National Museum of Women in the Arts
Pamela Spitzmueller
October 07 1950 - present
Photograph of Pamela Spitzmueller, courtesy of the artist
Place of Birth:
Phonetic Spelling:
PAM-eh-lah spihts-MEW-lerr
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Books and manuscripts
Artistic Role(s):
Book Artist, Mixed Media Artist
Artist's Statement:
I am very object and artifact-oriented and have been making three-dimensional work in book form for almost twenty-five years. My interest in both book conservation and artists’ books has always leaned toward traditional materials and the book structures that have evolved over time in different cultures. Through this dual career, I find both parts need and nourish each other. They are never equal, but ebb and flow as discovery in one finds outlets in the other. This includes book structure as well as content.

Though I do sell works, it is not why I make them. I make them because I have to. Books happen because I'm thinking about something and working with my hands is the outlet. The books I make combine such materials as paper, fabric, leather, wood, fiber, parchment, ink, pencil, paint, and metal. They are meant to be handled, looked into, read, and operated. Gradually, I have worked drawing and text into my one-of-a-kind books. It is best when all parts come together at once, but sometimes a blank book will be empty for years before being filled. Or the text and images come first and I have to find the right structure for them.

Statement courtesy of Pamela Spitzmueller

Other Occupation(s):
Author, Conservator, Librarian, Professor, Researcher
Place(s) of Residence:
Iowa City
Where Trained/Schools:
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IO, USA (1992-1998) University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, USA (1968-1973)
Related Visual Artists:
student of Gary Frost student of Anthony Cains student of Tom Albro student of Barbara Meier-Husby student of William Anthony student of Paul Banks
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Grant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY, USA (1993) Grant, Kress Foundation, New York, NY, USA (1992) Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC, USA (1979)
Earliest exhibition:
Works on Paper, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA (1978)
NMWA exhibition(s):
The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists' Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Book as Art VI
Book as Art XII: Artists' Books from the Permanent Collection
Book as Art: Tenth Anniversary Exhibition
Book as Art V
Book as Art VII
Artist retrospective(s):
British Museum Memoir, 1997
British Museum Memoir