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Ricker Library of Art and Architecture
Welcome New Head of Ricker Library

Emilee Mathews started in November of 2019 as the new Head of Ricker Library. She brings nearly a decade of experience across art and architecture librarianship. Most recently from University of Arkansas, she also has served as the Interim Head of the Fine Arts Library at Indiana University Bloomington, Research Librarian for Art & Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and Art & Design Librarian at the Ohio State University.

“I’m so excited to collaborate with faculty and students, to create partnerships across the School of Architecture, the School of Art & Design, and the Krannert Art Museum, along with other art and architecture-related stakeholders on campus and in the community. We’re reeling from the loss of Chris Quinn; but we are keeping strong and making sure the library he loved continues to be the best it possibly can be.”

Emilee currently serves as chair of the Strategic Directions Committee for the Art Libraries Society of North America, the leading professional organization for art and architecture librarianship. She was also a lead grant writer and team leader on a 2015/2016 National Endowment for the Humanities grant entitled “Piloting Linked Open Data for Artists’ Books.” Both her leadership experience articulating transformational goals as well as her experience enhancing the discovery of unique collections are strengths she will bring to Ricker Library.

The new head of Ricker Library is a graduate of the Indiana University dual degree program, with a Master’s in Library Science and a Master’s in History of Art. She earned her BA with honors in Art History from Portland State University.

Connect with Emilee Mathews at emathews@illinois.edu.

Welcome New Library Specialist


Elisabeth Paulus was a part-time Library Specialist at the Funk ACES Library for 2 years prior to accepting a position at Ricker Library as a full-time Library Specialist. Before coming to the University, she worked as a Circulation Clerk and Information Assistant at The Urbana Free Library for 8 years, as well as filling various administrative roles at a local non-profit bookstore called Orphans Treasure Box. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UIUC in 2008, focusing on English literature and creative writing. At Ricker, Elisabeth oversees the hiring and supervision of student assistants, maintains the Reserves collection, and manages Ricker’s social media accounts.

In Remembrance of Christopher Quinn 1961-2019


Chris Quinn was a major driving force of Ricker Library, working here in various roles from 1986 to 2019, when he passed away September 18, 2019. His deep knowledge of the collection, ability to source materials, and excellent skills working with patrons are among the first aspects that Ricker is bereft of. Moreover, his kindness, collegiality, and humor are sorely missed by his colleagues. Please see this moving tribute by Jane Block, Professor Emerita and former Head of Ricker Library.

On January, the Illinois School of Architecture and the University Library and will be holding a memorial organized by Jane Block, Professor Emerita and former Head of Ricker Library. 

WHEN: 23 January 2020, 4-6 p.m. Remarks at 5:15 p.m.

WHERE: Temple Buell’s Atrium, School of Architecture

We’d also like to thank a number of generous patrons for donating to Ricker Library in honor of Chris. To honor his memory, we will be purchasing rare books in areas that Chris had expressed interest in just prior to his passing.

Significant New Gift: Aspen Magazine in a Box

Pop art issue of Aspen MagazineThe Ricker Library received its first significant donation under the leadership of Emilee Mathews: a nearly complete set of Aspen Magazine, a renowned publication that brought together leading artists across the United States and the United Kingdom, running from 1965 to 1971. The subject of recent museum exhibitions from Walker Art Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, Aspen Magazine is one of the most iconic examples of the 1960’s artist magazine movement. 

Each issue was directed by artists and designers who determined all aspects of the issue’s intellectual and visual content. Renowned editors include Andy Warhol (who edited the Pop Art issue in 1966), and Angus MacLise of the Velvet Underground (who edited the Psychedelic issue in 1970). Articles (often in pamphlet form, many times including super 8 films, reel-to-reel tapes, and records) featured such luminaries as Marshall McLuhan, Lamonte Young, Roland Barthes, and Lou Reed. Topics across art, design, architecture, music, literature, media, film, were featured regularly.

“It’s an incredible record of creativity pushing the limits of what art can be. I love its multimedia nature, which brings together research interests across not only the Schools of Architecture and Art & Design, but also the College of Fine and Applied Arts,” says Emilee Mathews, new Head of Ricker Library. “I cannot wait to show this to students.”

The gift was donated from the estate of David Pini, with the express purpose to bring this incredible example of artistic production to the educational landscape of emerging artists and designers. “My sister and I are thrilled to donate - and find a new home for - our brother’s collection of Aspen magazines at the U of I Ricker Library. We can’t imagine anything that would have made David happier,” says Gary Pini and Ruthanne Pini/Eliasek.

The gift is already sparking connections among faculty: Terri Weissman, associate professor and chair of art history, says: “This magazine is incredible. I will definitely include this when I teach future classes in art and design history.”

If you’d like to know more about Aspen or artists’ magazines in general, check out these titles at the library:

Our table at the Architecture Student Welcome Back in August! 

We've continued our pop-up library service this year around campus. Some of our books make the journey with us to where the event is, and students and faculty are able to check any of the books out. We try to have a new and interesting focus for each one of these events we have, as well as have activities everyone can enjoy. 

In August, one of our Graduate Assistants, Erika, went to Temple Buell Hall for the Architecture Student Welcome Back to let new students know of our services and all the great resources we provide. 

In September, we went to the Link Gallery at the Krannert Art Museum for the School of Art and Design Welcome Back picnic! Along with some books available for check out and our new bookmarks to give out, we did some more promoting to let the Art and Design students get familiar with our library. 

On October 29th, we went to the Krannert Art Museum along with some of our collection's spooky books in celebration of Halloween. Everything from witches to spirits to Goya, we had a lot of mysterious books available for check out. We also brought some mini pumpkins along for everyone to decorate!

We're looking forward to bringing some fun, new pop-up ideas to life next semester!

More Notable Acquisitions

Below are just a few examples of some of our recent notable acquisitions. View more of our recent additions through the library's website.


759.130922 D757d

The Downtown Gallery

This catalog from the 1940s presents artists that were sponsered by the Downtown Gallery in New York. 


F. 739.40944 F418

Fers forgés par E. Robert: constructions métalliques par E. Borderel (maisons réunies)

This folio catalogs photographs of architectural ironwork along with their respective structures.


705 SIL

Salon Annuel

This turn of the century publication focused on French artists and their exhibitions all in one catalog. 


705 ACTI


This French magazine was founded by Florent Fels, a French journalist who published the magazine from 1920-1922. In it's short time of publication, this journal focused on anarchist philosophy.

New Catalogues Raisonnés at Ricker

Q.709.43 B291j v.3

Georg Baselitz: peintre-graveur

Catalogue Raisonne of Baselitz (1938 - ), German painter, sculptor and graphic artist. 


Q.759.4 B478am

George Desvallières: catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre complet

A three volume catalog of Desvallières (1861-1950), French painter who focused on not only portraits, but subjects of mythology and religion. 


Q.759.4 R44j

Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1959-1743

A two volume catalog of Rigaud (1659-1743), a French baroque painter who most famously created the iconic portraits of Louis XIV. 

Handicap Accessible Doors

Over the summer, we have had handicap accessible doors installed. It was a much needed necessity that we are grateful to now have. In addition, we're working on making our labels more easy to read, and our tables more accessible. 

Our Rembrandt display case. 

We've had quite a few displays so far this year right by the main entrance of the library. In honor of the 350th anniversary of artist Rembrandt van Rijn's death, we had a little tribute to him. Some of our rare books were pulled out to showcase some paintings and letters that showcased Rembrandt's immense talent. Our extra help library specialist, Kaci Dunnam, compiled all this information to also make a LibGuide on van Rijn! This LibGuide takes you through his paintings, sketches, drawings, and the pupils he undertook. 

In September, the School of Architecture hosted a Women's Reunion and Symposium for women alumni that have graduated the school. It was a weekend of sharing stories, journeys, and continuing an important conversation about diversity in the architecture field! In correlation with this event, we had a mini exhibit celebrating women in architecture. We have a growing collection of books about representation in the field of architecture which we will highlight soon. 

Pumpkin Decorating
Some of the pumpkins decorated! 

We kicked off the Halloween celebration by decorating some mini pumpkins in the library! Students and staff made some great designs and had a lot of fun decorating some pumpkins from Curtis Orchards. 


In addition to the Rembrandt display that was discussed above, a Lib Guide was also made to cover the basics of Rembrandt's life and his contributions to the world: Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 - 1669).

Krannert Art Museum opened an exhibition Thursday, October 17th. Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape scrutinizes the nuclear industry by showing the effect it has had on our planet. This Lib Guide covers information about all the artists, as well as reading recommendations from the curator.

The newest Krannert Art Museum exhibition opened on December 2, 2019. Still Beginning: 30th Annual Visual AIDs Day With(out) Art combines the work of seven artists who highlight AIDs activism in different videos. This Lib Guide details the artists previous works and book recommendations that are in our collection.


Thank you Donors

Not least, we’d like to thank the following donors who have given in 2019:

Gisele A. Atterberry
Peter Bernett
Jonathan Buchbinder
Celtic Motion
Jane Block and Paul S. Kruty
Jane Darcovich
Thelma L. Fite
Renate Franciscono
Roxanne C. Frey
Paul N. Garcy 
Deloris A. Holiman
Tom D. Kilton
Sharon K. Kitzmiller
Barbara Rockenbach
Michael Shamansky
Ronald E. Schmitt and Rosalie S. Schmitt
Grant E. Ullrich
Terri Weissman
Michael A. West
Paula M. Westburg and Eric W. Westburg
Dorfredia A. Williams
Joyce C. Wright

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