Morgan Library Exhibition and Book Mount
Imrey Culbert Atelier
In collaboration with Craig Intinarelli
Role: Project Designer
How can a mass-produced book mount be designed to fit the profile of a specific book?
How can exhibition design re-imagine the relationship between viewer and artwork?
For its grand re-opening exhibition after a large renovation and addition by Renzo Piano, the Morgan Library wanted a book mount that would be representative of the institution. Book mounts are fabricated to fit the profile of a particular book held open to a specific page, and are generally made from extruded or heat-bent plexiglass or foam. They cannot be adapted to hold other books or even other pages within the same book.
Working closely with curators, conservators, and fabricators, we designed a book mount that was sturdy, modular and reusable. The design is composed of a kit of standardized parts that can be assembled to form a customized mount for each book. The bases and angles are created in a pre-set array of sizes to allow for as many types of books and positions as possible.
The Morgan Library’s collection of first edition manuscripts, original sheet music and artists’ sketches composed the bulk of its opening exhibition. The rarity and fragility of such artwork generally discourages visitors from coming too close and looking too deeply. The design of the tilted easel encouraged people to imagine themselves as the artist, to lean in and become more aware of the subtleties and textures of the art.
In addition to the design of the book mount, responsibilities included contributing to the design of the casework and working with curators to create the layout of the exhibition spaces.