Philadelphia: Catholic Standard and Times, 1987. Paperback. "Mother Katharine Drexel is America's most famous nun for she seared the country's conscience on the problems of racism before equal rights was a coined expression. A stunning debutante, charismatic, a generous millionaire, she was a woman of towering idealism who worked selflessly for social justice but she was also a woman torn apart by the flaming injustices of the society in which she lived. A comprehensive, informative, compelling look at the struggles of a great woman in a pathetically unyielding milieu" (James McGrath review on rear cover). Illustrated black paper wrappers with white spine panel titled in black. Light rubbing to covers, else clean and bright. Includes laid-in ephemera with prayer for Drexel. 104 pages. REL/061720. Fine.
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New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1931. Hardcover. "The story narrated in the following pages is not a story of merely extraordinary and exceptional episodes in the history of the Sisters of Mercy, but rather it gives a glimpse into the normal, the usual, in teh life of these devoted women" (introduction). Ex-library with call number sticker to spine and pocket to rear endpaper. Bound in the original dark blue cloth boards with gilt title to spine and front cover. Frontispiece and several illustrations. Clean. Chipping and tears to edges of some pages (where they were opened poorly). Split to front after first free endpaper. 281 pages. REL/070820. Very Good.
Boston: Hill and Company, (1988). Hardcover. 4to. PRESENTATION COPY from authors. Near fine in black cloth backed lavender paper covered boards with blue title to spine. Minor fading to edges of boards. Interior is clean and bright with black and white photographic illustrations on every page. Blue illustrated dust jacket with yellow and purple title to front and spine panels. 134 pages. Women's Studies. WOM/702. Near Fine in Near Fine Dust Jacket.
Kingston, NY: Marueen Cummins, 2023. Hardcover. One of 30 copies. Foetus Envy is a grim and satirical look at the present state of reproductive rights in this country. Conceived of and produced by Cummins, with typographical assistance from Kathleen McMillan, the book imagines an alarming new mental illness, “Foetus Envy,” which turns otherwise cheerful, angelic, and biologically fit wives into “Resistant Mothers,” women who do not wish to procreate and stubbornly refuse to accept the naturally superior powers, privileges, and legal protections of their unborn offspring. Cummins references language from Aeschylus to fugitive slave laws to faux scientific texts to locate our present moment within a long history of reproductive control and coercion. The book is written in the style of eugenics texts published in the early-to-mid twentieth century by the now-infamous Eugenics Publishing Company. Cummins’s primary inspiration, from which she based her images, is the 1919 text, Sane Sex Life and Sane Sex Living, which reads more like a sex manual for men than the guide for married couples that it purports to be. In the quotes below from Sane Sex Life, so eerily like phrases heard on the Fox News channel, it’s not difficult to see the relationship between the eugenics movement of a century ago and the contemporary Christian right: No two normal men can make a home! No two normal women can make a home! It takes a man and a woman to make a home! It takes father, mother and children to make the most perfect home. Make up your minds to have a most perfect home and do your utmost to reach that goal! ….all sane and intelligent men and women agree that anything even approaching infanticide is nothing short of a crime, and that abortion, except for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, is practically murder. In her re-created eugenics text, Cummins mimics the badgering, preachy style of Sane Sex Living, while making liberal use of “alternative facts” and sanctimonious, moralizing language. Similarly, the artist plays with her imagery: the Caduceus logo on the title page is made up of entwining sperm, not snakes; the pattern on the slipcase, which appears to depict sun rays, is, on closer inspection, a swarm of sperm rushing to impregnate an ovum. While these surface elements of Foetus Envy are playful enough, the mood of the book grows increasingly grave, culminating in one final, terrifying image, of a woman entrapped within a womb, the ultimate example of a Ro(l)e Reversal. Foetus Envy was set in Bodoni Roman and printed letterpress onto Surface Gampi paper. Over one hundred silkscreen runs were required to print the accompanying images. Bound in faux leather with a gold-stamped title. The book is housed in a handsome cloth-covered slipcase. Size: 9.5 x 7 x 1 inches. 35 pages. A note from Maureen about the book and proper handling: “Two things to note about the book: the paper that I used, Surface Gampi, handmade and imported from Japan, contains tiny bits of fiber; these are natural and not imperfections in any way. Also, for ease of reading, and so that the accordion book lays flat, you may need to shift the text block on the right to meet the pages on the left. The final page is meant to remain under the flap until viewed.”. Fine.
Maureen Cummins, 2018. Number 17 of 35 copies signed and numbered by the book artist, Maureen Cummins. Secretary deconstructs the life and death-by-suicide of the artist's mother, Dolores Cummins, a brilliant woman, aspiring artist, and housewife for twenty-five years. It is this story that inspired Cummins's later book Crazy Quilt, as well as all the subsequent work that she created around marginalized populations. This book is the first of several around this common theme that Maureen has become well-known for. Secretary is made even more powerful by the structure and composition. It was letterpress printed on sheets of Asian lined paper resembling a steno pad, with titling redacted by hand in graphite. The type used appears to have been typed on an old typewriter. Each section of the book is preceded by a ghostly photographic image of Cummins's mother from that period of her life, reprinted from originals in the artist's possession. The text pages are bound in the style of a stenographer's notepad. It is housed in a stiff grey paper folder. Maureen Cummins is a noted creator of artists' books. Her 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. In fine condition. Measures 8.75 x 14.5 inches. ARTB/100119.
Cornwells Heights, PA: Mother Katharine Drexel Guild, 1972. Paperback. Signed and inscribed by the author (Sister Duffy). "The life story of Katharine Drexel (1858 - 1955), foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, spans a long period of time and covers eventful and far reaching developments in the history of the United States" (preface). Red, white, and blue paper wrappers with white title to spine and front panels. Rubbing to panels. Pen marking to front free endpaper. 434 pages. REL/071520. Very Good.
Cornwells Heights, PA: Mother Katharine Drexel Guild, 1972. Hardcover. Signed and inscribed by the author (Sister Duffy). "The life story of Katharine Drexel (1858 - 1955), foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, spans a long period of time and covers eventful and far reaching developments in the history of the United States" (preface). Blue cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Wear and rubbing to boards. Inscriptions to both endpapers. Authors signature and inscription to title page. Small dampstain to top corners of first few pages. Clean overall. 434 pages. REL/071520. Very Good.
Penland School of Crafts, 2017. Hardcover. Number 12 of 16 copies. Signed by the artist. An exploration of women's domestic roles in the late 19th century through the language of Henrik Ibsen's play, "A Doll's House" juxtaposed with pastel renderings of domestic objects. The text oscillates between a husband's dialogue to his wife and her inner dialogue, including: "Has my little spendthrift been wasting money again? ... They all think that I am incapable of anything really serious - that I have gone through nothing in this world of cares.... My little songbird must never do that again. A songbird must have a clean beak to chirp with - no false notes! ...." Grey cloth boards with silhouette of a vessel to front board. Text and images are letterpress printed on cotton and Japanese papers. Size: 7 x 5 inches. ARTB/090320. Fine.
Philadelphia: Heirloom Press, 2017. Hardcover. Number 4 of 5 copies. Signed by the artist. Folio. "Curio is a collection of quotidian objects that speaks to the idea of woman as domestic curator and as weaker vessel. Images of household vases, cups and bowls are paired with inkblots that evoke the trappings of middle-class existence" (artist's statement). Includes text adapted from the 1868 collection of articles, "Modern Women and What Is Said of Them" and the Kate Chopin novel "The Awakening." Many of the excerpts that the artist has chosen to include objectify women, likening them to jewelry, tables, and other precious possessions. For example: After scolding his wife for sun bathing, Mr. Pontellier looks "at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage." Also "The mind ought to be developed a little, and in such a way as to make the body more piquant and attractive. Like the candle inside a Chinese lantern, it may serve to lighten up and show to advantage the pretty devices outside. But the outside is the important thing, and the inside only incidental" (from "Modern Women ...). Others comment on how wives should be controlled or "managed" and the power dynamics within the home. A powerful book about the subjugation of women. Bound in full white alum-tawed leather with seven raised bands to the spine. Printed using letterpress, screenprint, and lithography on paper handmade by the artist. Size: 22 (wide) x 14.5 (tall) inches when open. ARTB/060920. Fine.
Oldham, England: Incline Press, . Hardcover. 1 of less than 240 copies printed of which only 50 (including this one) were bound for subscribers. This book was produced to commemorate Boccaccio's 700th anniversary in 2013 for the international conference and exhibition 'Locating Boccacio in 2013,' held at the John Rylands University Library and Town Hall in Manchester. This is an excerpt from De mulierbus, the first collection of biographies of women in Western literature. Fine in beige paper covered boards with red cloth spine. The text is printed on blue paper with Poliphilus type. Includes woodcut frontispiece illustration of Joanna, Queen of Jerusalem and Sicily (1541), initials, and head and tailpieces. In a fine tan dust jacket with red title to spine panel. 22 pages. PRI/092013. Fine / Fine.
New York: Intima Press, 2023. Softcover. One of 26 standard copies lettered A -Z. This is copy B, signed and lettered by the book artist. There are also 10 copies with deluxe bindings. This powerful and timely new work from Mindy Belloff's Intima Press was four years in the making. It is a double-bound miniature pairing of Shakespeare's classic, The Tragedy of Othello, with The Tragedy of Desdemona, which has commentary and statistics compiled by Belloff. This approach magnifies the plight of abused women and also engages in dialogue with the text of Othello as cultural critique. The Desdemona tragedy highlights issues of patriarchy and gender bias throughout the centuries and gives voice to women who have been silenced. The book artist explores how Othello's intense jealousy and eventual murder of Desdemona parallels a modern Othello - the sports personality O.J. Simpson, who was accused of the double murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. Both are tragic stories of jealous rage, domestic violence, male dominance, and femicide. In Desdemona, closing arguments from the legal case and diary entries of the victim are revisited, along with excerpts from Ovid, Dostoevsky and Alice Walker, current news headlines, global statistics on femicide, the 1993 case of Lorena Bobbitt, and more. The use of a dos à dos binding pairs Othello on one side with Desdemona on the other, sharing the same spine - that parallel's Iago's description of marital conjoining as "the beast with two backs," with the two texts and various voices that are conjoined in dialogue, inseparable. This layered narrative continues with a cinematic video card that functions as a time capsule, with an opening montage of images from film and theater productions of Othello, news headlines of sensational stories from the mid-1990s, women's marches from the #MeToo movement, and Supreme Court ruling reversals among other stories. The video is 8:44 minutes. Mindy Belloff is a noted book artist who designed, illustrated, printed and bound this highly inventive work, with a unique box with a magnetic side closure by Celine Lombardi. It is letterpress printed from photopolymer plates in two different shades of browns and reds, with the design of an "O" repeated on each page. The text of Othello is typeset in Adobe Luminari on Mohawk Superfine paper. Desdemona is typeset in Adobe Jenson Pro and printed on Johannot Arches papers. The binding is letterpress printed on paper covers commissioned from Saint-Armand Papeterie in Montreal with Suminagashi marbled edges. The engrossing film on the video card is 2 x 4 inches with volume and play/pause buttons with USB port. An accompanying letterpress printed accordion fold booklet lists the video credits. It is housed in one of two pull-out drawers in the custom box, with the second drawer holding a USB port. The beautiful custom box is covered in fine red cloth with a paper title label on top. A magnificent achievement in fine condition. Book measures 3 5/8 x 2 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches. The box measures 6.5 x 4 x 2.75 inches. Othello has 192 pages; Desdemona has 150 pages. ARTB/100923. Fine.
Vienna: Dorothy Simpson Krause, 2018. Number 4 of four copies signed by the book artist. Dorothy Krause is a painter, collage artist and printmaker who incorporates digital mixed media into her art. Her work is exhibited regularly in galleries and museums and featured in numerous current periodicals and books. In her artist's statement she says: "My work includes large scale mixed media pieces, artist books and book-like objects that bridge between these two forms. It embeds archetypal symbols and fragments of image and text in multiple layers of texture and meaning. It combines the humblest of materials, plaster, tar, wax and pigment, with the latest in technology to evoke the past and herald the future. My art-making is an integrated mode of inquiry that links concept and media in an ongoing dialogue – a visible means of exploring meaning. In this poignant book, Krause recounts the mostly sorrowful life of the beautiful Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, nicknamed Sisi. At the age of 15, Sisi was married to her cousin the Hapsburg Emperor Franz Joseph. Stifled by the protocol of the court, she wrote in her diary, “I have awakened in a dungeon, with chains on my hands.” An especially beautiful, unhappy woman and a restless, obsessive traveler, she carried a hypodermic for cocaine, threatened suicide and, at the age of 61, and was stabbed by an anarchist in Geneva in 1898 and died. The book presents the sad details of her tragic life, with the text in a handwritten font printed in black on orange paper. With six color images of Sisi taken from photographs and paintings. It has a drum leaf binding with the cover of black watered silk over board. Housed in a black paper covered box with a title label on the cover and the title in orange on the spine. In fine condition. Measures 7.25 x 5.25 x .25 inches. Unpaginated [10 pages.] ARTB/051923.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, (1996). Hardcover. INSCRIBED by Nancy M. Neuman, Sarah McClendon, Judy Woodruff and Sara Melendez. Unsent letter laid in from previous owner addressed to Hillary Clinton asking her to sign her chapter so the book could be auctioned for charity. Near fine in near fine illustrated dust jacket with white title to spine. Inscription from editor to half title page and the inscriptions from the essays are at the beginning of their chapters. Two very small spots of soiling to margin of page 131. Else is pristine with photographic illustrations of each essayist. Index, 265 pages. WOM/032817. Near Fine / Near Fine.
Washington DC: 2017. Hardcover. Number 5 of 10 copies. Initialed and numbered by the book artist. Jennaway Pearson is a printmaker and book artist residing in Washington, DC. She teaches at American University and George Washington University. Her work is held in institutional and private collections across the US including the Museum for Women in the Arts, the Library of Congress, and UCLA. In this provocative work, Jennaway explores the meaning of “champion” by connecting figure skater Tonya Harding with the goddess Juno, protector of women. Despite being a record-breaking skater, Harding was a victim of her family, a demanding sporting organization, a tragic marriage, and an insatiable tabloid culture. Pearson suggests that Harding, like many women, would have benefited from the protection of Juno, whom the Romans saw as presiding over all aspects of a woman’s life. The book begins with three pages of text printed as handwritten script on yellow tablet sheets. It offers a sympathetic telling of Harding's life, drawing from an early documentary and a later media reports. This is followed by striking images representing both her life and the themes of the book. The text and images are each in a gathering with a cover sheet with two white squares and black numbers representing skating competition scores. The book was supported by a grant from the College Book Arts Association. Bound in black cloth with title in blue script on front cover. In a coptic-style stitched binding. The book is entirely screen printed on Arches 88 and Rives BFK papers. Housed in a black cloth slipcase with title on front. In fine condition. Measures 11.5 x 13.25 inches. Fine.
Baltimore: John Murphy and Company, 1871. Hardcover. Printed as a fundraiser for the Lee Memorial Association of Richmond, this is a fragment of the Journal of a young lady of Virginia that was written a century prior to this printing. The author is unknown, but the original manuscript was found in a desk of a country home in Maryland. It was written for a friend of the author, Polly Brent, who was also from Virginia. The journal mentions several family members of General Robert E. Lee, making it appropriate for this particular fundraising effort. Bound in pebbled brown cloth boards with gilt title to front board. Thin octavo. Minor wear and rubbing to boards and edges. Dampstain to corners of all pages, minor foxing, and a few smudge marks ( to margins), else clean. 56 pages. STAHIS/070122. Very Good.