Science library installs artwork giving new life to vintage book covers

May 31, 2018
Aparna Sharma
Karen Kinney

 Karen Kinney is a Los Angeles based artist whose work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her artwork was purchased for the Lionsgate film "The Lincoln Lawyer" and resides in private collections across country.

“Points of Departure” was previously exhibited at the Thomas Bradley terminal of Los Angeles International Airport. In addition to her installation and mixed media work, she has recently released her first book entitled The Reluctant Artist: Navigating and Sustaining a Creative Path, in which she explores creativity in depth. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

We are ecstatic that Karen chose to donate the artwork to us and let it reside in the Stanford libraries for visitors to enjoy.

Here's what Karen says about her art piece...

Points of Departure


Vintage book covers on wood panels

376.5” wide x 40.5” tall


Stories provide a window into time and place, offering encounters which serve to broaden and expand our world views. Illustrating the passage of time, Karen Kinney’s Points of Departure offers jumping off places from which to explore other worlds. This installation utilizes books printed prior to 1960, some dating as far back as the early 1900’s. Written accounts from a different era remind us of history and highlight cultural shifts and the evolution of human consciousness. They create a starting place from which we may dive deeply into an environment different than our own, learning to appreciate another experience, perspective, or culture. The linear sequence of the columns and the angles contained within each one represent the nature of a bridge, serving to lead us to new discoveries, and at the same time, reassuring us of common ground. Points of Departure is a metaphorical representation of the truth that we are all inter-connected, each piece an integral part of a larger whole.