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Contoura Press ~ Virginia
(Katharine Buckley)


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About: “Growing up in the South and being steeped in a place of duality and complexity has informed my artistic work greatly. I grew up privy to the profoundly rich culture and beautiful landscape of the deep South. At the same time, I was exposed to the fraught history and horrors of the region. Both of these aspects of the South, the good and bad, contribute to the truth of the Southern experience. To deny one of these realities in an effort to speak about the other is ultimately a disservice to the South. Rather than rebuke either of those realities as a form of self-preservation, I have chosen to embrace them both. My identity as a Southerner is built on a foundation of complexity and honesty, informed by dueling feelings of pride and shame. I want to hold multiple truths in my hands, turn them over and over, examine them closely, and sit with them. This approach informs my work and my interest in history, the ways in which history gets told, and how cultural influences impact history.”


Why the South Demands Corrected Textbooks
By Katharine Buckley
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Contoura Press, 2022. Edition of 50.

11 x 8.5" overlap folder containing nine folded sheets (making four pages each); 1 sheet copied letter; one sheet copy of textbook cover; one 5.5 x 8.25" four-page pamphlet (index of intent statements); 5.5 x 8.5", 24 page pamphlet "A Measuring Rod". Letterpress printed. Archival material printed using risograph and digital print. Designed, printed and bound by Katharine Buckley. Produced at The University of Alabama Book Arts Program. Numbered.

Contoura Press: "In 1919 the United Confederate Veterans created a committee with the goal of influencing education to promote a version of history that would look back kindly on the Confederacy. This group, the Rutherford committee, focused its efforts on public education and newly formed state textbook commissions.

"The letter included in this artist's book is a facsimile of one the committee sent to education institutions and textbook-choosing commissions around 1920. In an effort to rid public schools of textbooks that were critical of the Confederacy, this letter was paired with a pamphlet with instructions to reject any textbook that didn't contain 'truths of Confederate history.' Altered facsimiles of this pamphlet and its successor are also included in this book.

"Now, students are required to take a year of Alabama history in fourth grade. Textbooks selected for this course have put forth white-washed versions of history. For this artist's book, pages from the textbook used by the artist as a student were selected and printed as altered facsimiles. These textbook spreads show the persisting influence of Lost Cause mythology in education and the insidious 'truths' it relies on."

Why the South Demands Corrected Textbooks
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The T.W.K. Monthly
By Katharine Buckley
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Contoura Press, 2021. Edition of 22.

8.5 x 11"; 32 (T.W.K. February, 1925) pages plus endsheets. Interior pages, altered T.W.K. (Trade with Klan) issue, printed on French Paper using a Risograph FR 3910. Cover wrapper and endsheets printed letterpress on a Vandercook Universal 1. Numbered.

Contoura Press: "’T.W.K. Monthly’ is an examination of how the Ku Klux Klan’s use of print media was a means to maintain and grow economic power in early 20th century Birmingham. In the book form, I make this argument by presenting my original research and including representations of the primary source documents. My method of reproducing an edition of a Klan-published newspaper removes any power the propaganda once had, and the object now serves to reveal the true intention of the newspaper and acts as a record of Klan affiliation. In taking this document from the archives and reproducing it in this manner, I aim to shed light on this history and use the power of my press to address abuses of the past.

"I created a facsimile of an edition of the TWK Monthly, a newspaper published by the Birmingham chapter of the KKK, using digitized versions of the newspaper. All aspects of the facsimile are accurate to the 1925 edition, including paper size and content; however, I altered the reproduction by removing all of the text from the articles. I did not want to perpetuate the propaganda of the Klan by reprinting the text, and I chose to highlight that the majority of the paper is advertisements rather than new. Without the text, the reader can see how the ads take up most of the pages; they can focus on reading the ad copy more closely in order to see the language used and to see how centrally located these businesses were within the city. In this form, it’s clear that the publication’s primary purpose was as a tool for increasing economic power.

"In an effort to ethically present this information, I bound the facsimile with black endsheets and housed the entire book in a wrapper, both of which provide historical information. The cover wrapper contains an essay I researched and wrote, which gives the reader context for the object, its position in history, and my proposal of its true purpose. The endsheets and wrapper are letterpress printed on higher quality paper. In this way, a hierarchy is created among the printed material in my book, and the contextual information is given more weight and power than the interior pages of the facsimile.”
$200 ((Last Copy)

The T.W.K. Monthly book
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Page last update: 03.18.2024


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