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Classon Point Branch Library, Bronx, NY. From Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City's Branch Libraries, 4x5 inches. 2008 -2012 © Elizabeth Felicella
Taking up Melvil Dewey’s own preoccupation with the importance of browsing in his conception of the Dewey Decimal system, in 2008 Elizabeth Felicella set out to document New York City’s branch libraries with a large-format view camera. The result is a complete catalog of the city’s more than 200 branch libraries that took Felicella four years to complete and took her to every neighborhood across the five boroughs of New York. In conjunction with her Art Wall on Third site-specific exhibition Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City's Branch Libraries, Felicella and independent critic George Stolz discuss, picture by picture, Felicella’s findings during her four years of citywide ‘browsing’, including the question of maps and ‘reading’ the city itself. Following the discussion there is a question-and-answer session, during which members of the audience are encouraged to share their personal stories about their own branch libraries, whether as a patrons or branch library staff.
Belmont Branch Library, Bronx, NY. From Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City's Branch Libraries, 4x5 inches. 2008 -2012 © Elizabeth FelicellaElizabeth Felicella is an architectural photographer based in New York City. Her commissioned work appears regularly in architectural and design publications here and abroad. Her long-term, independent projects include Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City’s Branch Libraries; Idlewild: An Atlas of the Periphery of Kennedy International Airport, and Uneasy Spaces: Security in the Public Realm. She has received support for her work from the Graham Foundation, NYSCA, and The Design Trust for Public Space, as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Foundation, Ucross, and the Fulbright Commission.
is an independent critic and curator. He is a contributing editor to ARTnews
and his writing has been published in Frieze
, Art Review
he Brooklyn Rail
, the New York Times
, the Atlantic Monthly
and elsewhere. He received an Art Writers Grant in 2012 and is currently editing Sol LeWitt's collected writings and interviews.
New Amsterdam Branch Library, Manhattan, NY. From Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City's Branch Libraries, 4x5 inches. 2008 -2012 © Elizabeth Felicella
Initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni
in 2004, Artist Dialogues
Series provide an open forum for understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. Artists are paired with critics, curators, gallerists, writers or other artists to converse about art and the potential of exploring new ideas.
Reading Room has received support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts Program for Architecture Planning & Design, and with administrative support from the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP).