Field Report: Boston Athenæum Community Fellow Kristina McComb
Join Boston Athenæum Community Fellow Kristina McComb as she discusses her current artists' book project, including her inspiration, her process of shooting photographs of the Athenæum’s open-shelf materials, her choice of subject matter, and how the final product is taking shape.
McComb’s project is an examination of the story of the Athenæum’s open-shelf collection as told through the surface of the books. She is drawn to the story behind the wear-and-tear on books and how it serves as a testament to the life of the books and the people who have interacted with them over time. McComb is fascinated with the concept of making facsimiles of books for accessibility and preservation and is interested in how the original material and the facsimile will continue to age and change, but in different ways and at different rates. Playing on the relationship between Athenæum’s collections and new representations of it, she is photographing books in the Athenæum’s collections and creating a new book of those images. Her new book protects and preserves the state of the old books in the Athenæum’s collection and will itself become a new addition to the collection.
Kristina McComb is an interdisciplinary artist from western Massachusetts. She graduated with distinction with an AS in visual art with a concentration in photography from Greenfield Community College. She earned a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, where she focused on sharpening her skills in sculpture and continued her studies in photography, which resulted in being awarded the Yousuf Karsh Prize in Photography. Her work has been exhibited since 2014, most notably at the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center in Brattleboro, Vermont, and the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.