The Natural History Museum #1
3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Unique artist’s book
Collection of Hennepin County Public Library, James K. Hosmer Special Collections, Minneapolis, MN
This artist’s book explores the natural history museum, past and present. Upon opening the clamshell box “exhibit,” the viewer finds, on one side of the box, a diorama featuring animals of the littoral zone. On the other side of the box, accompanying signage and a drawer contains information on the animals, Darwin-esque drawings, actual specimens, and a Medieval scroll. Interacting with this work is an act of discovery. At times, the piece evokes the way information is presented in natural history museums today, while at other times it calls to mind the legends and cabinets of curiosities of Medieval times.
The work is housed inside a clamshell box. The natural specimens in the box (rocks, periwinkle and barnacle shells) were sourced from Bumpkin Island, part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area in Massachusetts. The periwinkle and barnacle bodies were hand-sewn. The text was hand-drawn in Perpetua Titling MT, Lucida Blackletter, Lucida Calligraphy, and Optima. There are two pamphlet-bound books and one scroll. All drawings in the box are original graphite drawings and are protected with fixative. A colophon is included, which is numbered and signed by the artist. This work is meant to be opened and explored.