Today's Hours

Library buildings are closed
while the College is closed.

See Library Services During Covid-19

Contact Us

Librarians are available via Zoom
Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Use Ask Us to send a question and
we'll set up the virtual meeting.


Werner Pfeiffer Exhibit of 3-D Books, April-July 2008

The Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College has organized a retrospective exhibition of the book-related work of the graphic artist and sculptor entitled, Werner Pfeiffer (censor, villain, provocateur, experimenter): Book-Objects & Artist Books. Exhibition on view April-July 2008, Neilson Library, level 3.

3D book of World Trade Center towers by Werner Pfeiffer
Date Event
April 3, 2008
4-6 pm
Opening Reception With the Artist
Book Arts Gallery, 3rd floor, Neilson
April 1-July 31, 2008
Book Arts Gallery, 3rd floor, Neilson

At the opening reception on April 3rd, Pfeiffer assembled his artist book Out of the Sky: 9/11, his tribute to the victims of the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001. This book, with a prominent sculptural component, engages the reader/viewer as he or she assembles a series of printed segments to construct a model of the twin towers nearly 6 feet high. Images and names of victims of this terrorist attack are revealed as the sections are joined.

For more information, please see the Smith College press release.

"Broken Markers" is a book-object created by Werner Pfeiffer in 1995. Pfeiffer uses actual materials which he combines to form a new whole, rather than sculpting the shapes. For "Broken Markers" he used an open book, which he glued shut and then coated in layers of white gesso, a painted stick, a coil, and a rubber sleeve.

More on the Exhibition

The exhibition features 39 objects made by Pfeiffer using real books. He has “silenced” the books by gluing the pages together, and he also adds ropes, nails, clamps, and hooks. The intention is to comment on censorship and to provoke reactions from his audience. The exhibition also includes 8 of Pfeiffer’s artist books, a genre loosely defined as books wholly conceived of and produced as the vision of a single artist. These books usually contain printed text and illustrations, and in Pfeiffer’s hands, a sculptural element which invites the reader to interact with the book by manipulating it in a way other than the traditional one of turning pages.

More on the Artist

Werner Pfeiffer, born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1937, has lived in the United States since 1961. He has served as a designer and art director on various projects and was appointed Professor of Art at Pratt Institute in New York City in 1969. His books, collages, drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures have been shown internationally in nearly 200 group and solo exhibitions.


Mortimer Rare Book Room
(413) 585-2906