Gallery Exhibition: Women Making Books

Gallery talk by Annyston Pennington. Thursday, May 25, 5:00 – 5:30 PM, Harrison-Small Special Collections Library, first floor gallery.

Exploring women’s contributions to and innovations in English and North American book-making from the mid-18th century to the 21st, this exhibition demonstrates the social, personal, and political possibilities when women take control of a book’s content and structure. 

Instead of following only the progress of women’s authorship, we asked: what if women held creative control over the production of the books themselves? What if we were less concerned with breaking into mainstream publishing and more interested in the smaller scale, unpublishable, or private interventions in print culture made by famous and unknown women alike? Special attention is paid to instances in which women were physically, intimately involved in the creation of the object. Many items are one of a kind or limited editions and are often tied to unknown or little-known creators. From scrapbooking to satirizing, from embroidery to zines, these objects represent women’s private and public moves that have pushed at the boundaries of what a book is and can be. 

Curators: Annyston Pennington, Holly Robertson