High Fall, NY: Maureen Cummins, 2010. Hardcover. Number 28 of 30 copies. Signed by the artist and writer. A powerful work on the famed Salem witch trials that is the result of a decade’s long collaboration between the book artist, Maureen Cummins, and poet Nicole Cooley, based on their research at the American Antiquarian Society while resident artists. The book pairs Cooley’s cycle of poems, written specifically for this book, with images from a penmanship book of stern biblical commandments kept by a Salem boy, Josiah Peele, in 1808-09. The book seeks “to trace the psychic reverberations of the witch trials on subsequent generations” (artist’s statement). Each of Cooley’s thirteen poems is written from the voice and perspective of one of the participants in the trials. They represent the accusers and accused, survivors and condemned, focusing primarily, as the trials did, on the women. They are presented chronologically, beginning with the slave Tituba, the first accused, and ending with the girl Susannah Martin, who refused to confess to being a witch. Printed on Johannot paper with the endpapers done on a handmade Belgique sheet. The poems are printed offset with the titles in letterpress. The images are silkscreen printed. She states that the covers are like vintage writing slates such as Josiah Peele might have used. The book’s binding allows for multiple structures - that of a codex or concertina, or as a “theater in the round” that presents the chorus of voices within. Housed in a black linen box decorated with the marks of the accused, who were unable to sign their names. Maureen’s work is held in over one hundred permanent public collections internationally and has been included in exhibitions at the American Craft Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Rotunda Gallery (amongst others). She has received over a dozen grants and awards and has been an artist-in-residence at numerous venues, including the American Antiquarian Society and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Size: 7 x 8 inches. In fine condition. Unpaginated (45 pages). ARTB/041317. Fine.
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Rockville, MD: Erik Delfino, 2015. Number 5 of 10 copies signed by the book artist. A stunning production by book artist and photographer Erik Delfino. In his accompanying pamphlet about the 1964 fair, Delfino writes that his parents took him to the fair when he was four years old. His memories are still vivid and treasured, and he hopes that the photographs of the still remaining structures that he took for this book at the fiftieth anniversary celebration have captured the spirit of the fair. The photographs and text are digitally printed on loose sheets of 19 x 13 inch Epson Exhibition Fiber paper. The twenty-five striking and evocative color photographs are of the structures still remaining at the fair site. They are bold and often abstract and geometric. The photos are interspersed with text offering his brief impressions from viewing the site. The photos are followed by a leaf with pictures of Delfino and his parents on the day they visited the fair. There is a table of contents on the colophon page. The leaves are housed in a taupe cardboard folder that is housed in a blue cloth case, which is encased in a 19.5 x 14 inch stainless steel box with an impression of the iconic stainless steel unisphere. Includes a copy of Cotter and Young’s The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. Unpaginated. ARTISTSBOOK/112916.