printmaking books

Do you use bookplates to mark ownership of your books? We have a small collection of personal and organizational bookplates here in Special Collections, and this is one of my favorites. Whoever this bookplate belonged to must have liked bugs - but hopefully he kept his books away from them.⠀ ⠀ Z993 .U595⠀ ⠀ #bookplate #illustration #printmaking #beetle #bugs #snail #garden #bookhistory #booklover #bibliophile #librariesofinstagram #iglibraries #specialcollections #mizzou #universityofmissouri #ellislibrary #ifttt

Books Are Weapons in the War of Ideas
1942
Photolithographic poster printed in red and black
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

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I’ve split my daytime on the island between reading Anne D'Alleva’s How To Write Art History and turning our shed into a small printmaking studio. My academic pursuits often benefit from the more practical work of printing, since I find myself thinking about my topic more freely while my hands are busy. 

♪ Maggie Koerner - Neutral Ground (Official Video)

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Starlight — The Bowsprit — The Bowsprit — The Oarsman
Rockwell Kent (American; 1882–1971)
1930–31
Wood engravings
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

Illustrations in Kent’s N by E (1930), commissioned by American Car and Foundry Company

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New Works from Witt Visiting Artist Lee Marchalonis.

Recently, we featured this post which showcases Stamps Printmaking Visiting Artist Lee Marchalonis. Lee visited the Stamps School this March. She has shared several new works with us. The first image features her Travel Book, which is an accordion-style book with removable photos. It is one edition of twenty. Next is her Getting Out, Going Nowhere, which has drum leaf binding, relief printing from linoleum blocks, photocopy, and inkjet printing. Lastly, there is a page spread from her Mystery of the Musty Hide, a book with an essay by Alison K. Greene, who also composed an essay for Lee’s work yes, but, featured in this post. In addition, Carl Akeley and Lee Marchalonis have composed texts for Mystery of the Musty Hide. Akeley’s text describes the skinning of an elephant carcass in the field and creates a framework, both visually and conceptually, for Greene’s essay, which revisits the theft of an ivory-billed woodpecker from an exhibition about extinction which was held at a university natural history museum. Mystery of the Musty Hide was printed using handset type, linoleum cuts, a photogravure, color photocopy transfer, and handmade flax paper. Lee designed and produced Mystery of the Musty Hide. She, Carl Akeley, and Alison K. Greene created text for the project.

Lee says about her work: “This book reflects the results of an investigation I undertook after viewing a particularly beautiful mounted zebra specimen at the University of Iowa’s Natural History Museum. Around the same time, I visited Chicago’s Field Museum and was struck by the quantity of taxidermy zebra on display. Surely one grouping of six or seven would say everything the museum needs to communicate to a viewer about the animal? I had the impression of multiple entire herds of zebra placidly standing in featureless plexiglass boxes. I wondered: how did the museum get all these zebras? Do they need them? Why are so many on display? And whose names are listed on the label?

During a joint residency last summer at the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust Foundation, Alison K. Greene wrote the text that is presented here on the right hand side of the spreads. Greene’s text contextualizes and describes the theft of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker mount from an exhibition on extinction. I have presented her text in hand-set 8-point Century Schoolbook, surrounded by another text which has ben carved into linoleum and printed. The surrounding text is excerpted from Carl Akeley’s autobiography, and describes an elephant hunt and subsequent skinning of the animal in the field in order to prepare it for inclusion in the African Hall of Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Included in the book are three images: a photogravure of a Grevy’s Zebra from the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, collected and taxidermied by Akeley, the stoic expression of which led me to further research into Akeley and the early 20th century naturalists, a sheet of paper I made from flax fiber and treated with ink and beeswax to give the impression of elephant skin, and finally a photograph inkjet printed on Japanese lens tissue taken in the archive of the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History of the remaining two Ivory-billed Woodpecker skins mentioned in Greene’s text.

The Mystery of the Musty Hide refers to the Nancy Drew books I read voraciously as a child. I have positioned myself as a “spunky girl detective” (as opposed to a high-level researcher), presenting a narrative concerning Carl Akeley’s life and work, in relation to my personal experiences and understanding of the natural and the museum world. The narrative is made up of six parts, beginning with a copperplate photogravure of the zebra that inspired this investigation. Two main texts are printed side by side, and make up most of the book. Excerpts from Carl Akeley’s ghostwritten autobiography create a framework for A. Kendra Greene’s text. Greene’s text presents a nuanced set of questions about extinction and the nature of possessive love. As both texts progress, Akeley’s text fades from prominence. The artist statement is titled, ‘Case Notes’ and is at the end of the book.”

The first class I took as a resident at the Center for Book Arts was a Tunnel Book class with Maria Pisano.

The Tunnel Books class was a particularly excellent class because I went in thinking I would make something that would be nice but act more as a teaching example. I had made tunnel books before and always felt they were a little too… arts&craft maybe? I didn’t think I could see myself making one as a serious artist book. Turns out, I was wrong. The book I made in that class, pictured above, took more thought and conceptual consideration than I had anticipated and Maria was great at encouraging me to foster the conceptual aspects in spite of the class being just a weekend workshop. I ended up writing a lot about that little tunnel book and how I felt the structure added something to my concept in a way I hadn’t explored with other artist books. I’m still in the process of editing comps but I think a version of this book will become an editioned artist book this year!