Current Exhibition:

40 Years of Work: Peter and Donna Thomas  July 6, 2017 – September 13, 2017

The University of Iowa Special Collections is home to the archives of Peter and Donna Thomas, a selection of which is on display on the Special Collections gallery on the third floor of the Main Library until September 13, 2017.

Peter and Donna, book artists from Santa Cruz, California, started their business in 1977. They completed their first book, “The Three Cedars,” in 1978. 2017-18 marks their 40th anniversary, which will be celebrated in libraries across the country with retrospective shows displaying from those libraries own holdings. The University of Iowa Special Collections is home to their archives, a selection of which is on display until September 13, 2017.

Donna and Peter make their own paper, letterpress print or hand render the texts, illustrate, and hand-bind their books themselves. They make both edition and one-of-a-kind books that combine the precision of the fine press aesthetic with the structural exploration and artistic creativity found in contemporary artists’ books.

Beginning in August of 2017 Donna and Peter will be traveling as “Wandering Book Artists” to visit those shows. They will also be meeting with community-based and academic book arts classes, teaching book arts workshops, and working with fellow book and paper artists to create collaborative artworks. They keep a blog documenting their travels and conversations as wandering book artists which you can find at: http://www.wanderingbookartists.blogspot.com/

Following are the list of the libraries that are hosting shows:


University of Iowa. July 6, 2017 – September 13, 2017

Swarthmore University. August 7 – October 7, 2017

Michigan State University. October 2 – October 31, 2017

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. October 2 – December 31, 2017

University of Kentucky. November 2017 – January 2018


Brigham Young University. February 19 – April 27, 2018

University of California Santa Barbara. March – June 2018

University of Central Florida. March-May, 2018

Emory University. May 1, 2018

University of Utah. May 25 through August 31, 2018

Washington University, St Louis. September – October 2018

Baylor University. September – November 2018

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. September – November 2018


University of Vermont (TBA)


See Selected Past Exhibitions