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Grant number like: PG-266627-19

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William Paterson University (Wayne, NJ 07470-2103)
Casey Mathern (Project Director: January 2019 to present)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$6,500 (approved)
$6,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2019 – 8/31/2021

Artists' Book Collection Rehousing

The purchase of preservation supplies and storage furniture to improve the long-term care of a collection of 411 artists’ books. These books date from 1960 to the present and were created by canonical twentieth-century artists such as Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari, Louise Bourgeois, John Cage, John Chamberlain, Chuck Close, Sol LeWitt, and Carrie Mae Weems. The books encompass a wide range of content and perspectives and a mix of formats, such as bound volumes, rollout scrolls, and accordion and pop-up books, along with various types of media, including collage, printmaking, and photography. They are frequently used in exhibitions, teaching, and research at the university.

The NEH Preservation Assistance Grant would allow the William Paterson University Galleries to permanently house its collection of artists’ books in archival enclosures for long-term preservation. This collection includes 411 one-of-a-kind and limited-edition books created by nationally and internationally-renowned contemporary visual artists, dating from 1960 to the present. The grant would allow the staff to acquire archival enclosures and a cabinet to rehouse the collection. The goal of the proposed project is to improve the current housing and ensure the long-term preservation of the collection. The long-term preservation of this collection squarely dovetails with the humanities mission of the University Galleries by introducing audiences to contemporary art through hands-on opportunities which link the formal elements and narrative content of these visual arts objects to diverse cultural and social themes, and promotes the development of critical thinking skills.