CAMTalk: Trailblazing Women Printmakers: Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios and the Folly Cove Designers

Saturday, October 28

2:00 p.m.


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CAM Auditorium, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA
Free for members, $10 for non-members 

Elena M. Sarni is a humanities-based scholar, writer, and curator. Her new book, Trailblazing Women Printmakers: Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios and the Folly Cove Designers, documents and celebrates the group's tremendous success and the incredible artistry of its members, pulling from the Cape Ann Museum’s comprehensive collection of the Designers and from other collection sources.   

The Folly Cove Designers (officially 1941-1969) was a grassroots collective of predominantly women block printers founded by Caldecott Award-winner and beloved children's book author/illustrator Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios (of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel fame). This trailblazing Gloucester based group produced more than three hundred distinct designs, which they block printed on fabric. The designs conveyed personal and regional narratives through the use of shared design principles and the compelling language of pattern. The group was propelled to international fame through commercial contracts with major retailers (F. Schumacher, Lord & Taylor, etc.), articles in leading periodicals such as Life, and participation in seminal fine craft exhibitions. Their work continues to inspire contemporary printmakers around the globe, particularly women printmakers.

With more than 250 black-and-white and color photographs, author Elena M. Sarni explores the Folly Cove Designers' history, work, and group dynamics. Sarni holds a BA in English and an MA in History and Museum Studies from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Maine with her beloved cat Leland.

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