The Art Browsery, a dedicated book display on the fourth floor, James Branch Cabell Library, offers new, beautiful books that can inform creativity and inspire creations. 

During the Covid crisis, the section was retired for safety reasons because glossy paper stock was known to retain the virus. Now, it’s back. Arts librarians at Cabell have restocked the shelves with exciting new titles. Unlike other books on the shelves, the Art Browsery books carry their original book jacket covers, some of which are works of art themselves. 

“When you are caught up in the creative process of making art, sometimes you need to take a break and find added inspiration,” says Carla-Mae Crookendale, VCU Libraries’ visual arts librarian. She and arts collection librarian Emily Davis Winthrop identify titles that are right for The Browsery and showcase new titles there before moving them into the general collection. 

Browsery books are visually rich tomes on art, craft and design topics. They are marked with colorful bookstrap labels and they are available for checkout.  

The Art Browsery is refreshed as new titles arrive, so come by now and find some inspiring new materials, and come back to find more in the future. 

Here is a brief list, compiled by Crookendale, of some of the new titles you’ll find in The Browsery this fall.  

Art Browsery Refresh Fall 2022

New books added to the semester this Fall:

Sporting fashion : outdoor girls 1800 to 1960

“The evolution of women’s sporting attire in Western fashion over nearly two centuries.”

Good by Design: Ideas for a Better World

Designers combine creativity, craft, and compelling visuals to materialize concepts that can effectively transform the way we live.”

A Book on Books: New Aesthetics in Book Design

“some of the world’s best book design work in celebrating the designers’ contributions to preserving reading culture.”

I Saw More Than I Can Tell

Christine Turnauer´s black and white photo series of North American indigenous peoples from northern Alberta to southern Montana.

Contemporary Japanese Architecture

“The contemporary architecture of Japan has long been among the most inventive in the world, recognized for sustainability and infinite creativity. “

Frida Kahlo: Her Universe

“More than 300 images from the archives of the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City”

Black Artists in America: From the Great Depression to Civil Rights

“explores the various ways in which African American artists responded to the political, social, and economic climate of the United States”

Gothic: An Illustrated History

“A richly illustrated history of the Gothic across a wide range of media, including architecture, literature, and film”

Our Work Is Everywhere: An Illustrated Oral History of Queer and Trans Resistance

“In their own words, queer and trans organizers, artists, healers, comrades, and leaders speak honestly and authentically about their own experiences”

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts

“features 40 works of eighteenth-century European design alongside 150 film stills, drawings, and other works on paper from the Walt Disney Animation Studio Library and Walt Disney Archives.”

Alice Neel : an engaged eye

“One of the greatest portrait artists of the 20th century, Alice Neel’s vibrant, expressionistic paintings revealed a breath-taking depth of emotion within her subjects.”

Cocoon House : light in sustainable architecture and design.

Designed in 2018 by Nina Edwards Anker, the Cocoon House is an original LEED certified home that gets its name from it’s curved walls.

Kay Nielsen: An Enchanted Vision

“Danish artist Kay Nielsen’s achievements in the context of a career that took him from study in Paris, to the Copenhagen theater, to galleries in London and New York, to the Walt Disney Studios.”

BlueTailoring : Stefano Chiassai

“Chiassai searches the landscape of menswear for new potentials for the iconic blue fabric, denim, taking it into the realm of tailoring.”

Contemporary Japanese Posters

“this volume takes a wide view of the trends and aesthetic shifts that can be traced in the development of graphic design in Japan.”

The rise (and falls) of Jackie Chan

“An action-packed picture book biography about Hollywood actor, stuntman, and beloved superstar Jackie Chan”

Mirages: The Art of Laurent Durieux

“Laurent Durieux is a famous Belgian illustrator who is well known by pop culture fans and collectors for his cult movie poster reinterpretations.”

A Perfect Fit: How Lena “Lane” Bryant Changed the Shape of Fashion

“inclusive picture book biography of a Lithuanian immigrant with a brilliant eye for fashion and business”


A complete retrospective of the work of paper engineer and artist Matthew Shlian.

Guo Pei : couture fantasy

“showcases the garments’ consummate craftsmanship, lavish embroidery, and unconventional dressmaking techniques, all of which are hallmarks of Guo Pei’s work.”

Categories Collections, Community, News