Artists are frequently inspired by the past and aim to make work which speaks to future audiences, subsequent generations. Tandem processes of introspective questioning and retrospective storytelling often come together in the artist book format—giving reader and creator the opportunity for personal reflection. Artists books tell us stories by using narrative, structure, materials.


Paper Routes, the sixth installment of NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, showcases the transformation of paper into complex works of art. Artists use paper not merely as a support for drawings, prints, or photographs, but as a medium itself. Ranging in size from minutely detailed, small-scale works to large, sculptural installations, this exhibition explores artists’ ability to

NMWA presents a landmark exhibition of evocative and groundbreaking photographs by celebrated artist Graciela Iturbide (b. 1942, Mexico City) from her prolific five-decade-long career. Iturbide’s signature high-contrast black-and-white images tell a visual story of Mexico since the late 1960s. More personal exploration than documentary photography, Iturbide’s work captures the rich tapestry of

Revered for its velvety matte surface and neutral palette, the platinum process, introduced in 1873, helped establish photography as a fine art. The process was championed by prominent photographers until platinum was embargoed during World War I, but it attracted renewed interest during the mid-twentieth century from a relatively small but dedicated community of practitioners. This exhibition

Antiquarian Society (AAS), Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere, features 200 objects that re-examine Revere’s life, transforming visitors’ understanding of the innovative businessman through an in-depth exploration of his accomplishments as a silversmith, printmaker, and pioneering copper manufacturer. The exhibition draws upon AAS’s unparalleled collection of books and rare prints, with additional

Margaret Armstrong was one of the most sought-after artists in an almost forgotten chapter in the history of book publishing—the golden age of the decorated book cover (1890-1915). During Armstrong’s remarkable career, more than a million books with her covers made their way into homes and libraries across America. By 1895 the beauty of Armstrong’s cover designs had placed her as a preeminent

Can you judge a book by its cover? 19th century publishers vied to catch your eye–and your wallet–with glittering gold and vividly colored bindings. Mass-production made beautifully designed books widely available. New technologies stamped elaborate, multi-colored designs on book covers. 

Designs reflected the tastes of the time: Victorian, art nouveau, art deco, and arts and crafts.

During a time of globalization, colonization, and warfare, Europeans in the Renaissance embraced new technology even as they lamented its destabilizing consequences.

Renaissance Invention, explores the conception of novelty and technology through an unprecedented study of Nova Reperta, a late 16th-century print series that celebrated the marvels of the age, including the stirrup, the

Art denotes strategy, ingenuity, and imagination. While slaveholders and vigilantes threatened and attempted to control Black bodily autonomy in various ways across the Atlantic world, enslaved people and their allies artfully countered this malevolence via everyday and more formally coordinated kinds of resistance. With a principal focus on American and British efforts, this exhibition

Representative government depends on keeping an accurate count. As the 2020 Census kicks off, this exhibition from the David M. Rubenstein Americana Collection provides an in-depth look at the origins and story of the U. S. Census from 1790 through the 1800s, using 30 books and manuscripts that reveal the critical role the Census played in the development of the country. Among the highlights: