Gaylord Schanilec
Gaylord Schanilec


The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries’ Kohler Art Library is pleased to announce the upcoming visit of master fine printer and wood engraver Gaylord Schanilec for the second annual Bernstein Book Arts Lecture on February 15. The public lecture, Playful Science, will be at 11:30 a.m. in room 126 of Memorial Library.

Under his imprint, Midnight Paper Sales, Schanilec has produced over forty limited edition books, which focus heavily on his fascination with the intersection of science and art.

“I’m interested in the intersection of art and science, especially the notion that scientists and artists do similar things,” said Schanilec. “Both observe the world and record their observations the best they can. One of the things I like is that science is constantly changing. We’re constantly pushing what we think we know in science. I enjoy this aspect, but as an artist, I also enjoy the luxury of not having to ‘prove’ anything from my observations.”

Pelicans - Copy
Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), Gaylord Schanilec

During his visit to Madison, Schanilec will describe his research and use of historical documents, as well as nature specimens gathered from his property and nearby Lake Pepin. Schanilec’s focus will be on his three recent books: Lac des Pleurs, Mayflies of the Driftless Region, and Sylvæ. Each of these majestic artist’s books reflect his abiding interest in ecology, natural history, and landscape.

“I’m always looking to connect to the historical lineage of a book,” said Schanilec. “The history of the book is a tremendous field of inspiration for me, especially when you consider how we access our knowledge today. I can Google a work and find digitized version of journals of the individuals I am researching, specifically talking about their journey as they came through Lake Pepin. The whole reason this type of work is taking off right now is because our knowledge base is so accessible.”

Schanilec has received numerous awards for his work including, the American Institute of Graphic Arts Award of Excellence; a Jerome Book Arts Fellowship; the Flanagan Award (Minnesota Book Award); Judges Choice Award, Oxford Fine Press Book Fair; the Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design; the Gregynog Prize; and was named an Honorary Overseas Member of The Double Crown Club (UK).

cover and box
Lac Des Pleurs, Gaylord Schanilec.

When he’s not traveling the world, Schanilec can be found working out of his press and studio in Stockholm, Wisconsin. It’s there that he says he makes sure to adhere to one of the most important principles he credits with his success: respecting time.

“Time is the essential element in all of our lives. We are in such a hurry that it’s rare that we get to take the time to let things develop,” said Schanilec. “I’ve been able to accomplish putting my books together because I take the time to let them come into being. The element of time, in general, is very important to me.”

During his visit to campus, Schanilec will hold a workshop for students on February 16. In conjunction with the lecture and workshop events, the Kohler Art Library will showcase an exhibition called Collected Specimens: Gaylord Schanilec and Midnight Paper Sales. The exhibit will be on view at the Kohler Art Library January 15–March 13, 2016.

the hungry mind
The Hungry Mind, Gaylord Schanilec

The lecture series is funded by the Leonora G. Bernstein Artists’ Book Endowment. Sponsored by Kohler Art Library, UW-Madison.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Kohler Art Library at 608-263-2256 or

To learn more about Gaylord Schanilec’s work, visit: