James Reid-Cunningham

Cambridge, Massachusetts 
James Reid-Cunningham trained with Mark Esser at the North Bennet Street School, graduating in 1990. He is currently the Conservator of the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. He is past president of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. In his design bindings, Reid-Cunningham explores traditional materials in conjunction with new materials to create abstract designs of uncertain meaning.

Example Binding: 
Paul Needham. 
Twelve Centuries of Bookbindings
New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Bound in alum-tawed goatskin with boards lined with Formica. Roma endsheets. Sewn double-flexible on linen cords. Edges sprinkled with black and red ink. Reverse bead primary endbands. Red and black silk doublecore secondary endbands. Alum-tawed goatskin inner hinges. Magenta kidskin inlays, and onlays of black goatskin, and gold, bronze, and pink kidskin.

Design Description: 
As an exemplar of American literature, Huckleberry Finn is all too often seen as an adventure story, or a tale of a typically exuberant American youth. Though our culture is often seen as positive, almost mindlessly optimistic, Reid-Cunningham sees a darker America described in Huckleberry Finn.

He will bind Huckleberry Finn in black calfskin boards and doublures, with graphite edges, black Bugra flyleaves, silk doublescore endbands, and gold and blind tooling and titling. Blind-tooled dots in a long meandering pattern leading from a single gold dot to another delineate Huck's passage through the dark heart of the story.

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James Reid-Cunningham example binding

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James Reid-Cunningham design proposal

James Reid-Cunningham