Meditations with a Pencil by Barbara Adams Hebard

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I re-bound this book. The book, printed in 1946, was made with the inferior materials available after World War II and so the cover was in bad condition. The subject of the book is the illustrations created by artist Diana Orpen during 1940 and 1941. Orpen nursed wounded English and French soldiers after the Battle of Dunkirk. This work prevented her from attending daily Mass, she instead meditated on the Gospel readings and drew the sketches which she called a "personal sheet-anchor in a world where physical exhaustion was the outstanding feature". The sketches are interesting because Orpen used her contemporaries as models for the passages she was illustrating. The book poignantly evokes the sacrifices and hardships that the English people faced during World War II. The new cover that I made is deliberately simple since the original cover was necessarily spare. Yet, I admire the sketches and wished to celebrate them, so added the simple gilt border to the inset cover illustration.

Artist Bio

Barbara was trained in bookbinding and book conservation at the North Bennet Street School and while a student worked part-time as Book Conservator at Harvard Business School. She was employed as Book Conservator at the Boston Athenaeum and worked there until becoming the Conservator of the John J. Burns Library at Boston College in 2009. Ms. Hebard frequently writes book related articles and book reviews, gives talks and presentations, and teaches book history classes for Boston College courses. She has exhibited her bookbindings nationally and internationally. She is a Fellow of The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, a Professional Associate of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and a board member of the New England Conservation Association. Barbara is currently serving her second term as overseer of the North Bennet Street School.