Karen Hanmer’s artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format.
Hanmer is winner of the Jury Prize for Binding in the 2009 Helen Warren DeGolyer American Bookbinding Competition. One of only ten graduates of the American Academy of Bookbinding’s Fine Binding program, Hanmer has studied with many notable fine binders. She holds a degree in Economics from Northwestern University.
Hanmer exhibits widely, and her work is included in collections ranging from Tate Britain and the Library of Congress to UCLA and Graceland. Solo exhibition venues include Florida Atlantic University, University of the West of England Bristol, and the Center for Book Arts (NYC). Curated exhibition venues include the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Brooklyn Museum, Harvard University’s Fogg Museum of Art, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft; and traveling exhibitions sponsored by the Guild of Book Workers (US), Designer Bookbinders (UK) the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists’ Guild, and Les Amis de la Reliure d’Art du Canada.
An acknowledged leader in the book arts community, she served on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, the peer-reviewed online book arts journal, and is a reviewer for the Guild of Book Workers Journal. Hanmer curated Marking Time, a triennial exhibition sponsored by the Guild of Book Workers. She offers workshops and private instruction to working practitioners and dedicated hobbyists, focusing on a solid foundation in traditional binding skills.