Category Archives: Art and Art History

‘What makes work meaningful?’: Q&A with ‘The Social Life of Inkstones’ author Dorothy Ko

The following interview originally appeared at Barnard News and is adapted and used with permission. (Courtesy of N. Jamiyla Chisholm, Barnard College, New York City.)


To honor Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Barnard College professor of history Dorothy Ko offers a peek into ancient and modern-day Eastern culture and politics.

According to the Library of Congress, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month takes place in May for two reasons: May 7, 1843, marked the immigration of the first Japanese citizen to the U.S.; and on May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed, mostly by Chinese immigrant workers.

Credit: Marvin Trachetenberg

Dorothy Ko explores the subjects of gender and body in early modern China. In her books, Ko unravels the complex worlds of Chinese footbinding (Cinderella’s Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding), fashion (Every Step a Lotus: Shoes for Bound Feet), and feminism (Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China). Her latest, The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China, introduces the West to the world of ancient Asian stones and includes close to 100 images (see slideshow below). Ko explains the significance of this highly specialized art form.

What exactly is an inkstone and what is its significance in East Asian culture?

An inkstone is a piece of polished stone about the size of an outstretched palm. Before the invention of fountain pens, let alone laptops and iPads, every student, writer, or painter in East Asia had to grind a fresh supply of ink at the desk by dipping an ink-stick in water and rubbing it on the surface of the stone. This process was as instinctive to them as recharging our iPhones is to us. Day in and day out, the writers and painters developed deep attachments to their implements. More than an instrument for writing, the inkstone was a collectible object of art, a father’s gift to his school-bound son, a token of friendship, and even a diplomatic gift between states.

Why is this tool so unfamiliar to Western civilizations when it has represented so much for the East for more than a millennium?

Europeans drew ink from an inkpot so they had no use for an ink-grinding stone. Nor did the early European collectors appreciate its subtle beauty as the Chinese connoisseurs did. The color of the inkstone tended to be deep purple or black; it is small and does not display well in a stately home or fancy apartment. So it is no wonder that there is no notable collection of inkstones in Europe or America.

Your book shines a light on craftswoman Gu Erniang who became famous for her inkstone-making skills, which were refined between the 1680s and 1730s. What made her such a standout?

Her extraordinary skills. Gu Erniang was a remarkable woman who thrived in a field dominated by men; she became more famous than her male colleagues. Her name was associated with technical and artistic innovations as well as refined taste. It is also interesting to mention that she enjoyed more gender freedom than her genteel sisters in that she could receive male patrons in her studio to discuss commissioned projects face-to-face.

How has the significance of inkstone artisans changed over time?

Gu Erniang was one of the first inkstone makers in China to attach her signature mark on her work, suggesting a heightened respect that exceptional artisans like her enjoyed. Today, because the inkstone is no longer a functional object, all inkstone artisans have to present themselves as creative artists.

What interests you most in this topic area and what are some of the biggest “ah ha!” moments you had conducting research for the book?

I love all the modern conveniences we enjoy but increasingly feel the need to look back and reassess the heavy price we pay for such “industrial development” or “progress.” I became interested in the craftsmen because theirs was a sustainable livelihood that was environmentally responsible. Through their eyes, I arrive at tentative answers to my big question at the moment: What makes work meaningful? The craftsman’s answer: Making one-of-a-kind objects with attention and skill in a collaborative environment. Craft makes us more human by inspiring us to strive for perfection.

How does the research conducted for this book connect to research from your previous publications on footbinding and Chinese feminism?

As a historian of gender, I’m sensitive to power inequalities and trained to analyze the operations of power. In the same way that I had retrieved women in Chinese history in my earlier books, I set out to retrieve the artisans from erasure in the hands of male scholars. Little did I know that the latter turned out to be a far more difficult project.

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Q&A with ‘Queering Contemporary Asian American Art’ editors Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe

This Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month we are excited to share special features with authors and editors of new and recent titles that celebrate Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Today we speak with Queering Contemporary Asian American Art editors Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe about their groundbreaking volume, published this spring, and corresponding website.

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art takes Asian American differences as its point of departure for bringing together artists and scholars pushing back against normative assumptions, expectations, critiques, and practices within Asian American art and visual culture. Taken together, these nine original artist interviews, cutting-edge visual artworks, and seven critical essays explore contemporary currents and experiences within Asian American art, including the multiple axes of race and identity; queer bodies and forms; kinship and affect; and digital identities and performances. The interdisciplinary and theoretically informed frameworks in the volume engage readers to understand global and historical processes through contemporary Asian American artistic production.

Why did you want to put together this book?

Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe: Most of the contributors of Queering Contemporary Asian American Art met at a 2012 National Endowment for the Humanities supported summer institute entitled “Re-envisioning American Art History: Asian American Art, Research, and Teaching” at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University. There we discussed the ways in which we could advance the field of Asian American art history through our teaching, writing, and curatorial projects.

We were very fortunate to have listened to a lecture on “doing” Asian American art history by the late Karin Higa. In her lecture, she described those of us invested in the field as “the termites of art history.” It was a call to critique and nibble away at what we call in the book “the white hegemonic pillars of art practice, history, and criticism.”

We wanted to heed Higa’s call to find innovative and timely ways to work on Asian American art history and thus formed a group at the seminar called “Que(e)rying Asian American Art,” for which the title of our book is named. We saw intense interest by the members of the group to think about the ways in which queer theory could inform Asian American art criticism.

In many ways, the discussions we had during the seminar and at many conferences after the seminar had ended informed the creation of our book. We like to think that our book is a product of our termite activities.

What was it like writing and putting together this kind of volume?

LK & JCB: The process of writing the book was extremely intense but exhilarating! We invited seven authors to write critical essays for the anthology and in total we interviewed 17 artists, from emerging to established in their careers. We started the process of interviewing during the summer of 2014 with genderqueer and transgender artists in Chicago: Kiam Marcelo Junio and Greyson Hong, respectively.

We worked together virtually and in coffee shops throughout Chicago in the two years of the book’s production, and we made a point of organizing panel discussions at academic conferences with the various artists and scholars involved in the book as. There was a lot of transcription of interviews involved as well as selecting artwork to be in the book. Our last interview was in spring 2016 with Tina Takemoto, a San Francisco based artist who self-describes as a “queer, gender queer, gender nonconforming, Asian American dyke.”

What do you hope is the book’s most important contribution?

LK & JCB: We hope our book builds on a queer of color critique and advances the field of Asian American art and contemporary art. The book is a call to build queer coalitions of resistance, to push back against the dominant “model minority” paradigm in Asian America of assimilationist “good” behavior—of not making waves and being silent and complicit in the face of anti-blackness, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and so forth that pervades US culture.

What is your next project?

LK & JCB: We are currently curating a virtual exhibition inspired by our book for the Center for Art and Thought called “Queer Horizons.” In this current moment of political and cultural transformations, especially affecting people of color and LGBTQ communities, the show seeks to envision what a queer futurity looks like. This idea of a queer horizon, borrowed from the late Jose Muñoz, proposes what he calls “a greater openness to the world.”

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

LK & JCB: The artwork is the most important thing. On a basic level, we just want to introduce the important work of the artists and scholars in this book to a wider audience. On a broader level, we want to inspire readers to form their own queer coalitional politics; we are writing to bring together feminists and queer of color artists and scholars to take up our “termite activities” and keep on nibbling at the hegemonic foundations of art history.


Laura Kina is an artist and a Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul University. She is the coeditor of War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art. Jan Christian Bernabe is the operations, new media, and curatorial director at the Center for Art and Thought. The contributors are Mariam B. Lam, Eun Jung Park, Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Valerie Soe, and Harrod J Suarez. Featured artists are Anida Yoeu Ali, Kim Anno, Eliza Barrios, Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Wafaa Bilal, Hasan Elahi, Greyson Hong, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Lin + Lam (H. Lan Thao Lam and Lana Lin), Viet Le, Maya Mackrandilal, Zavé Martohardjono, Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Tina Takemoto, Kenneth Tam, and Saya Woolfalk.

May 2017 News, Reviews, and Events

News

Nearly 500 bookstores across the country will be participating in the national literary party that is Independent Bookstore Day tomorrow, April 29! Twenty-three stores will take part in Seattle Independent Bookstore Day (Facebook | Twitter). The Seattle Review of Books, Seattle Times, Stranger, and many others have excellent guides to tomorrow’s special events, limited edition goods, giveaways, and much more. (P.S. Don’t miss the 11 a.m. Book Larder signing with A Year Right Here author Jess Thomson!)

California through Native Eyes by William J. Bauer, Jr. has been awarded Honorable Mention for the 9th Annual Labriola Center American Indian Book Award. “The book made a profound and thought-provoking impact on the judging committee,” wrote chair Dr. David Martinez. Congratulations to the author and all involved!

Asians in Colorado by William Wei is a finalist for the 2017 Colorado Authors’ League Writing Award in General Nonfiction. The winners will be announced at an awards banquet on May 5, 2017 in Arvada, Colorado. Good luck to our author and all finalists!

We remember Eugene N. “Koz” Kozloff (1920 – 2017), who passed away on March 4th in Anacortes, WA. He was the author of books including Plants and Animals of the Pacific Northwest (1976), Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast (1983), and Marine Invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest (1987). Read obituaries in the Anacortes American / Skagit Valley Herald and the San Juan Islander.

Book of the Month Giveaways

Enter to win one of this month’s picks! (Open to US residents only.)

  1. The Hope of Another Spring by Barbara Johns (Entry form)
  2. Behind the Curve by Joshua P. Howe (Entry form)

The giveaways will close on Friday, May 5, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. PT. Winners will be notified by Monday, May 8, 2017.

Reviews and Interviews

Various coverage for A Year Right Here by Jess Thomson:

  • A review at the New York Times Book Review : “We all know what happens to the list you make at the start of the year. But if everything had gone according to plan, Thomson’s book would be as straightforward as her original list. The twists and turns are what makes it — that and a solid recipe for fried chicken.”—Max Watman
  • An interview on KING5 “New Day Northwest
  • An excerpt at SeattleMag.com (from the April 2017 print edition)
  • An interview on KATU “AM Northwest
  • An interview on KGW “Portland Today
  • A review at Foreword Reviews (5/5 Hearts): “Reads like a five-course meal for the mind. . . . A Year Right Here is a genuine pleasure to read, as refreshing in its localism and eclecticism as it is in its universal soul-searching and earnest attempt to redefine one’s relationship with home.”—Scott Neuffer

Various coverage for Seattle Walks and Too High and Too Steep by David B. Williams:

  • A Facebook Live broadcast by The Nature Conservancy in Washington.
  • A review in Seattle Review of Books  / Seattle Weekly: “Williams encourages readers to slow down and look at the city through a pedestrian’s eyes. It’s a worthy cause. . . . Williams actually gets you out onto the streets, where the history happened, and that makes everything seem closer and more relevant. . . . Seattle Walks is all about that feeling, of seeing familiar streets through new eyes. All it takes is a good guide, a slowing-down of your pace, and a willingness to stop and look up every once in a while.”—Paul Constant
  • A review on the Mercer Island Books / NW Book Lovers blogs
  • A Q&A at Blog 4Culture
  • An Interview on KING5 “New Day Northwest

A trio of reviews for Ice Bear by Michael Engelhard:

  • A review in LSE Review of Books: “The visuals set this book apart from most. Rather than simply offering one author’s work, it is more akin to a polar bear museum. Each image tells a powerful story – some of them familiar, others outlandish, but all portraying a real animal of mythical proportions. . . . Limiting yourself to the captions would mean that you fail to embark on Engelhard’s literary and thrillingly human adventure. . . . At the end of this whirlwind tour of the cultural history of the polar bear, I now have a newfound fascination for the species but also for the people, who live with, depict and study them. Michael Engelhard writes confidently of the physical and metaphysical realms as well as our projections of human fears, fantasies and ambitions onto this quintessential Other.”—Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui
  • A review in International Bear News: “What has been missing to date has been a thorough review of the cultural associations between humans and polar bears. That gap has now been filled by Michael Engelhard’s detailed treatment of the connection between humans and polar bears in Ice Bear. . . . This book should be in the library of all who share this interest and want to know more about this Arctic icon.”—Marty Obbard
  • A short review in the Idaho Press-Tribune: “Ice Bear isn’t just for lovers of polar bears. No, ecologists will enjoy it, too, as will environmentally-minded readers, animal lovers, culture mavens, and watchers of the Arctic. Bonus: lots of pictures!”—Terri Schlichenmeyer (The Bookworm Sez)

The New Yorker interviews Smell Detectives author Melanie Kiechle in an online story about smells and cities.


Process (blog of the Organization of American Historians) features a commentary piece by Making Climate Change History editor and Behind the Curve author Joshua P. Howe on the March for Science as a moment in the public face of American science.

New Books

The Hope of Another Spring: Takuichi Fujii, Artist and Wartime Witness
By Barbara Johns
Foreword by Rogers Daniel
Introduction to the Diary by Sandy Kita

This richly illustrated book reveals the life story and work of Issei artist Takuichi Fujii (1891-1964) and gives a telling alternative view of the wartime ordeal of West Coast Japanese Americans. The centerpiece of Fujii’s large and heretofore unknown collection is his illustrated diary, which historian Roger Daniels calls “the most remarkable document created by a Japanese American prisoner during the wartime incarceration.” The Hope of Another Spring is a significant contribution to Asian American studies, American and regional history, and art history.

Woodland: The Story of the Animals and People of Woodland Park Zoo
By John Bierlein and Staff of HistoryLink
Distributed for HistoryLink / Woodland Park Zoo

Follow the history of Woodland Park Zoo from its nineteenth-century beginnings as a park originally carved from the wilderness north of downtown Seattle to promote a nearby real estate development. As Seattle grew, its zoo engendered civic pride and the animals in its growing collection became local personalities. By the 1970s, the zoo emerged as an international pioneer in zoo design. Lavishly illustrated, Woodland provides a narrative of changing ideas about the relationship between humans and animals, and a fond look at the zoo’s animals and the people who care for them.

Making Climate Change History: Documents from Global Warming’s Past
Edited by Joshua P. Howe
Foreword by Paul S. Sutter

This collection pulls together key documents from the scientific and political history of climate change, including congressional testimony, scientific papers, newspaper editorials, court cases, and international declarations. Far more than just a compendium of source materials, the book uses these documents as a way to think about history, while at the same time using history as a way to approach the politics of climate change from a new perspective.

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art
Edited by Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe
Foreword by Susette Min
Afterword by Kyoo Lee

Taken together, these nine original artist interviews, cutting-edge visual artworks, and seven critical essays explore contemporary currents and experiences within Asian American art, including the multiple axes of race and identity; queer bodies and forms; kinship and affect; and digital identities and performances.

Events

APRIL

April 29 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Burke Museum, Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, with Lynda Mapes and Stokley Towles, Environmental Writing: Inspire, Observe, Inhabit, Seattle, WA ($90 for Burke Members, $100 for general public)

April 29 at 11 a.m., Jess Thomson, A Year Right Here, Book Larder, signing for Independent Bookstore Day, Seattle, WA

April 29 at 2 p.m., William Wei, Asians in Colorado, Colorado Authors’ League Awards Finalists Panel & Booksigning in Adult Nonfiction and Poetry, Tattered Cover, Denver, CO

April 30 at 4 p.m., David B. Williams, Seattle Walks, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA

MAY

May 2 at 7:30 p.m., Carolyne Wright, Kathya Alexander, Laura Da’, Jana Harris, and Holly J. Hughes, Raising Lilly Ledbetter (Lost Horse Press), Town Hall Seattle, Seattle, WA (Tickets $5)

May 3, 2017 at 6 p.m., 12th Annual Literary Voices, Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots; Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald; Eileen Bjorkman, The Propeller under the Bed; Moon-ho Jung, The Rising Tide of Color; Tom Reese & Eric Wagner, Once and Future River; Jess Thomson, A Year Right Here; Thaisa Way, The Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag; Margaret Willson, Seawomen of Iceland; North Ballroom at the HUB. Tickets: $150 per person; $1,500 per table, register online

May 4 at 7 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Walla Walla University, Walla Walla, WA

May 5 at 6 p.m., William Wei, Asians in Colorado, 2017 Colorado Authors’ League Annual Awards Banquet, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Arvada, CA, RSVP required (Tickets $50)

May 5 – 6, Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, with Dani Cornejo and Nicole Yanes on Opata language and culture revival, “The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ“ Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

May 6 at 11 a.m., Eileen Bjorkman, The Propeller under the Bed, Book signing and fly-in at Harvey Field, Snohomish, WA

May 7 at 7 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

May 8 at 6:30 p.m., Jess Thomson, A Year Right Here, Book Larder, Seattle, WA

May 9 at 7 p.m., David Berger, Razor Clams, Humanities Washington, Toledo Community Library, Toledo, WA

May 11 at 6 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Darvill’s Bookstore, Orcas Island, WA

May 12 – 13, Zuo Tradition / Zuozhuan, translated by Stephen Durrant, Wai-Yee Li, and David Schaberg, UCLA International Institute Asia Pacific Center, Taiwan Studies Lectureship Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA

May 13 from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., John Bierlein and staff of HistoryLink, Woodland, Woodland Park Zoo (Mom & Me; ZooStore booth signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.), Seattle, WA

May 13 at 1 p.m., Samuel Ligon, Wonderland (Lost Horse Press), Pie & Whiskey & Mothers, Sandpoint Library, Rude Girls Room, Spokane, WA

May 19 at 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., James Longhurst, Bike Battles, Midwest Active Transportation Conference (welcome keynote), UW La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

May 20, Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, BARN Writers, Bainbridge Island, WA

May 21 at 4 p.m., David B. Williams, Seattle Walks, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

May 23 at 7 p.m., Lorraine McConaghy and Judy Bentley, Free Boy, Newport High School orchestra showcase, featuring works by composer Tim Huling, based on Free Boy, Bellevue, WA

May 24 at 7 p.m., John Bierlein, Woodland, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA

May 25 at 7:30 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Seattle Pacific University, Ames Library, Pacific Northwest Historians Guild meeting, Seattle, WA

JUNE

June 1 at 3:30 – 6 p.m., Rural China on the Eve of Revolution, Edited by Stevan Harrell and William Lavely (Published with University of Washington Libraries), Lecture, reception, book signing, and Allen Library exhibit viewing, University of Washington, Allen Library, Petersen Room, Seattle, WA

June 1, David Giblin, Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Washington Native Plant Society, Central Puget Sound Chapter (CPS), (pre-publication event; Mountaineers Program Center, Cascade Room), Seattle, WA

June 3 at 10 a.m., William J. Bauer, Jr., California through Native Eyes, Bay Area Book Festival, “Witness and Testimony: The Past and Present of Native America,” Berkeley, CA

June 4 from 10 – 2 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, Liberty Bay Books, Local Author Sunday, Poulsbo, WA

June 7 at 7 p.m., John Bierlein, Woodland, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

June 10 at 5:30 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, Time Enough Books, Ilwaco, WA

June 11 at 3 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, with Iris Graville and Vicki Robin, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA

June 12 at 7 p.m., Judy Bentley, Walking Washington’s History, King County Library System – Issaquah, Issaquah, WA

June 15 at 6:30 p.m., James Longhurst, Bike Battles, Whitefish Bay Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

March 2017 News, Reviews, and Events

News

Our job posting for the 2017-2018 Mellon Diversity Fellow is now live and we are accepting applications through March 15. If you know of excellent candidates, please send them our way!

Reviews and Interviews


The New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog features No-No Boy by John Okada: “Reading No-No Boy, this week, it no longer seemed bound to its past; it felt like a prophecy, a cosmic tragedy, a message in a bottle that arrives a half century later.”—Hua Hsu


A collaborative piece with PRI’s Global Nation Education and Densho mentions Miné Okubo’s Citizen 13660 in an article about activists working to keep the story of Executive Order 9066 alive today. Bustle also features the book in a round-up of “10 Graphic Novels Written by Activists That You Need to Read Now More Than Ever”: “Heartbreaking, candid. . . . Okubo recounts her experience with poignancy and a surprising amount of humor.”—Charlotte Ahlin

Continue reading

New in Art History and Visual Culture for CAA 2017

From February 15-18, we are excited to attend the annual conference of the College Art Association in New York, NY. Editor in chief Larin McLaughlin and advancement and grants manager Beth Fuget will be representing the Press, debuting several new books, and meeting with authors, publishing partners, and other professionals in the arts.

We are thrilled to introduce our recent and forthcoming titles in art history and visual culture at the meeting. Please stop by our booth (#206) to get a first look at our new offerings, and join the discussion on social media with #caa2017.

New and Recent Books

Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture
Edited by Leigh Raiford and Heike Raphael-Hernandez

Migrating the Black Body explores how visual media—from painting to photography, from global independent cinema to Hollywood movies, from posters and broadsides to digital media, from public art to graphic novels—has shaped diasporic imaginings of the individual and collective self.

Forthcoming Books

The Hope of Another Spring: Takuichi Fujii, Artist and Wartime Witness
By Barbara Johns
Foreword by Roger Daniels
Introduction to the diary by Sandy Kita
Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies
Forthcoming May 2017

The Hope of Another Spring reveals the rare find of a heretofore unknown collection of art produced during World War II. The centerpiece of the collection is Fujii’s illustrated diary that historian Roger Daniels has called “the most remarkable document created by a Japanese American prisoner during the wartime incarceration.”

Sonny Assu: A Selective History
By Sonny Assu
With Candice Hopkins, Marianne Nicholson, Richard Van Camp, and Ellyn Walker
Forthcoming June 2017

Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography,
printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu
merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography
with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective
spans over a decade of Assu’s career, highlighting
more than 120 full-color works, including several
never-before-exhibited pieces.

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art
Edited by Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe
Foreword by Susette Min
Afterword by Kyoo Lee
Jacob Lawrence Series on American Artists
Forthcoming May 2017

These artist interviews, cutting-edge visual artworks, and critical essays explore contemporary currents and experiences within Asian American art, including the multiple axes of race and identity; queer bodies and forms; kinship and affect; and digital identities and performances. Continue reading

February 2017 News, Reviews, and Events

News

We are pleased to announce that Catherine Cocks is joining our acquisitions team as Senior Acquisition Editor, starting February 15. She started her career in academic publishing at SAR Press, the publishing arm of the School for Advanced Research, where she established the cutting-edge series in Global Indigenous Politics, among other accomplishments. She worked most recently at the University of Iowa Press, where she is currently Editorial Director. Please join us in welcoming Catherine to the press!

The University of Washington Press has five selected entries in the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. Congratulations to the designers, our Editorial, Design, and Production department, and all involved!

Nine University of Washington Press authors will be participating in the 12th Annual Literary Voices event on May 3, 2017. Annie Proulx is this year’s keynote speaker.

Reviews and Interviews

The Times Literary Supplement reviews Ice Bear by Michael Engelhard: “Engelhard has an apt and unusual background for a book such as this. . . . Among the strengths of Ice Bear is its grasp of the rituals by which humans have always aspired to draw the strength of the polar bear into themselves.”—Mark Abley

The Spectator also reviews the book: “[A] beautifully illustrated, hugely engaging book. . . . For all its nightmare-haunting power, however, the aspect of the polar bear that really makes it an icon of the age is its vulnerability . . . . Another merit of the book is the author’s willingness to track these themes to their origins.”—Mark Cocker

Continue reading

Exhibitions on View: ‘Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series’

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) is widely regarded as one of America’s most important and celebrated artists. Lawrence’s paintings, drawings, and murals depict both critical moments in history and poignant struggles of the black American experience—from the Civil War to the civil rights movement and beyond. Lawrence’s many awards include his 1983 election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a National Arts Award in 1992, and his confirmation as Commissioner of the National Council of the Arts in 1978 by the U.S. Senate. Lawrence accepted a tenured position at the University of Washington in 1971, retired as professor emeritus in 1986, and remains one of Seattle’s most beloved artists.

Jacob Lawrence in his Seattle studio, 1984. Photo by Mary Randlett.

Jacob Lawrence in his Seattle studio, 1984. Photo by Mary Randlett.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Seattle Art Museum will show all sixty panels of the epic series considered his masterwork together on the West Coast for the first time in decades. Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series is on view from Saturday, January 21 through Sunday, April 23, 2017.

The University of Washington Press is proud to have published many books by and about Lawrence over the years and in conjunction with key exhibitions of his work at museums throughout the country.

Learn more about Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series at the Seattle Art Museum site, which also provides links to online interactive experiences created by the two museums that jointly own the series:

Additional reading from UW Press by and about Jacob Lawrence:

Aesop’s Fables
Jacob Lawrence

Aesop’s Fables combines 23 timeless morality tales with striking black ink drawings by the revered artist. Published originally in 1970, the book was out of print for two decades. The new edition, completely redesigned and typeset, adds five illustrations Lawrence prepared for the original edition but which were not included in it.

Jacob Lawrence: American Painter
By Ellen Harkins Wheat

This major book is the most comprehensive survey ever made of Lawrence’s work and traces his development as an artist as well as places his work within the tradition of American modernism. The chronological overview of his career is enhanced by over 150 illustrations of his work, 85 in color, and a generous selection of photos that place him in his studio, in the art world at large, and among his friends and colleagues.

Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence
Edited by Peter T. Nesbett and Michelle DuBois

The first multi-author, in-depth probe of the artist’s entire career: the nature of his work, his education, the critical climate in which he worked, and his use of materials and techniques. It reproduces, in full color, more than 200 works, most of which had not been published in color, or at all, in other books on the artist.

Also available:

Jacob Lawrence: The Complete Prints, 1963-2000
Peter T. Nesbett

This new edition of Jacob Lawrence: Thirty Years of Prints (1963-1993) includes 19 new prints produced by Lawrence since 1993, including 7 from the Toussaint L’Ouverture series. The book includes an essay by Patricial Hills. In his graphic work, Lawrence presents a vision of a common struggle toward unity and equality, a universal struggle seated in the depths of the human consciousness.