Boca Raton, FL: Minerva: The Press at Wimberly, 2012. Artist's book, one of 36 copies, on Yu Kou heavy for the images and text and interleaved with Yu Kou light paper, hand numbered and signed by the artist on the colophon page, "DKrause." Page size: 9-7/8 x 6-7/8 inches; 10pp. Bound: loose as issued housed in envelope made of terracotta Lokta oil paper fastened with tie (combination of terracotta and light orange string and tan leather cord) on lozenge-shaped seed-pod from mahogany tree serves as the fastener, printed letterpress (with a small amount of ink) with the words RIVER OF GRASS and Dorothy Simpson Krause on the lower left front corner. The artist tells us that the envelope, 7 x 10 inches, was selected as the sort of thing an early settler might use to carry a parcel of documents.
The seven images (six images plus titlepage) in the book were produced from historic images selected by the artist (credits listed on last page) as well as the artist's own photographs. The photographs of the Everglades were combined with the historic images on the computer and, in each, separated a layer that became the letterpress printing plate. The resulting images have achieved a depth and luminosity not otherwise possible. Ghost-like images reflecting the history of the Everglades combine with the disastrous effects of industrial mismanagement. However, the beauty and vastness of this natural wonder shine through in each image. A laser printer was used to print the under-layer for letterpress. The unprinted margins of the paper were torn away to create a deckle edge. Each sheet was then folded into a folio and then opened flat and a sheet of Yu Kou sheer was used between each folio. The interleaving of lighter-weight sheets somehow, when turning the pages, suggests the movement of the grasses in the Everglades. Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998) was an American journalist, writer, feminist and environmentalist. The worked for "The Miami Herald" and wrote over 100 short stories. It is, however, for her 1947 book, THE EVERLADES: RIVER OF GRASS, that she is most remembered. Compared to Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING for its impact on the environment, it redefined the national image of the Everglades, pointing out that the entire ecosystem of south Florida was dependent on this natural wonder. Dorothy Simpson Krause's homage to Marjory Douglas, and, therefore, to the Everglades, is a beautiful book with a strong and vital message. Item #10574