I have always made books. Growing up near Detroit, I would spend hours pouring over the illustrations in my childhood books, and art history books my parents kept in their home. After graduating from art school at the Kansas City Art Institute, I traveled to London where I stumbled upon an amazing exhibition of illuminated manuscripts at The British Library. That show was an epiphany for me - I must have gone back half a dozen times. From that moment, I knew I would spend my life making books.
My work has often reflected an ongoing passion for art and architectural history. A fellowship at the Boston Athenaeum in 1996 to study the prints of the Nuremburg Chronicle
began an ongoing love for early printed books.
I create both one-of-a kind books and limited editions. I am a collector of things: tools, keys, hardware, and vintage postcards to name a few. These things sometimes wind up in my work. I mostly use wood for the covers of my books, a direct influence from the choir books I’ve found in monasteries and cathedral museums in Italy. I have recently learned some metal working techniques in order to create my own hinges and clasps. I have developed a visual language that includes using common objects such as ladders, birds, or keys as symbols. I use maps as a personal narrative; mapping promotes for me a sense of time and place. I utilize an organized language of mark-making to reference text. My books can be found in private collections and major libraries throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
I live and work in a converted loft building in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston, a vibrant arts community, with my partner Gabrielle and our daughter Michela.
Statement courtesy of Laura Davidson
Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO, USA (1981)
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
Rofessional Development Grant, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston, MA (2000-2002)
Mary Catherine Mooney Research Fellowship, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA, USA (1996)
Fellowship, The St. Botolph Club Foundation, Boston, MA, USA (1994)