UW–Madison Libraries Services during COVID–19

COVID–19 Library Dashboard
Learn more about updates to library services

The Visual Narrative – Kohler Art Library Exhibit Showcases Impact of Book Art

October 17, 2014

Finlay, Colin. 12° N x 23° E, 64° S x 60° E.  [S.l.] : Definitive Stories, 2007.
Image courtesy: Finlay, Colin. 12° N x 23° E, 64° S x 60° E. [S.l.] : Definitive Stories, 2007. / Kohler Art Library
The Kohler Art Library is proud to announce its latest exhibit, “The Visual Narrative: Book Arts and Photography.” The display highlights the methods artists use to incorporate photography into book art, helping to create a visual narrative for stories around the world.

Photography is a relatively new story-telling medium that provides artists the opportunity to showcase events, people, and world issues in varying capacities. It’s also a medium that sees rolling change, improvement, and accessibility to the general public. The Kohler Art Library’s exhibit highlights the many processes available to not only take, but print photos.

“Working with artists’ books is always a rewarding experience, especially at the Kohler Art Library which has one of the most extensive collections in the country,” said Stephanie Lifshutz, an Art Department graduate student. “This exhibit features photographic artists’ books and highlights the many ways one can take photographs and print them using a combination of digital and alternative processes.”

A Midsummer Botanical (by) Bea Nettles / Kohler Art Library
A Midsummer Botanical
(by) Bea Nettles

While visual story telling is not new, photography provides a sense of detail that paintings and drawings often are unable to match. Each photo can look as realistic or manipulated as the artist wants. Now alternative photography and production methods are often abandoned for newer, improved, and more cost efficient options. Where a Polaroid was once the gold-standard of instant photos, it now pales in comparison to the ability to create instant, altered pieces through programs like Instagram.

Lyn Korenic, the Director of the Kohler Art Library, says the Visual Narrative exhibit is an example of how strong collaborative efforts between students and faculty can help bring to life a fascinating history, and process, of a medium many people view as commonplace.

“We want to collaborate as much as possible with other units on campus,” said Korenic. “The partnerships provide opportunities for students and faculty to join forces and work creatively with our extraordinary collections.”

The Visual Narrative exhibition was mounted in conjunction with the 2014 Society for Photographic Education/Midwest Region Conference, “Yesterday Today: Photography and the Archive,” held in Madison, WI from October 16-17, 2014.

The exhibit at Kohler runs through December 14.