Thursday, June 30, 2016

June: Legacy of a Botanist

The Artist's Book Ideation Cards for June are:

Color: Favorite

Image: Self generated
Layout: Centered on the page
Paper: Single color
Structure: Accordion
Technique: Collage
Text: Found text
Adjective: Graphic

the front cover: gate-fold layout with collagraph print and letterpress title on handmade paper
   The book for June is titled Legacy of a Botanist. It follows all of the criteria of the Artist's Book Ideation Cards. Since, for this artist a favorite color is hard to pinpoint.. nearly all of the colors are included. The accordion structure was used for the tunnel book side walls, as well as the folded text paper tipped onto the interior of the left front cover.  The paper used for the body of the tunnel book was light green Duotone from the French® Paper Company.

open to a tunnel book with text from an 1839 Baltimore newspaper
   The images in the tunnel are a combination of acrylic-painted drawings on cut-out panels, and collage photographs of flowers. The tunnel setting is designed to resemble a childlike rendition of a Victorian garden. The marbled end papers reflect endpapers seen in books of the 1800's.
the text... a lengthy obituary... unfolding to an accordion fold
   The text was found in a the obituary section of an 1839 Baltimore Gazette. It's yellowed handmade paper has a particularly rich and creamy feel. The verbose depiction of the life of a Mr. Beyrich, the botanist, is set in tiny 6-pt type that puts this letterpress printer in awed admiration for the typesetter's nimble fingers and eagle eye.

close up of the obituary of the botanist
This is the text:

By a letter recently received from Fort Gibson, we regret to learn the death of Mr. Beyrich, the Botanist. This gentleman, so well known to many of our citizens as one who possessed great scientific attainments, arrived in this city from Bremen in April, 1833. He was sent to this country as an exploring Botanist, by a society of gentlemen in Berlin, Prussia, to make a collection of our native plants, and of the seeds and fruits of our forest trees, particularly the oaks. For this purpose he had already travelled over a large part of Europe, and many of the South American provinces. On his arrival in this city, he embarked immediately for Charleston, South Carolina, and after traveling over that and some of the contiguous states, making very large collections of specimens and acquiring much information with regard to his subject, he returned to the north. 
   He arrived here in the summer of 1833, having consumed the summer in his southern exploration. Until last spring he was engaged in visiting the different localities in this state, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and in remitting to his employers a part of his extensive collections. Early last spring he departed for the "far west," with the intention of crossing the Rocky Mountains, and of continuing his researches over these regions which have never yet been carefully examined. He appears to have turned back from this dangerous expedition, inasmuch as he died at the above named military post after having gone beyond it a considerable distance. He was a native of the Hartz Mountains in Germany, and was educated at the University of Gottingen. Although a perpetual traveler, his constitution was infirm, and a chronic form of asthma with which he was afflicted, perhaps induced him to abandon the idea of facing the inclement weather of the Rocky Mountains.
   Like all persons whose lives have been exclusively devoted to the study of the Natural Sciences, he possessed a character of childlike simplicity. His powers of endurance were very great, enhanced, perhaps, by that kind of philosophy which one acquires by extensive travel. He spoke the German, French, Spanish, and English languages well and was profoundly versed in Geology. We will always bear in remembrance his affable and pleasing manners, as also his readiness to to communicate any of the vast amount of knowledge of which he was master. When at sea, the thermometer and microscope were always in his hand, making comparative observations upon the temperature of the ocean water and the Gulph Stream, and examining the small animals and plants that a wave often dashed upon the deck. These instruments, with his notebook, his flint and steel, and his pouch of cigars, of which he used a great many, were his perpetual traveling companions. With him, another learned stranger has died, and lies buried among us, and one, too, whom all respected. Balt. Gazette, 1839.

the end

 This is the selection of Artist's Ideation Cards for July...
Color: Muted or pastel
Image: None
Layout: Across the folds or gutters
Paper: Single color
Structure: Codex (pamphlet, multiple section binding, perfect binding, board book, stacked folios, etc.)
Technique: low-tech (typewriter, rubber stamps, stencils, hand lettering, solvent transfers, etc.)
Text: Abstract, non-verbal, gibberish
Adjective: Pessimistic

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kathy! I love what you did with this--and the obit is wonderful. One could make a lot of books on/about the life of Mr. Beyrich.