Special Collections and University Archives

-Audrey Sage

Contained in the Special Collections are a group of artist books that are small in size yet large in content. One work in particular is a piece by Diane Weintraub from 1999.

This work is comprised of three miniature volumes, each of a different size and constructed of accordion fold pages. Each book has a paper cover that has been hand printed with relief print images. The set is tied in a bundle with a cord and attached to cord reads a tag “Birthday suite.”

Contained within are poems and phrases that present thoughts about life and the imagery is reminiscent of Japanese block printing as well as German Expressionism.

This work was published by Iron Bear Press and the statement by the artist follows:

Caught in a conceptual vortex between the graphic traditions of Japan and German Expressionism, these three miniature books by Diane Weintraub, titled Birthday Suite, explore three thoughts about life – or the lack thereof.


That famous Dylan Thomas quote, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light, “forms the text of this volume which measure 1.5” by 1”.The linocuts on the cover depict and contrast an ocean sunset and naked light bulb waiting to be turned on.


Cover linocuts are based on that perception test; do you see a vase or two faces in profile. The text plays with the rumored connection between life and art. From front to back it reads, “If it’s true about art it’s true about life.” but turn the book upside down to find an opposite cover, with text that now reads, “If it’s true about life it’s true about art.” True is 1.5” by 1.5”


The cover prints contrast a shooting star (quick, make a wish!) on the front and an image of a crater on the back cover.  The text within this volume reads,” Entropy… ain’t it a bitch.”  This book is 2.75” by 1.25”.

We hope you enjoy contemplating the imagery and grouping of this set of miniature books and the ideas contained within.

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