Mary K Baumann
Concept/Purpose of the Work:
Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection was designed as the book/catalog for an exhibition at the Weisman Art Museum to celebrate artist Harriet Bart’s collection. The work is an autobigraphical progression through Bart's stages of womanhood. Bart’s body of work is object-oriented filled with inspiration and cultural memory. An example includes a work of plumb bobs and rolls of paper inscribed with the names of the American soldiers killed in Iraq. To reflect Bart’s philosophy of showing the meaning in things, the book was designed as an object of desire. Production features such as gold stamping, gilded edges, metallic-gold chapter openers, double-gatefold, black bookmark, black endpapers – all were designed to emphasize the object nature of the book. The colors gold and black figure strongly in Bart’s work. A 2-tier caption approach was employed for each work: the specifics and the story. Captions appear on the same page as the art, so the meaning can easily be understood. To structure the material, chapter openers were designed as a spread. The left page was printed in metallic gold. The right page included a noun as the prime typographic unit along with a verb in parens as the secondary typographic unit. Together the noun and verb served as a way to both classify and interpret the work in every chapter. In order to pace the book in a more dynamic manner, the overall work was often shown on Spread 1 and a closeup on Spread 2. To break up the visual narrative, a poem or essay reflected on the work in each chapter.
Results of the Work:
Abracadabra sold out at the opening of Bart's opening exhibition and more needed to be ordered. The book has received 5 stars on Amazon. The Weisman management have ranked Abracadabra as among the most beautiful and thoughtful catalogs that the museum has published. The artist was thrilled as were all the contributors and the University of Minnesota Press as distributor.
How the Work Was Delivered to the Masses:
Abracadabra was sold at the Weisman Art Museum store as well as other museum stores and on Amazon.
Mary K. Baumann & Will Hopkins (Hopkins/Baumann): Design
Laura Wertheim Joseph: Editor
Rik Sferra: Photographer
Jim Bindas, Books & Projects LLC: Production Management
Asia Pacific Offset: Printer
Weisman Art Museum: Publisher