Enid Mark, American (1932 - 2008)

Enid Mark

Enid Mark (1932 in New York City - September 30, 2008 in Philadelphia) was an American editor and publisher.

She attended the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan and Smith College, where she studied English literature and studio art. She pursued painting and print making in the early years of her career, and came to favor the technique of photolithography.

In 1986, Enid Mark founded the ELM Press, which is devoted to publishing finely crafted limited edition artist's books that feature hand-lithography, letterpress printing, and archival hand binding. Her work has been acquired by over a hundred public collections in the United States, Canada, England, and Israel.
Enid Mark received a 2006 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in recognition for her work in book arts. Among her other honors are a Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2001), and the Leeway Foundation Award for Achievement (2002).

In 2004, her book, "The Elements" was awarded the 9th Biennial Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design from the University of Texas/El Paso.
Enid Mark's work explores the relationship between text and image. The texts of most of her books are works by contemporary American women poets. Each of Mark's books is devoted to a theme (such as travel, mythology, or botany). Mark selects poems that reflect that theme and develops images to complement those poems.

From the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Website: "Imagine a film in which each frame is a page. Or a book in which each page is a frame, a slight but inexorable quantum unit removed from its preceding and subsequent pages. You are now thinking of a book in the manner in which Enid Mark approaches a book. Mark’s books unspool like rolls of film, as if they were continuous planes across which information might be read in forward and back. But, like film, her books are carefully sequenced, directed from poem to poem by subtle links of meter or metaphor. In About Sylvia, a fissure emerges in a pane of glass, gradually shattering out of its frame in a violent explosion as the ten poems – each by a different poet touching on the life of Mark’s college friend, Sylvia Plath – unfold through the text. Is this activity a form of illustration? The pairing of images and texts? The question seems irrelevant in this context, as Mark engages in practice more closely allied with illumination than illustration.

Mark’s work is included in numerous rare book and print collections such as the collections of Cambridge University, London; Cornell University, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Wash., D.C.; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; and the Library of Congress. She received her B.A. from Smith College, Northampton, Mass, and has also studied at West Chester University and Philadelphia College of Art. She has had solo exhibitions of her work at Yale University, Farnsworth Art Museum, Smith College Library, and Eric Makler Gallery in Philadelphia, among others. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at venues such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; The British Library, London, England; and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. She has received Purchase Awards from Delaware Art Museum, Beaver College, and the University of Delaware."

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