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Mary Ann Sampson

Book art image

Birmingham Boogie

Reminiscent of a Japanese Torii gate, Birmingham Boogie is the traditional book structure taken to the extreme. Constructed of metal, paper, wire and thread, the book sits on a block of black painted wood. The accordion fold pages, printed in yellow with musical notations, hang down the center, suspended on black thread. A gold and red piece of paper behind the folded pages adds to the book’s Asian influences and helps the viewer see the images more clearly. The book served as the inspiration for the collaborative book, From Dreaming to Doing, which was created at the Cerritos Library.

Artist Mary Ann Sampson founded One-Eye Opera Company Press (OEOCO) after receiving her master’s degree in Book Arts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she studied under Edith Frohock, the first person to teach book arts in the South.

Press: One-Eye Opera Company
Date: 1996
Number and Edition: 1of 1
Size: 8” x 18.5” x 3.5”


Book art image

Opera in My Barn

Constructed of wood, paper, string and found objects, Opera in My Barn is essentially a three-dimensional illustration of the events described in a barn-shaped book housed in the accompanying hand-painted box. Crows with googly eyes decorate both the box and the small barn structure. The taller structure is the stage for the opera that looks suspiciously like a low budget production of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly. Underneath the stage is another stage set consisting of a fantastic bird, ready to be hoisted into place.

Artist Mary Ann Sampson lives and works in Ragland, Alabama. Her works include books, miniatures and broadsides. She uses her life and personal recollections living in a rural environment as the basis for much of her art.

Press: One-Eye Opera Company
Date: 1994
Number and Edition: 1 of 1
Size: 20” x 28” x 12”


Book art image

Stevens' Murder Coffin

Stevens' Murder Coffin is housed in a plain cardboard box with a headstone-shaped top decorated with a single googly eye, a water stain and a small housefly. The miniature book contains various denominations of canceled German postage stamps, a fork shape cut out of an old magazine, and other printed images. The book is tied to a very long piece of book thread wound around a piece of bone. A miniscule rodent bone is also included in the coffin.

An old newspaper clipping glued to the back of the box reads: “Raleigh, N.C. [Special,] – The publication by the State Chronicle of the mystery concerning the murder of ‘Chicken’ Stevens, and its clearing up by the deathbed confession of Dr. Felix Roan, a prominent physician of Caswell, has created much comment here. Judge Tourgee, it will be remembered, introduced this murder in the ‘Fool’s Errand.’”

Press: One-Eye Opera Company
Date: Undated
Number and Edition: 1 of 1
Size: 3” x 8” x 2.375”

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