Current Exhibit

Social Conscience: The Work of Maureen Cummins

March 15 - June 30, 2015image:  detail from "Crazy Quilt" by Maureen Cummins (1998)

In this exhibition the Kohler Art Library showcases its collection of artists’ books by Maureen Cummins.  She has produced over 30 limited edition books that tackle social justice issues: women’s rights, race relations, human oppression and torture, poverty, identity, and mental illness.  Cummins mines historic material such as original photographs, business documents, slave narratives, hospital records, or other archival matter to explore new and disturbing meanings in and around these issues.  The books on display are:  Accounting; Anthro{A}pology; The Business is Suffering; Checkbook; Crazy Quilt; Divide & Conquer; Femmes Fatales; In the Minute Before, In the Minute After; and Stocks and Bonds

Her working process has evolved from dumpster-diving in Brooklyn to being an artist-in-residence at major research archives, including the American Antiquarian Society.  She has received numerous grants, notably the prestigious Pollock-Krasner award.  

Maureen Cummins will be welcomed to campus as the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries hosts its first Annual Bernstein Book Arts Lecture.  Cummins will present Artist as Archivist: The Work of Maureen Cummins, on March 19, 2015 at 11:30 am in room 126, Memorial Library.  The public lecture is funded by the Leonora G. Bernstein Artists’ Book Endowment and sponsored by the Kohler Art Library.  

On view from March 15 – June 30, 2015 Maureen Cummins

Curated by Lyn Korenic, Director, Kohler Art Library

Image: detail from Crazy Quilt by Maureen Cummins. Rosendale, NY: Women's Studio Workshop, 1998.

Image: Maureen Cummins in her studio.


The Kohler Art Library regularly exhibits materials from its collections, such as artist books and illuminated manuscript facsimiles. Occasionally the library exhibits materials from other sources.