, Oct 3 2012 

Luzinterruptus is an anonymous light art collective from Madrid that is known for taking over public spaces. Raven-ous is intrigued by the installation they performed in Melbourne Australia titled: Literature vs Traffic:

Books and lights are the medium and watching people interact with them is the entertainment.












There are many more photos here and for examples of other installations check out this Colossal post and Vimeo for some videos.


Thanks Christina

Roycroft Press Books Tuesday, Mar 6 2012 

The Providence Athenaeum’s collection of Roycroft books and periodicals, donated by longtime member and poet Brett Rutherford, are on display until the end of the month at the RISD Library. The exhibit is curated by RISD Librarian Robert Garzillo and highlights the graphic design work of Dard Hunter. The exhibit includes items on loan from Brown University, Providence Public Library, the University of Rhode Island, RISD Library, and the Redwood Library and Athenaeum.

On March 14th at 6 pm. in the RISD Library Special Collections Reading Room there will be a talk by historian Walker Rumble on Hubbard’s Roycroft: A Little Journey to East Aurora. This presentation is sponsored by the John Russell Bartlett Society. For more information check the RISD Library News.

Typography Wednesday, Jan 11 2012 

PBS Arts received many comments on this video but I liked this one: If words have meaning and type has spirit then handwriting got soul! shaunoconnordotnet

There are innumerable fonts and imaginative ways to express letters and numbers. Paul Octavious stacks books to create numbers.

BYGG Studios has designed an entire alphabet of stacked books.


Brain Pickings has put together their list of 10 Essential Books on Typography.

And the Athenaeum recently bought Simon Garfield’s Just My Type. As they say in the video: you need type again and again and again to get through the day, to live your life.



Thanks to @Brainpicker

Beatrice Coron Monday, Jan 9 2012 

Beatrice Coron has fascinating stories to tell and she tells them in silhouettes.  The paper cutouts take numerous forms from book arts to clothing to large constructed public art displays.  If you have the time (20 min.) the TED talk below is amazing:

I’d like to leave you with a quote from this Atlantic piece about her work:

In life, and in paper-cutting, everything is connected — one story leads to another. –Béatrice Coron

Guy Laramee, Book Sculptor Tuesday, Dec 27 2011 

Another wonderful book artist, Guy Laramee focuses on landscapes. Carving a hole in the top of this one to allow filtered light in is brilliant. For more pics of his work check this Colossal Art & Design post or this at the Huffington Post.

I wonder if the Athenaeum could afford one of his works. We could supply him with the raw material if he’d consider it.

Thanks John


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