The Main Library is home to a collection of contemporary American art that engages our community with works that are challenging, intriguing, and enduring. Building such a collection is a process that continues. Funds for these purchases were raised by the Bricks for Art program and Gala Preview Party prior to the 2003 opening of the Main Library building, and continue to be raised through a percentage of sales of artwork exhibited in the Main Library Art Gallery and through giving to the library

Spotlight on Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley’s Easter Realness #2, purchased in 2004 from the Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, overlooks the Main Library’s third floor study rooms. Framed in gilded gold, the painting’s vivid colors evoke the candy-colored dresses and suits that might be worn to an Easter mass. The men in Wiley’s painting, however, wear casual urban clothing—lug-soled boots, hooded sweatshirts, and baggy jeans—and seem to float in a background of robin’s-egg blue.

Wiley, whose paintings have been featured on the Fox drama Empire, and who was one of seven artists to receive a 2015 U.S. State Department Medal of Arts, blurs the line between traditional and modern in his work, borrowing from Old Master paintings, hip-hop, French rococo, and West African textile design. According to Wiley’s website, his paintings "quote historical sources and position young black men within the field of power." In his Easter Realness series, Wiley asked random strangers from the streets of Harlem to assume their own versions of poses shown in classical European portraits of aristocrats and noblemen.

Collected Works

Pieces are listed alphabetically by artist.

Rodney Carswell

"P0202" by Rodney CarswellChicago
82 x 81 inches
Oil and wax on canvas
Second floor

Nancy Fong

"Bajan Queens" by Nancy FongOak Park
Bajan Queens
48 x 60 inches
Oil on canvas
Study Room D, third floor

Jonathan Franklin

"Bookmakers" by Jonathan FranklinOak Park
60 x 67 inches
Oil on canvas
Currently not on display

Jeanine Guncheon

"A Party of 3" by Jeanine GuncheonForest Park
A Party of 3
54 x 72 inches
Fabric dyes on wood
Children's Services, first floor

Dan Gustin

"Hope and Discovery" by Dan GustinChicago
Hope and Discovery
87 x 78 inches
Oil on canvas
Veterans Room, second floor

Jane Hammond

"Happiest On Your Hands" by Jane HammondNew York
Happiest on Your Hands
70 inches in diameter
Oil and mixed media on canvas
Storytime Room, first floor

Carole Harrison

"Unity and Growth" by Carole HarrisonMichigan
Unity and Growth
Donated by Village Art Fair
9 x 12 x 4 feet
Brass and copper sculpture
Vestibule, first floor

Jacob Hashimoto

"skip skitter start trip vault bounce - and other attempts at flight" by Jacob HashimotoLos Angeles
skip skitter start trip vault bounce - and other attempts at flight
96 x 144 x 7.5 inches
Wood, paper, acrylic, nylon
Second floor - currently not on display

Higgins Glass

Rondelay, 5x11 matrix by Higgins GlassRiverside, Illinois
Rondelay, 5x11 matrix
68 x 44 inches
Lobby, first floor

Higgins Glass

Mobile, 337 pieces by Higgins GlassRiverside, Illinois
Mobile, 337 pieces
96 inches wide
Second floor

Tia G. Jones

"Passing" by Tia G. JonesOak Park
47 x 40 inches
Oil on canvas
Study Room C, third floor

Marcus Kenney

"Corp of Discovery" by Marcus KenneyGeorgia
Corp of Discovery
48 x 48 inches
Green back stamps and mixed media on canvas
Study Room A, third floor

Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle

"Once Upon a Time" by Bill Kerr and Weeks RingleOak Park
Once Upon a Time
48 x 72 inches
Children's Study Room, first floor

Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle

"Jewel Box" by Bill Kerr and Weeks RingleOak Park
Jewel Box
60 x 60 inches
Children's Study Room, first floor

Judy Ledgerwood

"Spring Rain" by Judy LedgerwoodOak Park
Spring Rain
84 x 144 inches
Oil on canvas
Children's Services, first floor

Emilio Lobato

"Sobre Todo (Above All Else)" by Emilio LobatoColorado
Sobre Todo (Above All Else)
66 x 66 inches
Oil and collage on panel
Book Discussion Room, second floor

Richard Loving

"Incitation" by Richard LovingOak Park
67 x 56 inches
Oil on canvas
Second floor

Geraldine McCullough

Mask by Geraldine McCulloughOak Park
Date unknown
51 x 10.5 inches
Mixed media canvas
Third floor

Tom Palazzolo

"A View from Bridge" by Tom PalazzoloOak Park
A View From Bridge
60 x 60 inches
Color photograph
North wall, third floor

T. L. Solien

"Great Skate" by T. L. SolienWisconsin
Great Skate
60 x 72 inches
oil and enamel on canvas
Children's Services, first floor

Chris Ware

"Branford Bee Episode #2" by Chris WareOak Park
Branford Bee Episode #2
35 x 24 inches
Ink and blue pencil on illustration board
Study Room B, third floor

Chris Ware

"Rusty Brown: Where Will We Be in 2003" by Chris WareOak Park
Rusty Brown: Where Will We Be in 2003
35 x 25 inches
Ink and blue pencil on illustration board
Study Room B, third floor

Chris Ware

"Building Stories: 1923-2003" by Chris WareOak Park
Building Stories: 1923-2003
26 x 34 inches
Ink and blue pencil on illustration board
Study Room B, third floor

Kehinde Wiley 

"Easter Realness #2" by Kehinde WileyNew York
Easter Realness #2
117 x 117 inches
Oil on canvas
South wall, third floor

John Winslow

"The Frog Prince" by John WinslowWashington, D.C.
The Frog Prince
72 x 96 inches
Oil on canvas
South wall, second floor

At Dole Branch


Dedicated to the Friends of Dole LibraryDedicated to the Friends of Dole Library, 1976-1982
date unknown
29 x 42 inches
Oil on canvas
Meeting Room

Glenna Butler

Balloon ManBalloon Man
date unknown
17.5 x 23 inches
Oil on canvas

Scott Wallace

Dedicated Nov. 23, 2002