HISTORY OF ART SERIES: Women in Publishing #WIP
Women in Publishing (#WIP) is the focus for the 2019 History of Art series. The Center for Book Arts will be hosting three lively discussions in which leading scholars, publishers, artists and activists will explore women’s contributions to Western book history from the Renaissance to the present. Collectively, these women are rewriting the dominant patriarchal narrative of book history, placing women’s contributions to printing and publishing at the fore. Their work demonstrates that the history of Women in Publishing is truly a Work in Progress (#WIP). Through the series, the Center for Book Arts hopes to encourage further action toward a more inclusive history by recognizing and sharing underrecognized histories, voices, viewpoints and practices. The series is moderated by Sarah Kirk Hanley, independent scholar and critic in fine prints, multiples and artists’ books.
Kamelya Omayma Youssef will be moderating this community forum preceding the panel, which will provide an opportunity for open dialogue on the series as whole and the role of Women in Publishing as a Work in Progress (#WIP).
The history of women in all areas of culture has been systematically suppressed over the centuries. In this panel, we will hear from pioneering female scholars who have unearthed the forgotten contributions of women to the history of printing, book arts, and publishing in their research.
Sarah Kirk Hanley – independent expert and critic in fine prints, multiples and artists’ books. She is a contributor to the journal Art in Print and a consulting expert appraiser and advisor. Hanley is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, ArtTable and the Association of Print Scholars.
Lisa Unger Baskin– A faculty member at at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, Unger Baskin is a political activist, collector, and bookseller whose politics inform her collecting. A significant part of her collection focuses on women printers, booksellers, illuminators, bookbinders and artists from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. An exhibition of selected works, “Five Hundred Years of Women’s Work: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection” is on view at the Rubenstein Library, Duke University, 28 February – 15 June, 2019; it will travel to the Grolier Club, New York, 11 December 2019 – 8 January 2020. Baskin will speak about the collection and its role documenting women’s work.
Paula McDowell, PhD – Professor of English, New York University. Dr. McDowell is a specialist in eighteenth-century British studies; media history and theory; and the History of the Book. Dr. McDowell will present her research on Elinor James (c. 1645-1719), a London printer-author whose more than one hundred pamphlets and broadsides addressing political, religious, and commercial concerns provide an outspoken commentary on the major events of a tumultuous period. McDowell will use the example of James to raise a series of questions about assumptions, expectations, methodologies and challenges in studying the history of women in publishing.
Madeleine Viljoen, PhD– Curator of Prints and the Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. Dr. Villjoen will present an overview of her research on Henrietta Louisa Koenen (1830-1881), the wife of the first keeper of the print room at the Rijksmuseum, who assembled the first comprehensive collection of early modern women printmakers. Her paper will be published in October 2019 so this will represent a preview and initial public presentation of her work to date.
Sarah Werner, PhD– A book historian and early modern scholar who taught early modern printing history at the Folger Shakespeare Library for nearly a decade. The author of Studying Early Printed Books 1450–1800: A Practical Guide (Wiley 2019) and its companion site EarlyPrintedBooks.com, Dr. Werner draws on her experience of writing about the common printing press to consider what a feminist praxis of printing history could be if it’s focused on printing, not printers. This talk draws on research she presented as the APHA’s 2018 Lieberman Lecture at the Library of Congress and her ongoing work to open up access to rare books to all audiences.
The Center for Book Arts’ 2019 History of Art Series is supported by a grant from the New York Chapter of the American Printing History Association. Additional support is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.