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Text/Messages

Given the Walker’s dive into new media (this blog being a case in point) it may surprise some readers that the venerable Walker library is only searchable though an old-fashioned card catalog system. In a hallway between the library and the archives live three or four hulking pieces of furniture, which hold thousands of cards, […]

Given the Walker’s dive into new media (this blog being a case in point) it may surprise some readers that the venerable Walker library is only searchable though an old-fashioned card catalog system. In a hallway between the library and the archives live three or four hulking pieces of furniture, which hold thousands of cards, records for each book.

These somewhat esoteric index cards, punched with one hole at the bottom edge, and housed one after another in long, narrow drawers, formed the inspiration for the exhibition graphics of Text/Messages: Books by Artists, on view now in the Medtronic Gallery.

Making a direct link to its origin — the library and the permanent collection–generated the visual identity of the exhibition and the related event mailer. Through several discussions between the designer and the co-curator of the exhibition — librarian Rosemary Furtak — a call number for the exhibition was created,

N
7433.4
. W353
A4
2008

The typeface Monospace Century Schoolbook is used to capture the look and feel of the original cards, which are still produced with a typewriter. The manila paper stock further emphasizes this relationship.
The call number became an essential element in the visual identity for the exhibition, as well as the color of the paper stock which is used on the gallery walls and title graphics.

Eventually, a limited edition publication listing the the appropriate Dewey Decimal call number for each book in the exhibition will be available in the library (shelved under our new custom call number), allowing the show to be recreated by visitors to the library. Embedded in the design system is a mechanism that essentially returns the art objects back to their origin as books in the library, keeping the exhibition alive forever!

  • K.LeFebvre says:

    i thought this show was great lots of good ideas! i need to do an art book in one of my classes and this was a inspiration!

  • Samantha says:

    This is so adorable, yet really meaningful. Kudos!

  • A. GoldBerg says:

    100mem.

  • Congratulations. What a wonderful idea. I look forward to purchasing the limited edition publication. I am currently working on an installation project using catalog cards and thankfully have boxes of them.

  • Brita says:

    Love it!

  • The Walker is really cool. You should visit it the next time you are in Minneapolis. It is not far from downtown, and has an incredible outdoor sculpture garden (free) next door. I saw the Frida Kahlo exhibit there. That exhibit was awesome!

    This comment was originally posted on librarian.net

  • Shannon says:

    The Walker’s librarian, Rosemary, is awesome and her collection of artists books is really cool. The text/messages show is over, but the library has a display case that she changes seasonally. Unfortunately, unless you have an appointment in the library, the only place to see them is flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkerart/sets/72157606222409902/.

    This comment was originally posted on librarian.net