Emily Martin – Cross Words


© 2019
edition of 50
dimensions in inches: 5 x 4 x .25

About this piece:

This paper was given to me by Andrew Honey, conservator at the Bodleian Libraries during my residency at the Bodleian Bibliographical Press in the fall of 2018. The full water mark says India, Oxford with a crest of the University of Oxford and made in Great Britain. Andrew has very little information on this very thin and very opaque paper other than it was intended for the printing of bibles. I have wondered if it was intended for bibles to be taken to India by missionaries. At that same time, on the North Sentinel Island, administered by India, a Christian missionary was killed by members of the Sentinelese Tribe despite strict prohibitions on outside contact. The Sentinelese are the only uncontacted tribe on earth inhabiting their own island. They are extremely vulnerable to diseases and social breakdown in the event of contact with outsiders. They have repeatedly made clear their desire to be left alone.

Printed letterpress from polymer plates made from rubber stamped texts on a Vandercook SP15. The end sheets were also given by Andrew Honey.


paper, ink, thread

About the artist:

Emily Martin earned an MFA degree in painting, from the University of Iowa in 1979. She joined the faculty of the University of Iowa Center for the Book in 1998. Martin’s books are included in public and private collections in the United States and internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, England; the Library of Congress. Martin has two adult daughters and lives in Iowa City, IA with her Vandercook SP15. She rides her bicycle as often as she can, sometimes all the way across the state of Iowa.


Emily Martin – Cross Words