Over one hundred and sixty years after the original printing of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s work sparked Barry Moser’s imagination. Moser has set Shelley’s text with his own nightmare-inspiring wood engravings for his edition of Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. An exhibition of illustrations from the 1983 Pennyroyal Press edition of the novel will be on display in the Great Hall, featuring hauntingly beautiful arctic landscapes, a frightening image of the death of Victor Frankenstein and hazy visions of The Monster itself.
About the Booksmith: Barry Moser was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and studied at Auburn University, the University of Tennessee—Chattanooga, and the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, where he learned the art of wood engraving. He studied printmaking and fine press work with Leonard Baskin and Harold McGrath of Gehenna Press. He has illustrated or designed over 300 books, and has exhibited internationally for years. He is currently Professor in Residence and Printer to the College at Smith College.
Moser has called himself a bookwright rather than a book illustrator. “A bookwright is a person who makes a book. I rarely put pictures in books someone else has designed. My books are my books—I design them, I do the typography… In fact, the pictures that go in it are the last thing I do, and in many ways, they are the least important element… And in my illustrations (for Frankenstein) you never see the whole figure because I wanted to leave that to the imagination of the reader. ”