National Museum of Women in the Arts
Susan Elizabeth King
April 15 1947 - present
Photograph of Susan Elizabeth King, courtesy of the artist
Place of Birth:
Phonetic Spelling:
SOO-zehn ee-LIHZ-ah-behth king
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Books and manuscripts, Drawings and prints, Multimedia (electronic, digital, video, film), Photography
Artistic Role(s):
Book Artist, Book Binder, Craftsperson, Multimedia Artist, Photographer, Printmaker
Feminist Art, Other
Artist's Statement:
I was an art student during the 1960s, and my education included working with abstract painters, designers that had trained with Bauhaus émigrés, and conceptual artists that visited the University of Kentucky where I was in school. My undergraduate and graduate degrees were in Ceramics. As a graduate student at New Mexico State University, a colleague and I invited Judy Chicago to speak. Judy recruited us for the first year of the Feminist Studio Workshop, an experimental art program that she and others were starting in Los Angeles. I moved there in 1973.

I began making books in 1975 at the Women’s Graphic Center in Los Angeles, then under the direction of designer Sheila de Bretteville. I was inspired by the work of Ed Ruscha and the California printer Jane Grabhorn, and thrilled at the opportunity to print my own writing.

My early work straddled the worlds of small press printing and artists' books. For several years I designed and set type for books of poetry by women writers, publishing under my Paradise Press imprint. I produced my first books at the Women’s Graphic Center studio, which rented space to artists. After a few years, I set up my own studio in West Los Angeles. By 1983, with support from Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York to publish Women and Cars, I focused exclusively on my own work. I also traveled and, as a guest artist, produced offset work at Nexus Press and Visual Studies Workshop.

I’ve recently moved across the country and built a studio that looks out on the rolling hills of Kentucky. Much of my recent work involves black and white photography. I once joked that I started with old technology and worked my way backwards. But recently I’ve become excited about incorporating digital as well as letterpress technology. For more information on recent projects, see my website

Statement courtesy of Susan Elizabeth King

Other Occupation(s):
Administrator, Author, Founder, Teacher, Writer
Place(s) of Residence:
Los Angeles
Where Trained/Schools:
Feminist Studio Workshop, Los Angeles, CA, USA (1973-1975) New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA (1973) Byron Temple Pottery, Lambertville, NJ, USA (1971-1972) University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA (1971)
Related Visual Artists:
student of Byron Temple friend of Judy Chicago influenced by Ed Ruscha influenced by Jane Grabhorn
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Library Fellows Award, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, USA (2001) Best Broadside of the Year, Broadside Commission, Fine Print Magazine, San Francisco, CA, USA (1987) Artist-in-Residence Grant, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, USA (1984)
Earliest exhibition:
The Artists's Book, Madeville Art Gallery, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA (1977)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Book as Art I
Book as Art II
Book as Art IV
Book as Art XII: Artists' Books from the Permanent Collection
Book as Art VI
The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists' Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Upstate New York Artists' Books
Treading the Maze, an Artist's Book of Daze
Women and Cars