James Reid-Cunningham

Cambridge, Massachusetts 
James Reid-Cunningham is the Chief Conservator of the Boston Athenaeum. He studied bookbinding with Mark Esser at the North Bennet Street School in Boston and has taught bookbinding for the Paper and Book Intensive, the Garage Annex School for Book Arts, the North Bennet Street School, and the San Francisco Center for the Book.

Example Binding: 
Fritz Scholder and Randall Crisp. 
The House North of South
Tucson, Arizona: Nazraeli, 1997.

Full blue calf binding with a circle of gold leaf spreading from the spine onto both boards, and inset panels of kidskin, fishskin, goatskin, box calf, and abalone shell at the center of both boards. Tooled in palladium leaf. The House North of South documents the bizarre home of artist Fritz Scholder in a series of ghostly black and white duotone photographs. The muted grays of the photographs are transformed into garish mixed media colors on the binding.

Design Description: 
An un-dyed calfskin binding featuring calf hinges and suminagashi endpapers; sewing on meeting guards and tapes; head decorated with graphite; silk double-core headbands; palladium leaf impressed with swirling lines and abalone shell and edged in gray cow stomach. The proposed exterior is intentionally monochromatic, using a limited palette to evoke the haunting sepia images of a doomed landscape seen in the text illustrations. The muted color scheme creates the sensation that the design, like the river itself, may disappear before your eyes.

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James Reid-Cunningham example binding

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James Reid-Cunningham design proposal

James Reid-Cunningham