Dispatches from the Catalog: The Greenberg Collection



Stack of books

Established in 1977, the Lurine Karon Greenberg Fine Arts Collection includes an extensive selection of fine arts books, exhibition catalogs, and other nonfiction books related to the arts. The collection is expanded every year with new books of outstanding quality and merit thanks to the trust fund established in memory of Jacob Greenberg’s deceased spouse, Lurine Karon Greenberg.

The GreenbergGreenberg Collection

The Greenberg Collection is located on the 2nd floor of the Central library building. Look for the plaque in the photograph above in the 700s section. Whether you’re interested in modern art or Impressionism, decorative arts or architecture, the Greenberg collection truly offers something for everyone. The five books featured below represent just a small sampling of the wonderful material that you can discover in the Greenberg Collection.

Whitney Biennial

If you like to keep your finger on the pulse of the art world, then the catalog for the Whitney Biennial is a great place to start. Held every two years at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Biennial features contemporary art by young and often lesser known artists brought together by a guest curator. This year’s exhibition took a new slant by including three curators and features a diverse array of art by 103 artists.

Whitney Biennial 2014, curated by Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner


There are art books, and then there are art books; which is to say, some art books go the extra mile in making not just the art contained in the book but the book itself beautiful to look at. Vienna-Berlin is a notable example. It not only features color images of works by many German artists but also includes insets of photographs of Berlin and other interesting related bits of ephemera from the time period in the margins. I was immediately struck by the marbled end papers and edges and knew this book would be something special.

Vienna – Berlin: The Art of Two Cities, edited by Agnes Husslein-Arco

Hi, Konnichiwa

Yayoi Kusama is a fascinating Japanese artist who has been working in a variety of media since the 1950s. She is known primarily for her brightly colored large scale sculptural installations, but this little book packs a punch by exploring her works in painting, photography, and performance art as well. If you are a fan of Takashi Murakami and Yoshimoto then you will surely be overjoyed to discover Kusama’s unique art and equally engaging personality.

Hi, Konnichiwa: Art Book, by Yayoi Kusama

John Ruskin: Artist and Observer

Known as a leading art critic in the Victorian age, Ruskin also produced exquisitely detailed architectural drawings, sketches, watercolors, and photographs. Interestingly, he was also involved in one of the most notorious scandals of the nineteenth century revolving around the dissolution of his marriage to Effie Gray. Marriage of Inconvenience by Robert Brownwell sheds light on that event.

John Ruskin: Artist and Observer, by Christopher Newall

Each book in the Greenberg Collection is also distinguished by this distinctive bookplate:

Greenberg plate

To explore more new art books that have recently been added to the collection, click on New Nonfiction in the New Titles area of the HPL catalog home page.

--Jeanette Sewell, Cataloging & Metadata

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