Art in Cabell Library

James Branch Cabell Library houses dozens of pieces of art throughout the building.

Found immediately inside the front doors is The Fall Line, a wood sculpture — and functional bench — that evokes the 7-mile section of the James River that runs through Richmond. It was created by Heath Matysek-Snyder, former assistant professor in the Department of Craft/Material Studies and lead professor of the wood area in the School of the Arts

Beyond the bench, from oil to acrylic and statue to digital posters, many mediums line the walls of all five floors. No piece is the same. Each one brings its own different and unique story to Cabell and those who walk it everyday. Pieces range from those by VCU artists to renowned internatinal artists such as alumni illustrator Charles Vess, known for his fantasy comic arts and drawings.

“I feel that art activates our library spaces and make them lively and engaging,” says Yuki Hibben, assistant head and curator of books and art for Special Collections and Archives. “Most of the artwork on display is from VCU alumni, faculty and staff, which allows us to connect to our community and stimulate discussion.” Many of the works on display are from the  housed in Special Collections and Archives. 

Explore VCU Libraries Flickr Album of art found throughout Cabell library. Below is a sampling of some of these pieces and where they are located:

First floor:

On the first floor, “Rock” is located on the Compass side of the library.

"Rock," 1989
Philip Knoll
Acrylic on canvas
Anderson Gallery Collection, 2000.4
Special Collections and Archives

Also on the first floor located on the Compass side is “Damien and Cosimo.”

"Damien and Cosimo," 1985 
Hunt Slonem
Oil on canvas
Gift of C.E. Slonem
Anderson Gallery Collection, 1986.28
Special Collections and Archives

Second Floor:

If you walk up the main entrance steps to the second floor, “Olive Tree Triptych” is located in the throughway.

“Olive Tree Triptych”, 1968
William Gaines
Oil on canvas
Gift of Dr. Lauren Woods
Anderson Gallery Collection, 83.9
Special Collections and Archives

Just a few steps down the second floor throughway hangs “Neil Gaiman and alumnus Charles Vess' Stardust: being a suite of 12 prints.”

“Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess' Stardust: being a suite of 12 prints” 
Charles Vess
Abingdon, VA: Green Man Press, 1998

Special Collections and Archives

Third Floor:

This untitled piece of work is located on the third floor near the room 314 Administration Suite.

"Untitled," 2013
Baxter Perkinson, Jr.
Watercolor on glass
Gift of W. Baxter Perkinson, Jr.
VCU Libraries Collection

“Beach” hangs on the third floor on the Compass side of the library.

“Beach,” 1999 (detail)
Gerald Donato

Acrylic on panel
Gift of Bill and Pam Royall
VCU Libraries Collection

Fourth Floor:

On the Compass side of the fourth floor, this piece is located outside the Silent Reading Room.

"Untitled," 1984 
Wonsook Kim
Ink wash and charcoal

Gift of Henry Hibbs
Anderson Gallery Collection, 84.65
Special Collections and Archives

This untitled work hangs just outside of the Cabell Room located on the fourth floor.

"Untitled," n.d. 
Morris Yarowsky
Anderson Gallery Collection

Special Collections and Archives

This work by an alumna is located in the Graduate and Faculty Research Center on the fourth

"Backyard Excavation," 1985
Susanne Arnold

Anderson Gallery Collection, 89.7
Special Collections and Archives   

The “Aesred” sculpture sits right outside of Special Collections and Archives on the fourth floor.

Aesred, the ever-transforming female from James Branch Cabell's mythical land of Poictesme.
Edmond R. Amateis
Gift of James Branch Cabell

Lower Level:

Across the north-facing back wall of the lower level study area outside the Creative Technologies and Scholarship’s Workshop hang several posters from the Bang Arts Festival, a popular annual arts and music event

“Bang2 Spring Arts Festival”
Poster design by Carol Martin, 1965
Richmond Professional Institute
Gift of the estate of Richard Carlyon
Special Collections and Archives