Skip to content

The Paper Sculpture Manual

Curated by Mary Ceruti, Matt Freedman, Sina Najafi 

Although we remain socially distanced from many of our loved ones and neighboring communities during this exceptional time, art remains a powerful source of inspiration and connection that can bring people together—even remotely. The Cincinnati Art Museum along with the Independent Curators International (ICI) invite our global digital community to create and collaborate with The Paper Sculpture Manual, a downloadable, printable, and shareable manual to take you away from your screens and recreate art experiences in domestic spaces. These shareable designs from The Paper Sculpture Show, a traveling exhibition in 2003-2007, feature three-dimensional paper sculptures designed by twenty-nine international artists and artist collaboratives that are meant to be assembled by you, the visitor.



Don’t have access to a printer? That’s okay! We encourage participators to assemble their favorite pieces into paper sculptures using whatever readily accessible materials are at their disposal. Repurposing and transforming magazines, old newspapers, books, and cardboard boxes and containers is, in part, the ethos of this exhibition—bringing new meaning to an existing form, giving depth and dimension to a flat surface.

The Paper Sculpture Show raises many questions: Who is the author of these three-dimensional objects, the artists who designed them, or the visitors who assemble them at home? Which is the original and which the copy? Instead of providing answers, The Paper Sculpture Show suggests flexible definitions of a work of art that accommodate the variety of creative practices that now constitute contemporary art and culture.

Now the question is: what are YOU going to make? Create one or all twenty-nine. Be sure to tag us on social media using #papersculpturemanual, so we can follow along! Each paper sculpture measures 10 x 12 3/4 inches and will require no more than four sheets of paper, along with a limited set of tools including: scissors, tape, and glue for assembly. Stay tuned for more exciting content here and on our Facebook Group, CAM Connect, as we take a special look at our permanent collection through the expressive and dimensional medium of paper.

Example: Eve Sussman, Goggles for Kaleidoscope Eyes, 2003 (found on page 100)


Janine Antoni, The Art Guys, David Brody, Luca Buvoli, Francis Cape and Liza Phillips, Seong Chun, Minerva Cuevas, E.V. Day, Nicole Eisenman, Spencer Finch, Charles Goldman, Rachel Harrison, Stephen Hendee, Patrick Killoran, Glenn Ligon, Cildo Meireles, Helen Mirra, Aric Obrosey, Ester Partegàs, Akiko Sakaizumi, David Shrigley, Eve Sussman, Sarah Sze, Fred Tomaselli, Pablo Vargas-Lugo, Chris Ware, Olav Westphalen, Allan Wexler, Paul Ramírez Jonas


The Paper Sculpture Manual is based on The Paper Sculpture Show, a traveling exhibition curated by Mary Ceruti, Matt Freedman, and Sina Najafi in 2003 and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), Cabinet, and SculptureCenter. The Paper Sculpture Manual is made available to art spaces internationally free of charge, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and made possible by ICI’s Board of Trustees and contributors to ICI’s Access Fund.


ICI logo




Folio Describing the Grief and Anguish Caused by the Unpredictable Circumstances of Love


Page from a dispersed diwan (collected works) of poetry by Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara ca. 1490, with later additions calligrapher: Sultan cAli Mashhadi (d. 1520) Afghanistan, Herat (historic Iran) Timurid period black, colored inks and gold on blue paper Gift of JoLynn M. and Byron W. Gustin 2016.372