2017 ANITA LYNN FORGACH KEYNOTE SPEAKER CATHLEEN A. BAKER
The Friends of Dard Hunter, in conjunction with the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, are pleased to announce Dr. Cathleen A. Baker as the keynote speaker for Chasing Paper to be held in Atlanta from October 11-13. With a career in paper and book conservation spanning over 45 years, she has published numerous articles and written several books, including By His Own Labor: The Biography of Dard Hunter (Red Hydra Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama [handmade, limited edition]; Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, Delaware, 2000 [facsimile trade edition]) and the award-winning book, From the Hand to the Machine. Nineteenth-Century American Paper and Mediums: Technologies, Materials, and Conservation (The Legacy Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2010). In 2011, Dr. Baker established the Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship in Conservation to provide experience for conservation students and mid-career-level conservators. Mark your calendars!
Dr. Cathleen A. Baker, a paper and book conservator since 1972, is author of numerous articles and books including By His Own Labor: The Biography of Dard Hunter (2000) and From the Hand to the Machine. Nineteenth-Century American Paper and Mediums: Technologies, Materials, and Conservation (2010). Cathy has an MFA in Books Arts and a PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Alabama. She is Conservation Librarian Emerita from the University of Michigan Library and also proprietor of the award-winning The Legacy Press that specializes in publishing books about the printing, paper, and bookbinding arts. She was a founding member of the Friends of the Dard Hunter Paper Museum and has served as its Secretary, President, and Executive Director.
The Challenge of Dard Hunter’s Legacy in the History and Art of Papermaking
Dard Hunter wore many hats over his astonishing lifetime: arts-and- crafts designer; papermaker; type designer and typefounder; letterpress printer; scholar; explorer and collector; museum curator; and publisher. Hunter’s broad interest across many disciplines – all rooted in his practical experiences – challenges us to try to do the same, especially to engage in related and diverse projects that revolve around the book arts and add to our knowledge about paper. For example, I am involved in an exciting research project to test out a theory that the first western-made wove paper was not made as previous paper historians, including Hunter, have surmised. Working with Timothy Barrett and Timothy Moore, I have made wove paper that closely resembles that found in John Baskerville’s Publii Virgilii Maronis (Birmingham, 1757), paper which was probably made by James Whatman, Sr. This kind of challenge to long-accepted theories reminds us that what we
directly observe in artifacts is not necessarily explained by what has been said and written about in the past. Whether we are historians or artists, we need to hone our critical-thinking skills if we are to keep scholarship and creative endeavors moving forward.