The Seattle Public Library

Your Account | Print-Friendly

October 4, 2015


Montlake Branch : About the Artists

Header Image

Library Locator

Map of Library Locations

Montlake Branch

About the Artists: The Montlake Branch

Rebecca CumminsSeattle artist Rebecca Cummins explores the sculptural, experiential and sometimes humorous possibilities of light and natural phenomena, often referencing the history of optics. Her installations have incorporated a machine for making rainbows, a camera obscura/fiber-optic journey through the center of the earth, paranoid dinner-table devices, an interactive computer/video rifle that referenced E.J. Marey's photographic rifle of 1882, photographs and a periscope birdbath. "Skylight Aperture Sundial" is an extension of recent sculptural and photographic sundial projects.


Cummins received her doctorate at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, in 2003. She currently is an associate professor at the University of Washington and in 2003 co-taught a sundial course with Astronomy Professor Woodruff Sullivan.



sundial projected on the wall
Artist's Inspiration

The concept for this artwork evolved while I was observing an architectural model of the Montlake Branch on a heliodon - a "sun machine" that simulates the sun's path for various times of day and year. Light tracks in wondrous and often surprising ways; it was exciting to watch the simulated sunlight glide through the proposed space. I aspired to communicate this movement in the artwork.


With the circular holes in the ceiling, the library becomes a small observatory, much like some 17th- and 18th-century European cathedrals used by astronomers. Patrons may observe how the earth's movements affect daily and seasonal light and shadow patterns specific to the moment, to the library's geographic location and to the building's alignment.


Go to the Art at the Montlake Branch



More information about Sundials


Or, if you prefer, come by the Montlake Branch, see the artwork and ask for a copy of the Art Guide brochure.

Safe Place

Montlake Branch
2401 24th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98112



1 pm - 8 pm


1 pm - 8 pm


11 am - 6 pm


11 am - 6 pm




11 am - 6 pm


1 pm - 5 pm

Regional Manager:
Steve DelVecchio

Nearest branches open every day:

Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences