Creative Friends

Patricia Cornelius

One of Australia's most awarded playwrights, Patricia Cornelius is the library's first writer-in-residence. In 2018 Patricia will work out of the library for a four-week period and develop an event for library members.
Our writer-in-residence program is open to one Melbourne-based writer each year. Writers can work in any form or genre but will be selected based on their national reputation, significant publishing history and recognition through awards and reviews. The writer will make use of the library space while working on a creative project and will develop a public event connected to their creative work.


Deborah Klein

Australian artist Deborah Klein will be our artist-in-residence during Rare Book Week in 2018. Deborah has held solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally since 1988. For more information on Deborah's work visit


Richard Overell

Renowned librarian Richard Overell, who for 26 years oversaw the acquisitions and conservation of the rare books collection at Monash University's Louis Matheson library, has been a longtime friend of the Melbourne Athenaeum library.  He shares his expertise with us through yearly talks in the library about collecting rare books as part of Rare Book Week.  His talks display his extensive knowledge of book collecting across a wide range subjects including children's books, travel guides, dust jackets, and cookbooks.


Judy Horacek

Acclaimed cartoonist, illustrator and writer Judy Horacek was artist-in-residence at the library during Rare Book Week in 2017. For more information on Judy Horacek visit


Anne Kucera

Visual artist Anne Kucera was artist-in-residence at the library during Rare Book Week in 2016. Anne, who create pop-up books, gave a talk on the wonderful world of the moveable pop-up book, where she discussed the origins of moveable books, from their evolution to their now collectable status and their future conservation. For more information about Anne's work, visit


Lisa Anderson

In 2015, as part of the library's 175th birthday celebrations, a projection was commissioned as part of White Night. Multi-disciplinary artist Lisa Anderson collaborated with Penelope Bartlau of Barking Spider Visual Theatre and Olaf Meyer of Multimedia Events to realise a vision that saw three 3-metre inflatable Athenas suspended on the Athenaeum Theatre's canopy. The figures projected light and historical images that were visible from Swanston to Russell Streets. For more information on Lisa's work visit


Ruth Johnstone

In 2015, during Rare Book Week, artist and RMIT academic Ruth Johnstone created the art installation White Library. The installation represented blank tablets as repositories of future knowledge or a lost body of knowledge. More about Ruth's work can be found at


Kyoko Imazu

Japanese-born Australian artist Kyoko Imazu was our artist-in-residence during 2014, and demonstrated and spoke about her beautiful tunnel book creations. For more information on Kyoko's work, visit


Barking Spider Vsual Theatre

As part of 2013 History Week, Barking Spider Visual Theatre and the Melbourne Athenaeum Library presented Ex Libris. A live performance and an interative poem installation, Ex Libris was a playful and experimental look at the Athenaeum Library's past and purpose. For more information on Barking Spider Visual Theatre see


Bruno Leti

A painter, printmaker and book artist, Bruno Leti was our artist-in-residence during Rare Book Week 2013. More information about Bruno's work is at


Nicholas Jones

Book sculptor Nicholas Jones was artist-in-residence during Rare Book Week in 2012. More information on Nicholas Jones can be found at