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Scene in a Library.

Photographs by Mary Ellen Bartley. Concept by Mary Ellen Bartley & Leandro Villaro.
Penumbra Foundation, 2021. Unpaged, Six leporellos, 28 photographs, 8ΒΌx11".

Publisher's Description

Out of Print.

Edition of 40 signed and numbered copies.

In 2019, Bartley spent six weeks at Penumbra making hundreds of prints, using a toner-based copier machine. All images were forged using the Taubman collection of 19th and early 20th century photographic manuals, treatises, and monographs, housed at the Foundation’s location in New York City.

In her image-making process, Mary Ellen Bartley playfully explored the possibilities that the surface of these historical objects offer, both visually and tactilely. The result, Scene in a Library, is a limited edition artist book containing 28 images in six leporello signatures, a fold out and a photogravure, presented in a foil stamped slipcase.

“Here, in your hands” writes art historian Kim Beil in her text, “is a book of books, an index, a codex. […] The photographs that last longest are the ones that are hidden from the light of day. They are pasted in albums or bound in books, like secrets. A photograph of a book is a question, whispered with exquisite patience.”

About the Limited Edition

Copies 1-20 include a photogravure.


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