Margo Klass – Preserving Humanity


© 2019
edition of 1
dimensions in inches: 5.25 x 8 x 1


About this piece:

Preserving Humanity is a tribute to the art of book conservation – the preservation of books as physical objects and as vessels of the “human record.” The title is inspired by the lecture that opened Saving our Books and Words, the 1988 exhibition at the University of Iowa that honored the preeminent book conservator William Anthony (1926-1989) and the apprentices he trained.

As a volunteer at the Literacy Council of Alaska, I repair vintage books, de-constructing and re-constructing them for resale to support their educational programs. In Preserving Humanity I use discarded fragments of old bindings – covers, endpapers, spine supports, mull, headbands – all torn, scraped, or fallen away from books in need of repair. By gluing and stitching them together using the Japanese method of mending, boro, Preserving Humanity becomes an homage to the preservation of vintage bindings.


leather, fabric, paper, mull, thread

About the artist:

Lives and works in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Margo Klass is a mixed media artist whose work includes artist books and sculptural box constructions. She has received awards from the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, and was Artist in Residence in Denali National Park. In 2015 she received the Alaska Governor’s Individual Artist Award. Her work is included in the Anchorage Museum, the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks, the Pratt Museum in Homer, and other public and private collections. Publications include Double Moon – Constructions & Conversations with texts by Frank Soos.

About Alicia Bailey


Margo Klass – Preserving Humanity

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 1 min