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Vera Bock, Book Designer and Illustrator: Her Beguiling Artistry, Her Adventurous Spirit—with Jane Bianco

August 18, 2021 @ 4:00 pm 5:00 pm EDT

Online via Zoom

Vera Bock studied wood engraving, heraldry design, and manuscript —illumination, and mastered a range of graphic processes used in making art for reproduction in designing and illustrating more than fifty books in her New York studio, employing techniques from relief printing to pen-and-ink drawing to wet-and-dry mixed media painting. She also illustrated magazines, and between 1936 and 1943 designed bold posters for the New Deal era Federal Art Project, on subjects ranging from civic services and labor, to health and the arts. And for decades Bock’s provocative images made for book jackets no doubt helped sell dozens of volumes of the popular series of American Crime Club mysteries to avid readers across the nation. The distinctive character of each of her books is due to the elegance with which she unified narrative with decorative technique and her own expressive, cosmopolitan spirit. In 2016 many fine examples of Bock’s illustration art, stored after 2005 by family members in the U.S. and in Switzerland where she last resided, were given to the Farnsworth. Please join Curator Jane Bianco for a dive into Vera Bock’s linework, her lyrical brushwork, and her often humorous, daring, and surreal compositions.

The Stephen May and Kathryn B. Wilson Lecture focuses on the art of the book, past and present. Katie and her late husband Stephen had a vision and passion to ensure the future growth and accessibility of the Farnsworth library, created through the bequest of the museum’s founder, Lucy Copeland Farnsworth. The library is the only publicly accessible library in the state of Maine devoted solely to art.

Jane Bianco has been a curator at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, since 2008 and has curated or assisted in the curation of more than 20 exhibitions at the museum since then.

Her curatorial work has covered the research, organization ad implementation of exhibitions in the areas of painting, photography, drawings and print, textile, architectural and other art historical topics.

In addition, she has a long list of authored works. Most recently, she has written accompanying catalogs for the exhibition, Eliot Porter: All the Wild Places and was a contributor to the Farnsworth catalog, Maine in American Art

Cost: $10; members, free