The Reader, a small-scale sculpture by a major modern artist, is a gift to Carleton from the Class of 1955. Art history professor Albert Elsen took the class gift committee to Jacques Lipchitz's studio in New York during their senior year. The students were told they could buy one object for a small sum, as long as they didn't disclose the amount and adversely affect the artist's prices. They picked this sculpture, a great choice because it embodies cubism in sculpture.
As one of the first cubist sculptors, Lipchitz translated Picasso and Braque's new methods of organizing pictorial space into three-dimensional art.