Materialia Lumina: Contemporary Artists' Books from the Codex International Book Fair

Exhibition to show February 24, 2022 — August 28, 2022, in Cecil H. Green Library 


Stanford Libraries presents Materialia Lumina: Contemporary Artists' Books from the Codex International Book Fair,  an exhibition in two parts, Part I on view February 24, 2022, through May 21, 2022; Part II on view June 2, 2022, through August 28, 2022, in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda, Cecil H. Green Library Bing Wing.   

The CODEX Foundation was created in 2005 to preserve and promote the handmade book as a work of art and bring to public recognition the artists, the craftsmanship, and the rich history of the civilization of the book. The foundation’s mission is to bring the most accomplished artists, printers, and publishers of limited edition and private press books together in one great marketplace to share the work with curators and collectors from around the world, to explore new and old concepts of art and craft, and to engage in an ongoing conversation about the fate and future of the book as an essential art form. To date, the foundation has sponsored seven biennial book fairs and symposia with exhibitors from more than thirty-five countries, and the eighth took place April 10–13, 2022, at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. CODEX and the Stanford Libraries have been partners from the start. Stanford’s holdings of artists’ books and fine press limited editions number in the thousands. The Department of Special Collections has acquired several hundred works presented at the CODEX book fairs in recent years.   

Many factors are considered in acquiring work for the collections, among them typographic design and the geography of the page, artistic and literary merit, innovative use of technology, whether the book represents new practices and challenging perspectives, and how successfully it communicates the artist’s intentions and connects form to content. Beauty, the book’s ability to generate joy, and its relevance to Stanford’s academic program and the history of printing and the book are also key factors.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Stanford Libraries and the CODEX Foundation have jointly published Materialia Lumina: Contemporary Artists’ Books from the CODEX International Book Fair. The catalog features 75 works chosen as exemplars of high craft and book art by Peter Koch, Susan Filter, Roberto Trujillo, and members of the CODEX Foundation Board of Directors. The books are explored in critical essays richly illustrated with photographic images.

The books on display are cataloged in SearchWorks, Stanford Libraries online catalog, and can be consulted in the Special Collections reading room after the exhibit concludes.

The exhibit was curated by Roberto Trujillo and designed by Deardra Fuzzell, Exhibits Manager, assisted by Elizabeth Fischbach, retired Exhibits Manager and friend of the CODEX Foundation and the artists.


NOTE: Exhibit cases in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda are illuminated from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to call 650-723-0931 or visit the Library Hours page to confirm hours and access.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Learn about the Libraries' entry requirements and available services.