Tying It All Together

Textus-Texts-Textiles encapsulates the relationship between tangible objects and the written word through the medium of book art. There is a foundational relationship between texts and textiles in that they both hold power and meanings communicated through a visual medium. In her sewing bookworks, Melhorn-Boe utilizes materials from her private life, such as clothing, fabric, buttons, and thread, to publicly textualize ideas on feminist issues and gender stereotypes.  She pulls threads from her own experiences and then stitches them anew to highlight her perspective on how women are stereotyped into domestic crafts as a chore, thus reclaiming the creative and empowering aspect of the practice.  

For more information and background to the exhibition see the catalogue, Textus-Texts-Textiles (2022), with an essay by Brendan Edwards and Ella Heiss.

To see more of Melhorn-Boe's work visit: https://lisemelhornboe.ca/

Supplementary Items in the Exhibition

Lorna Crozier. The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things. Vancouver: Greystone Book, 2013. [W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, LP PS85555 .R74 B664 2013]

Book Model with lien textile tapes, French link stich binding. Kingston: Nataša Krsmanović, 2022. [Private Collection]

Antonio Sansone. The Printing of Cotton Fabrics: Comprising Calico Bleaching, Printing, and Dyeing. Manchester: Heywood, 1887. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections TP930 .S22 1887]

The Singer Almanac, 1910. St. Johns, Que.: Singer Sewing Machine Co., 1910. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, LP F5012.1910 S617]

Hazel Hall. Curtains. New York: John Lane Company, 1921. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, PS8555 .R74 B664 2013]

Home Dressmaking. Cobourg, Ont.: Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Co., 1926. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, LP Folio TT500 .G5]

Glass of Fashion up to Date. Canadian ed. [The Delineator v.XXXV, n6 June 1897]. Toronto: The Delineator Publishing Co. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collection, LP Folio TT500 .D32]

Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson (ed.) The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer: Containing the bEST pROSE AND Poetic Selection by and About the Negro Race, with Programs Arranged for Special Entertainments. Napierville, Ill.:J.L. Nichols & Co., 1920. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, PN4305 .N5 N4 1920]

WWII Royal Canadian Housewife Kit. Ottawa: S.S Holden Ltd., 1942. [Private Collection.]

Diane Dawber. Cankerville. Ottawa: Borealis Press, 1984. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, LP PS8557 .A856 C3]

Style Pattern 2172, Misses' Housecoat and Nightdress in Two Lengths. Scarborough: Style Patterns Division-Dominion Simplicity Patterns Ltd., 1977 [Private Collection]

Fools for Love and Salt: Poems by the Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2011. London: The Poetry Society, Foyle Foundation, 2012 [Private Collection]

Mariska Karasz. How to Make Growing Clothes for Your Baby. New York: Pelligrini & Cuhady, 1952. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, LP TT637 .K3 1952]

Bronwen Wallace. Collected Poems of Bronwen Wallace. Edited by Carolyn Smart. Monteral and Kingston: McGill-Queen's Univertsity Press, 2020. [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, MQUP PS8595. A856 C3]

The Canadian Red Cross Knitting Instructions for the Armed Forces. Compliments of the Yellow Pages/ Bell Telephone Company of Canada, Patons & Baldwin, [194?] [W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, LP FC903 .T44 no.093]


Andrews, Marcia S. “When Silence has its Way with You: Hazel Hall,” in Gender and Literary Voice, Janet Todd, ed. 87–103. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1980. 

Burman, Barbara and Ariane Fennetaux. The Pocket: A Hidden History of Women’s Lives, 1660-1900 (London: Yale University Press, 2019). 

Emery, Joy Spanabel. A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014).

Garvey, Ellen. “Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson's Suffrage Work: The View from Her Scrapbook,” Legacy 33.2 (2016) pp. 310-335.  

Kyle, Hedi and Brian Hannon, Hedi Kyle and Her Influence: 1977-1993 (New York: Book Arts Gallery, Center for Book Arts, 1993).

LaBarre, Steven M. The American Housewife Goes to War: Sewing Kits that Accompanied the American Soldier to the Front, 1776-1976. MA Thesis, University of Nebraska at Kearney, 2020. 

Melhorn-Boe, Lise. Personal website of Lise Melhorn-Boe. Web. Accessed 16-Feb-2022. 

Strizever, Michelle H. Visible Texture: Artists’ Books, 1960-2010. Doctor of Philosophy dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2010.

Tying It All Together