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Treasures from the shelves

A one-of-a-kind art collection is available to library patrons interested in the arts, architecture and creativity.

The Katherine W. Dumke Fine Arts & Architecture Library maintains a one-of-a-kind collection serving to deepen understanding and inspire those interested in the arts and creativity.

Our collection is a blend of unique objects and rare materials, purchased over many years in support of academic programs in the colleges of Art and Architecture + Planning. Below are seven examples of treasures pulled from our shelves.

Creator: Josef Albers, 1972, Library record:

1. “Formulation: Articulation”

“Formulation: Articulation” was produced by Josef Albers just a few years before his death and is often considered a final summation of his distinguished career. This portfolio of silkscreens is one of only 1,000 ever produced and each image was hand selected and arranged by the artist himself. Our library also owns an original edition of his iconic “Interaction of Color” and both works would be ideal study objects for students interested in color and color theory.

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2. “Blanche neige : une imagerie d'après le conte”

“Blanche neige,” translated from French, means “Snow White,” and this artist’s book is a direct reference to the iconic fairy tale of the same name. The book is one from a series that explores classic fairy tales through abstracted symbols and color. Our library holds an extensive collection of artist’s books and helps to support those enrolled in the Book Arts program as well as anyone interested in the medium.

Creator: Marcel Duchamp, 2015, Library record:

3. “Boîte-en-valise, grande boîte”

This reproduction of a Duchamp “Boîte-en-valise” is an opportunity for visitors to handle and explore one of the artist’s most iconic endeavors. In the early to mid-20th century, Marcel Duchamp created a series of suitcases and boxes containing copies of his work. Through his work, Duchamp was constantly questioning what art was and how reproduction, fame and economic markets impacted art consumption. Our reproduction allows visitors to interact with a “Valise” in the way Duchamp intended.

Creator: Frank Lloyd Wright, 1977, Library record:

4. Selected drawings portfolio

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture has had an immeasurable impact on commercial and residential building across the world. This limited-edition portfolio includes 150 of his most recognizable and influential projects, drawn by Wright himself and beautifully reproduced by A.D.A. Edita in Japan. Visitors will be mesmerized by the architect’s skill in design and delighted by the unique format of this work. Students and fans of architecture won’t want to miss experiencing this publication firsthand.

Creator: Warja Lavater, 1974, Library record:

5. n.paradoxa

The Fine Arts & Architecture Library owns a complete set of the n.paradoxa series, an international feminist art journal published from 1998 to 2017. The journal published articles “written by women critics, art historians and artists which extend feminist art, theory, criticism and history on and about the work of contemporary women artists.” n.paradoxa is a highly influential publication and should be of interest to anyone interested in art and feminist theory after 1970.

Creator: John Constable, 1981, Library record:

6. “Constable with his friends in 1806”

John Constable was a 19th century English artist who, despite little financial success during his lifetime, has become one of the most beloved British painters of all time. Constable is known for his devotion to drawing and painting directly from real life, inspired by the world around him and eschewing fanciful scenes pulled from the imagination. His sketchbooks, and their facsimiles owned by the library, highlight the artist’s practice of creating studies while in the real world and outside of the studio. Handling our facsimiles transports the viewer through the English countryside and directly into Constable’s creative process.

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7. Visionaire 55: “Surprise”

Visionaire is an art publication devoted to creating unique issues through collaboration with artists, designers, fashion icons and photographers. Due to the time and resource-intensive nature of the publication, issues are distributed rarely and in limited numbers. Our library has an extensive collection that we are committed to expanding over time. This issue, titled “Surprise,” adapts 10 works by prominent artists into a format resembling a child’s pop-up book. Publishers worked with paper engineer Bruce Foster to create these fantastic scenes for viewers to manipulate and enjoy.

Our library is located on level two of the J. Willard Marriott Library. Anything in our collection may be examined in the building during all hours the library is open. Simply request any title at the Knowledge Commons desk and provide your UCard or borrower’s card and the item will be delivered to you. For questions or additional information, please feel free to contact Luke Leither at