JEAN BUESCHER BARTLETT
Ann Arbor, MI
BOOKS | Mixed media handmade books
Penland Affiliation | Penland instructor 1993, 2002, 2005
Artist Information | Studio artist; education: BS University of Cincinnati, MFA University of Alabama; teaching: College for Creative Studies (MI), Paper and Book Intensive (MI); collections:
Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Newberry Library in Chicago (IL), Cincinnati Art Museum (OH), New York Public Library (NY), Dutch Royal Library, and the University of Michigan’s Special Collections
Artist Bio | Jean Buescher Bartlett’s studio practice has included painting, drawing, textiles, ceramics, photography, graphic and interior design, collage, mixed media, bookbinding, handmade paper, letterpress printing, and artists’ books. For fifteen years Jean taught Book Arts and the History of Modern Design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She has also taught at the University of Michigan, the Paper & Book Intensive, Penland School of Craft, Pyramid Atlantic, and the Morgan Conservatory.
For thirty years Jean published and produced a range of limited edition, letterpress printed, illustrated books and broadsides under her imprint, Bloodroot Press. These included The Day the World Began by Fay Weldon, Porch Swing by Alison Swan, an Alphabet Book that contains 26 original gouache paintings, and I Was On My Way Up the Stairs to See You featuring calligraphy by Nancy Leavitt. This work resides in over fifty public institutions, including museums and special collections. Since retiring from teaching and letterpress printing in 2020, Jean has been working on one-of-a-kind artists’ books, 2D mixed media pieces, and an ongoing series of insect-focused works on paper. She recently expanded her involvement with natural dyeing, appliqué, and embroidery on fabric and handmade paper. This work was featured in the three-person exhibition “The Collective Impulse” with fellow Ann Arbor artists Susan Moran and Ruth Bardenstein at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey, Michigan.
Artist Statement | I feel a strong connection to the natural world and to Scandinavian,
Japanese, and German design. My work melds the traditional training I received in sewing, painting, design, photography, handmade paper, bookbinding and letterpress printing, and celebrates my reverence for the overlooked and the everyday. Process is important and an integral part of content. Recurrent themes investigate what it means to be a sentient being, how humans construct and organize, the potency of place, the life/death/decay cycle of organic forms, and the redemptive power of natural phenomena.