University of Oregon

Picnic Time! Food and Artists’ Books

Summer 2016


Architecture & Allied Arts Library
200 Lawrence Hall (1190 Franklin Blvd, Eugene)
Exhibit open to the public during A&AA Library hours

It’s picnic time! To kick off summer, the A&AA Library has installed a new exhibit featuring some of the unique, food-related items found in our artists’ books collection.

The books in this exhibition represent a wide range of creative approaches to book arts construction and concept. Included are a book printed on paper towels, a pop-up book about a high-sugar diet, a tunnel-book about making salsa, and photo journals documenting the experiences of a frozen chicken and a loaf of bread. Themes include childhood, the meat industry, food history, and consumption.

This exhibition features the newest addition to the artists’ books collection: Mortal Salt by Seattle-based artist Daniel R. Smith. The narrative of this nontraditional book is a poem by Karen Finneyfrock that tells the story of Lot’s wife from the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the story, despite warnings from God not to, Lot’s wife turns back to watch their city be destroyed and is turned into a pillar of salt. This poem is in her voice, justifying her decision to turn back and reprimanding Lot for not doing so. Conceptually strong in construction and format, this book gives voice to a woman who previously had none in a way that is both charming and appropriately critical.

For more information on the books in this exhibit, please visit our research guide.

The artists’ books collection is available for research. Use our online database in Oregon Digital to access images, and make an appointment with the art and architecture librarian ( to use the collection.

The A&AA Library is itself an ongoing exhibit with art, models, and other artifacts filling its spaces. For library hours, see here.

This event is free and open to the public. Accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided if requested in advance by calling 541-346-3056, or email

University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
T: (541) 346-3053
F: (541) 346-3485
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