Friday, February 21, 2014

The Pleasure of Printing: Carolyn Reading Hammer and her Circles of Influence

“The Pleasure of Printing:  Carolyn Reading Hammer and her Circles of Influence” opened on February 13 with a program and reception at 4:00 p.m. in the Great Hall, Margaret I. King Building.  Approximately 80 people attended. The exhibit, curated by Gail Kennedy, Arts & Outreach Librarian in Special Collections, and Susan E. King, UK alumna and noted book artist, showcases Carolyn Reading Hammer’s printed work from the 1940s to the 1990s, through her many imprints. Carolyn Hammer founded the King Library Press in 1956 as a teaching press and mentored scores of apprentices during the years she directed the Press.   She was also active in the local community as well as the international community of hand-press printing and, at a time when there were few women in the field, she was recognized widely for her work.

A panel of speakers who knew and worked with Carolyn Reading Hammer provided insights into her legacy and the roles she played in their lives as a mentor and friend.   Panelists were Travis DuPriest, an early apprentice and director of the Southport Press at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, Deborah Kessler, an apprentice who worked with Carolyn after her retirement from UK and proprietor of October Press, Dr. James D. Birchfield, a close friend and recently retired Curator of Rare Books in Special Collections, Dr. Paul Evans Holbrook, a close friend and Director of the King Library Press, and W. Gay Reading, Carolyn’s nephew and former Director of the King Library Press. 

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