Five Hundred Years of Women’s Work: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection
The Grolier Club – David M. Rubenstein, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, 2019
Edition of 3
One copy: Collection of The Grolier Club, US
Two copies: Private Collection, US
French-style fine binding with laced-in boards. Bound in tan buffalo skin with back-pared embroidered onlays cut from handmade papers, buffalo skin and goatskin. Leaves accentuated with tooled lines. Quote in center embroidered with cotton floss. Leather wrapped endbands in olive green buffalo skin. Pink paper panel and flyleaves with handmade Galaxy paper from Hook Pottery Paper.
Book is housed in a clamshell box covered in tan buffalo skin and raspberry Canapetta bookcloth. Leather spine embroidered with title in cotton floss. Trays covered in raspberry Canapetta bookcloth and lined with light grey suede.
28.8cm x 23.9cm x 2.5cm – Completed 2020
I wanted to create a binding that would reflect many of the ideas and women portrayed in the collection. I also wanted to be considerate of Lisa Unger Baskin’s choice to hire women to help curate this exhibit and design the catalog. I employed the help of Sarah Pike, FreeFall Laser, to help laser cut the onlays and chose to highlight three different female papermakers: Katie MacGregor, Mary Hark and Andrea Peterson.
The design of the binding is inspired by an illustration from Maria Sibylla Merian’s Erucarum ortus, alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis. The colors are limited to reflect the palette used by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). The design is heavily embellished with embroidery to reflect a medium commonly associated with women’s work. Centered within the floral motif is a quote from the catalog: ‘A man labors from sun to sun, A woman’s work is never done.’, which completely encompasses the thankless work of women for centuries.