Alice’s Folly

“Alice’s Folly”, intended to display ephemera from USC’s Libraries, was inspired by the tradition of the Kunstkammer – Cabinet of curiosities – prevalent during the Renaissance. These cabinets of wonder were used to present encyclopedic collections of historical, geological, archaeological, ethnographical, religious, and artistic objects.

The final iteration of the folly was designed to call attention to the USC Libraries’ Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection of more than 4,000 rare books, early pamphlets, letters, and other items related to the work of Lewis Carroll, as well as the annual Wonderland Award.

The development of “Alice’s Folly” explores notions of scalar and physical transformation and transposition, identity, expectations/interpretations, symbolism, and curious phenomena found in the “Alice” stories of Lewis Carroll and the associated drawings by John Tenniel. Visual and tectonic clues were derived from drawings of the environments and characters within Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Project Team: Aaron Neubert, Xiran Zhang, Jina Seo, Jeremy Limsenben, Shitian Zhang / USC Libraries: Karen Howell, M.L.S/Head, Leavey Library, Michaela Ullmann/Exile Studies Librarian, Doheny Memorial Library / Fabrication: Fred Vasquez, Josh Ciochon, CWI Fabrication