Mary McCarthy ~ Massachusetts


McCarthy bookworks regarding connecting with other people, cultures, our future and our past
Miniature bookworks by Mary McCarthy

Mary McCarthy: "A book, like life, is comprised of many distinct parts. When shaping both, you need an overall plan, but the parts can be worked on separately. They can be developed and changed along the way. I discovered that the process of making artists books fit perfectly with my fragmented lifestyle of mother / teacher /artist."

Doors to the Saints: the edition
By Mary McCarthy & Shirley Veenema
Boston, Massachusetts: Mary McCarthy, 2010. Edition of 20.

9.125 x 6.5 x 2.125"; 12 folios. Printed on Rising Stonehenge, 245 gsm white paper using an Epson Stylus Pro 3800 printer and an 8 -color Epson Ultra Chrome K3 ink. Font: Lucida calligraphy (14 point on back, 12 point on inside door). Printed images of saints and doors applied with accents by the artists. Pamphlets hand stitched with various colored linen threads. Housed in a half-clamshell box covered in Brillianta tweed cloth over binders board, lined with Ingres paper. Paper door with acrylic application tipped on to cover of box. Thread and mini door knob closure.

Colophon: "Each pamphlet uses images and words to tell the story of a woman saint. Opening each unique door reveals an abstracted image of the saint. Text on the back cover tells the saint's story.

"Saints are arranged by calendar months:
     January 4, Mother Seton, Patron to the loss of parents or children
     February 1, Brigid of Kildare, Patron of Ireland and dairy worker
     March 7, Perpetua & Felicity, Patron to mothers and cows
     April 29, Catherine of Siena, Patron to Italy, nurses and laundress
     May 30, Joan of Arc, Patron to France and soldiers
     June 15, Germaine Cousin, Patron to the unattractive
     July 22, Mary Magdalene, Patron to fallen women, hairdressers, and      perfumers
     August 15, The Virgin Mary, Patron to mothers and virgins
     September 17, Hildegarde of Bingen, Patron to philologists
     October 1, Theresa of Lisieux, Patron to missions
     November 3, Winefride, Patron to virgins
     December 13, Lucy, Patron to glass workers.

"All images are based on a three dimensional book begun while both artists were visiting New Mexico in 2009. Mary was intrigued with the stories of the saints. Shirley was photographing doors. Consequently they decided to work together: Doors to the Saints. Saints range in time from the first to the twentieth century. Art and dress of the time was used as reference for designing each saint's image. Saints were picked by their story and in some cases because of popularity. Some were treated badly because of their faith or because they were women who were beautiful, wealthy, and unwilling to succumb to the wishes of men. All were devoted to God and willing to sacrifice their life for their faith."

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Sympathetic Magic
By Mary McCarthy
Boston: Mary McCarthy, 2009. Edition of 20.

8.75 x 5 x .5"; 28 pages. Housed in black cloth drop-spine clamshell box.

Mary McCarthy: "Text is Handwriting-Dakota 12 pt in black ink on textured paper background. Original images are paste paper collage, scanned and printed onto Epson Ultra Smooth Fine Art Paper with a Canon IPF 6100 printer ... Book construction is drum leaf, covers are Brillianta black cloth spin and Lokta paper over Davey board with torn paste paper pictograph, end sheets are Japanese Echizen Washi red/orange.

"After going to the Southwest and seeing the amazing landscape and ancient images on the rock walls I wanted to pay homage to both nature, especially rock, and the people who lived and survived there long before the land became America."

Eleven two-page spreads do just that: "Hand stencils young and old / dissolve into rock / looking for equilibrium / between humans and the spirit world / nature is alive / everything has a soul!"

Passage of Light
An Artists' Collaborative

By Mary McCarthy and Betsey Webber
Boston, Massachusetts: Mary McCarthy, 2004. Edition of 25.

6 x 12" closed; extends to 96"; 14 pages. Double-sided accordion hinged with cotton cloth. Pigment print reproductions printed on Epson Ultra Smooth Fine Art Paper. Text (Times New Roman 12pt) printed in black on orange Ingress paper via by an Epson 2200. Bound using Davey boards with Japanese rust-black weave cloth. Copper stamped titling (NY Times Italic Bold 36pt) on both boards.

A collaborative book by Mary McCarthy and Betsey Webber.

Mary McCarthy: "This is a visual conversation between the two women. Each person started a page by using only the left side and then sent it to the other person to respond."

Colophon: "Mary and Betsey chose to work on a collaborative project setting limitations of size, media and the type of paper to be used. Betsey used watercolor, Mary worked with paper collage. Subject matter was not discussed, though it was a very gloomy January when they started, which possibly influenced their work. Each artist started her own series producing a six by six inch image on a six by twelve inch piece of paper leaving the right side blank. They exchanged images and responded to each other in their own visual voices.

"Mary: 'The project was initially intimidating, working on someone else's piece was new for me. Problem solving and visual communication in this format was exhilarating.'

"Betsey: 'It was a challenge, wonderful and aggravating all at once because the anticipation of receiving the new piece was met with angst about rising to Mary's high level of art. It was never easy, always interesting."










McCarthy bookworks regarding connecting with other people, cultures, our future and our past.

Birds of Africa
By Mary McCarthy
Boston, Massachusetts: Mary McCarthy, 2008. Edition of 26.

6.25 x 6.5 x 1.25"; 30 pages. Pigment printed by Martin Berinstien with an Epson 4000 on Enhanced Matte paper. French fold binding. Side-sewn: Japanese Tea House stitching with Black linen cord. Bound with Japanese cloth spine in terra cotta and Yusen paper over Davey board. Housed in cloth-covered drop spine box.

An editioned artist book created from McCarthy's one-of-a-kind alphabet book. The original images were paper collages of 26 birds found on the continent of Africa with text handwritten in brown acrylic ink. These images were scanned and printed for the editioned version.

Birds: African Fin Foot, Bee Eater, Cuckoo, Denhams Bustard, Elephant Bird, Flamingos, Guinia [sic] Fowl, Hornbill, Ibis, Jacana, Kingfisher, Long- tailed Ground Roller, Malimbe, Nightjar, Ostrich, Plover, Quelea, Rednecked Spurfowl, Secretary Bird, Tacazze Sunbird, Upupa epaps, Vulture, Widow Bird, oXpeckers, Yellow-crowned Bishop, and Zoothera quttata.
$575 in box
($475 without box)

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Enchanted Spirit
By Mary McCarthy
Boston: Mary McCarthy, 2007. Edition of 10.

7.25 x 10”; 28 pages. Rolled post spine. Bound in quarter Asahi black cloth with Lokta paper over board. End sheets of crinkled brown paper. Each cover has an embossed iguana image. Printed on Epson Enhanced White paper by an Epson 9600 printer. Typeface: Rage Italic 20 pt.

Images combine photographs of Northern New Mexico with paper collage to interpret the place where two cultures — Native American and Hispanic — have come together. The text describes the landscape and cultures while the images offer visual support of a co-existence that smoothes the edges of separateness.

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Cherokee Creation Myth
By Mary McCarthy
Boston, Massachusetts: Mary McCarthy, 2006. One-of-a-Kind.

10 x 3.875"; 20 pages. Rives Light Weight covers, Davey board with suede cloth spine, paper trim, and Japanese blue gold cloth. Endsheet panels with paper collage images, two at front, four at back. Images of paper collage, unryu papers, gouache, Polaroid lifts, and various decorative papers. Text handwritten in brown acrylic ink.

This story was published in Primal Myths by Barbara Sproul (Harper & Row, 1979). It first appeared in Myths of the Cherokee, 19th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Part 1, by J. Mooney (Washington, DC, 1897-98).



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Page last update: 01.15.13


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