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Frankenstein, Illustrated by Barry Moser, Unique Leather Binding by Karen Hanmer



Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Illustrated by Barry Moser

Published by University of California Press, Berkeley in 1984

Unique Exhibition Full Leather Binding by Karen Hanmer

FINE Condition

Binding Details:  Beautiful full vellum over boards processed by Karen Hanmer and Pergamena to obtain the distinctive patina on the front and rear covers that features a lightning design in pochoir with acrylic. The lightning image is derived from Natasha Sinegina (CC-SA4.0). Unlike numerous film versions, Shelley’s text does not detail the process or the moment when Dr. Frankenstein “infused a spark of being” into his creation. Still electricity, lightning, storms and fire are recurring motifs throughout the text.

The spine has hand-titling in palladium and various shades of gold leaf and the top page edges are decorated with graphite sprinkled with gold and palladium. There are three-color hand-sewn silk endbands and the endpapers are St. Armand flexi. The original dust jacket is bound into the rear of the book. The binding was done in 2018 for the Guild of Book Workers 2018-2019 Exhibition entitled, Formations which was on display throughout the United States including: The Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Georgia Tech University, The University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of the Arts, Philadelphia.

The book measures 12” x 9” x 1” and is housed in a custom made linen clamshell box with a leather spine label with gold gilt titling. Accompanying the book is the original exhibition catalogue which contains a page on Karen Hanmer’s binding of Frankenstein.

About the Book:  This is the first trade edition of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley with illustrations by Barry Moser published by The University of California Press, Berkeley in 1984. The book is reproduced from the limited Pennyroyal Press edition and contains the 1818 3-volume text interpreted by engraver/illustrator Barry Moser in a series of 52 original woodcuts that capture the stark, brooding, ominous tone of Shelley's classic.

About the Artist: Chicago binder, book and installation artist Karen Hanmer’s intimate, playful works fragment and layer text and image to intertwine memory, cultural history, and the history of science. Her work weds the ancient act of book binding with the high tech use of the computer to aid her process. The intimate scale and the gestures of exploration required to travel through each piece evoke the experience of looking through an album, a diary, or the belongings of a loved one. However, her works often take the forms of games or puzzles, and many include witty text.

Karen Hanmer exhibits widely and her work is included in collections ranging from Tate Britain and the Library of Congress to UCLA and Graceland. Recent curated exhibition venues include the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Brooklyn Museum, Harvard University’s Fogg Museum of Art, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and The Center for Book Arts (NYC); and traveling exhibitions sponsored by the Guild of Book Workers, the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists' Guild, and Les Amis de la Reliure d'Art du Canada. Karen won the Jury Prize for Binding in the 2009 Helen Warren DeGolyer American Bookbinding Competition. She holds a degree in Economics from Northwestern University, and has studied with many notable book artists and fine binders.

Condition Report: The binding and clamshell box are in FINE condition.

Photographs of the binding, exhibition catalogue, and stock photographs of Barry Moser’s illustrations appear in the photo section of the listing.