July 15, 2024

Vagmare.com

The Intersection of Information and Insight

Over 25 Years of a Pioneering Collective’s History Comes Together in ‘Trailblazing Women Printmakers’ — Colossal

2 min read



History

#art history
#books
#printmaking

November 16, 2023

Jackie Andres

Aino Clarke, “Jazz Age.” Photo by Peter Morse, courtesy of Peter and Bobbi Kovner. All images © the artists, courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press, shared with permission

Working together from about 1941 to 1969 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and almost entirely comprised of women block printers, the artists of the Folly Cove Designers comprised one of America’s longest-running collectives. The pioneering group produced hundreds of unique designs, and a new book by Elena M. Sarni from Princeton Architectural Press titled Trailblazing Women Printmakers: Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios and the The Folly Cove Designers details the group’s prolific history and extensive works.

Led by acclaimed children’s book author Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios, the collective functioned similarly to a medieval craft guild. Artists would convene regularly for classes on design and technique and also hone their skills individually, either at home or in the studio. Afterwards, jurors assessed their designs, and upon approval, the works proceeded to the printing stage.

Cut from linoleum and block-printed onto mainly fabric, each design tells a story. Members were constantly urged to draw inspiration from their surroundings, whether depicting a musical performance, the local college campus, or kitchen utensils and ingredients. Each artist shared personal narratives and familiar scenes. According to the Cape Ann Museum, which houses the largest collection of work by the Folly Cove Designers, Demetrios encouraged artists to “draw ‘what they knew’ and to sketch their subjects over and over again until they made them their own.” Each intricate print documented daily life, giving voice to women’s stories.

Find your copy of Trailblazing Women Printmakers on Bookshop.

 

symmetrically designed patterns depicting railroads and trains

Eino Natti, “Polyphemus.” Photo by Gary Lowell, courtesy of Sandy Bay Historical Society

against a navy blue background, houses with trees and lakes and gardens emerge in a cream hue

Louise Kenyon, “Head of the Cove.” Photo by Peter Morse, courtesy of Peter and Bobbi Kovner

a repeating pattern depicting an archer and a forest with birds

Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios, “Robin Hood.” Hood. Photo by Gary Lowell, courtesy of Sandy Bay Historical Society

symmetrically designed radial pattern depicting lines that look like stairs

Aino Clarke, “Atomic Age.” Courtesy of Cape Ann Museum

a town with figures and foliage lining the streets

Louise Kenyon, “Smith College.” Photo by Peter Morse, courtesy of Peter and Bobbi Kovner

a repeating pattern of a man and woman dancing

Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios, “Finnish Hop.” Photo by Gary Lowell, courtesy of Sandy Bay Historical Society

symmetrically designed radial pattern depicting ingredients and cooking utensils

Lee Natti, “Old Sturbridge Country Store.” Photo by Gary Lowell, courtesy of Kathryn Soucy

Group portrait of the Folly Cove Designers in front of barn.

Group portrait of the Folly Cove Designers, courtesy of Cape Ann Museum

book cover that says: Trailblazing Women Printmakers"

#art history
#books
#printmaking

 

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.