Explore the Mesmerizing Alchemy of Marbled Papers at the Grolier Club NYC

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023 - Saturday, April 8th, 2023

This winter, the Grolier Club in New York City—America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles—will celebrate visionary contemporary American artists who revolutionized and re-energized the creative legacy of paper arts. Pattern and Flow: A Golden Age of American Decorated Paper, 1960s to 2000s tells the story of 53 imaginative and innovative artists who, working independently and together, revived the largely forgotten arts of marbled and paste paper design. 

Pattern and Flow features a decade-by-decade look at the field through 150 objects from the Watson Library’s Paper Legacy Project collection, which documents the work and histories of American decorative paper artists active from the late 1960s to the present. The designs created by these grassroots pioneers and their followers take traditional art forms to new, expressive dimensions—some works are somber, with muted tones and subtle coloration, others are explosive in their use of color, hypnotizing ripples and wave patterns, or tessellated decorations. The colors and shapes allude to the seasons, the sea, geologic formations, and cosmic imaginings, or demonstrate pure and non-allusive abstraction. Decorated papers will be shown in context with rare books, objects, color recipe books, correspondence, photographs, and hand-tools used by the featured artists. An accompanying monograph, published by the Thomas J. Watson Library at The Met and distributed by Yale University Press, will be available in January 2023.

Mon – Sat 10am - 5pm

Open to the public free of charge

Please note: facemasks are not currently required, but strongly encouraged.

Ground floor gallery
Thomas J. Watson Library
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
47 East 60th Street

New York, NY

40.76400956369, -73.9699713

Explore the Mesmerizing Alchemy of Marbled Papers at the Grolier Club NYC