Thomas R. Schiff
The Library Exhibition


The library is at the heart of American cultural life. From the humble libraries of the eighteenth century—the first public lending library, which Benjamin Franklin helped found, and Thomas Jefferson’s library at Monticello, for example—to the thrilling edifices of twenty-first-century America, libraries express the social and civic ideals of their moment. Public spaces in which all members of the community are invited to learn, they also stand as monuments to the potential of our civilization.

Thomas R. Schiff traces the history of America’s libraries by describing them in the manner their founders and architects intended, shaped into sweeping panoramas through his use of the 360-degree panoramic format. He chooses to photograph great architecture, whatever the period, and always selects buildings maintained to the original vision of their architects. “A library is invariably a statement,” says Schiff in the afterword to The Library Book, “a realization of the prevailing or forward-looking civic ideals, by the architect, the philanthropist, the community.”

Thomas R. Schiff studied photography under Clarence White, Jr. and Arnold Gassan while earning a BBA degree from Ohio University in 1970. He began experimenting with panoramic photography in the mid-1980s, alongside an interest in American architecture. His previous projects include Panoramic Cincinnati (1999), Panoramic Ohio (2002), Panoramic Parks (2005), Las Vegas (2009), Wright Panorama (about the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright; 2010), and Virginia 360 (2015). Schiff helped establish Images Gallery in Cincinnati in 1980 and he is the founder of FotoFocus, Cincinnati’s art biennial.


Read More:
Fast Co Design
Huffington Post
The Spaces
Hyper Allergic
The Guardian
My Modern Met
Library Journal


Includes 37 matted and framed images: 26 at 17 x 44 in. and 11 at 22 x 61 inches.

Running Feet:
200 linear feet

Participation Fee:
$5,000 for an eight-week showing. The host venue is responsible for pro-rated shipping.

This exhibition is available through 2019.

The Library Book
Photographs by Thomas R. Schiff
Text by Alberto Manguel
14 1⁄2 x 11 in. (36 x 27.9 cm)
232 pages including 6 gatefolds
120 four-color images
Clothbound with jacket
ISBN 978-1-59711-374-8
U.S. $80.00 / CDN $108.00 / U.K. £60.00
April 2017


Current Venue List: