SF State Library, Fine Arts Gallery to Show Rare Works Spanning Centuries

Thursday, August 29, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Among other gems and oddities in the Archives and Special Collections at the renovated J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University, there’s an exquisitely illuminated page of Gregorian chant on calfskin parchment from the hand of an anonymous 15th century French artisan, as well as the surrealistically collaged images of men and machines, musical scraps and spiderwebs in the 1960 offset lithograph book “O!” by Jess (19233–2004), the reclusive San Francisco artist who didn’t use his last name (Collins). For four years, while the quake-damaged library was rebuilt, these and other rarities were kept in an off-campus art storage facility. The works returned when the library reopened last year, but some will be shown for the first time in years in “The Illuminated Library,” the season opener at SF State’s Fine Arts Gallery. The show should get some traffic September 29, when the arts departments put on their Creative State Opening Day festivities.