The book of exile. G. Haffern (1992). General Library Special Collections Artists' Books, AB 92-4

Special Collections artists’ books display

Special Collections is marking the relocation of the Fine Arts Library material with a display of artists’ books.

The featured works are by Katrina van Roon, Teri Moon, and Gail Haffern. Haffern was the first person in New Zealand to gain a doctorate in fine arts, a former teacher at Elam School of Fine Arts and staff member of the Fine Arts Library.

While difficult to categorise, artists’ books evolved in the mid-20th century when artists began experimenting with book formats as a means of expressing their ideas. The works by Moon and van Roon can be described as altered books and illustrate some of the ways in which artists aim to expand the physicality of the book.

The works were chosen by Samantha Doherty, who has been working with us to help with the safe transfer of Fine Arts material to Special Collections. They are beautiful examples of the diversity seen among artists’ books.

These and other special collections from the Fine Arts Library, including books, archives and art ephemera, can now be accessed by all in the Special Collections Reading Room.

View the display until Friday 6 March at Special Collections, Level G, General Library.

Nigel Bond, Special Collections Team Leader


Haffern, G. (1992). The book of exile. General Library Special Collections Artists’ Books AB 92-4