Altered Book for Marin MOCA: How to be a Lady

My entry this year for the 3rd annual Marin MOCA Altered Book and Book Arts Show is titled How to be a Lady.

I don’t usually work in altered book form so this is a nice annual challenge to think and work in a different way. This year’s entry was complicated by moving house. First I had to find the pieces of the book. (In the tenth or eleventh box I opened, of course. No Rae, I did not follow your advice and take photos of all of the box contents, silly me!) Then I had to take off my movers hat and dust off the one marked “artist.”

This altered book is really a collaboration between the original author, Candace Simpson-Giles, the creators of several vintage advertisements and the marvelous women who replied to my question, “What do you think a lady is? Do you think the term is still relevant?” I simply designed and assembled the resulting content. As my husband put it, I was the curator.

The replies that I received were so interesting I’ll post more later this week. In the meantime, here are more details about the book.

The book is a pull out accordion with sets of three pages – an original page from the book, comments from a woman about being a lady, and a vintage ad. It is re-attached inside the original book cover.

This ad, for example:

combined with text from Joanne:

I always thought a lady was someone else. It was a word that applied to other and older people, people who wore gloves and hats, for example. (Although when I was in high school, we wore gloves to dances.)

When I was in my 20s (in the 60s),  I searched for a word that would apply to me. Males had the word ‘guys,’ but ‘girls’  just didn’t seem appropriate.  (“Lady’ never entered the picture.) So I was very happy when the women’s movement encouraged me to use ‘woman’ to refer to myself,  though it was a bit hard to say at the very beginning.  Getting back to “How to be a lady”…  I guess it doesn’t apply.

to create this spread:

And this ad:

combined with one of the original book pages to create this spread:

Opening night is April 21st and the show runs until May 26th. There is a reception on April 21st from 5-7 p.m. And a talk by Donna Seager from 4-5 p.m.

Hope to see you there!


2 responses to “Altered Book for Marin MOCA: How to be a Lady

  1. Can’t wait to see your book in person. I love the concept. –Shelley

  2. What a wonderful book. I’m so impressed that you were able to move and then pick it up so easily.

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