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MFA Book Arts professor gives back to Alma Mater

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Professor Anna Embree, Associate Professor of the Master of Fine Arts Book Arts program at the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies was selected to have her book featured in an auction for the 30th anniversary celebration and fundraising event for the University of Iowa Conservation Department in the University of Iowa Libraries.

The auction will be held at the University of Iowa on Nov.13 and will feature 11 fine bindings and handmade tools from alumni and friends of the Conservation Lab, which showcases bindings inspired by Conservator William Anthony, founder of the Conservation Lab at UI.

“William Anthony’s dedication to teaching has greatly influenced the education of generations of bookbinders in the United States. Many Book Artists who create even the most innovative or non-traditional work, received training rooted in traditional craft that can be directly traced to the lineage of William Anthony and his students,” said Embree.

“My intent with this work was to honor this legacy by creating a binding using the traditional materials and techniques of my craft while pushing the boundaries of conventional book form,” said Embree.


Embree’s work is covered in full goat leather with goat leather onlays and blind tooling. The endsheets are pastepaper on bugra paper and the end bands are sewn with silk thread. The boards are composed of many layers of binders board that have been sanded and shaped for a heavily cushioned and sculptural effect. The board attachment and lining are experimental and were inspired by Gary Frost’s work with sewn board attachments.

Embree’s books is currently valued at $2,000. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the William Anthony Conservation Fund, which supports ongoing conservation activities and special projects.

Embree received her bachelors and graduate certificate from the University of Iowa and her masters from Iowa State.
For more information regarding the 30th anniversary please visit: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/preservation/30years/.

Contact: Julessa Sherrod, office associate II, 205/348-4610, jsherrod@slis.ua.edu
Source: Anna Embree, MFA associate professor, 205/348-2398, aembree@bookarts.ua.edu