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Margo Klass
Fairbanks, AK

My interest in handmade books originated with my study of medieval manuscripts. The combined beauty of natural vellum, elegant calligraphy, detailed illuminations and handcrafted bindings drew me to this early form of artists’ book first as art historian, then as artist. My architectural artists’ books reflect a relationship between artists’ books and Northern Renaissance altarpieces. As a student of art history I was struck with the similarities between works, such as Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece and the innovative bindings of contemporary artists’ books. The moveable panels of the historical altarpieces seemed to function like giant pages that opened or closed according to the liturgical calendar. Materials used in creating my altarpieces relate to more contemporary artists’ books, and include objects, many of which have iconographic references to their medieval counterparts. Like their art historical antecedents, these altarpiece structures can be viewed in several configurations as their "pages" are opened or unfolded. The altarpiece's central space, its niches, antechambers and windows are all given three-dimensional form while maintaining the medieval hierarchy of composition. I maintain studios in Fairbanks, Alaska and Corea, Maine.

©2014 Center for Book Arts, Incorporated 1974

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