Illuminated Authorship

Illuminated Authorship:  Original Art, Fine Printing and Collectibles from the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection

The Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection consists primarily of books and manuscripts, but in telling the rich story of Kansas, all the arts demand inclusion.  The fine arts–painting and drawing, lithography and woodcuts, letter-press printing and papermaking, even embroidery–illuminate the Kansas narrative enabling an enriched view. Through the combined authorship of text and art, we are transported into the world we read about.  The old tradition of illumination, of supplementing text with decorative elements–elaborate initials, borders, ornamentation and illustrations in the margins–is a kind of collaboration between word and image that enhances each.  Ekphrastic art is a collaboration where one medium of art is inspired by another.  The artwork in this exhibition shows the interplay of authorship and illumination: the drawing inspired by landscape or poem, the art illustrating the poem, the printer seeking to enhance text with font, paper, and pictorial elements.  Art helps us see more than text; text helps us see the story in the art.


The following are all Kansas artists represented in the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection.

All words and images by the authors are protected by copyright, and may not be used without the permission of their writers/creators.


Click on images to view works of art and to read supplemental information.

Clark Britton
Kevin Young
David Quick
Ronald Johnson
Margaret Whittemore
Edna Becker
Rosalea Hostetler
Roger Heineken
Denise Low
Harold Morris