When the Veil Becomes the Apron by Elsi Vassdal Ellis

There were two sources of inspiration for When the Veil Becomes the Apron: a 1930s Hotpoint Electric Cookbook for content and a facsimile of a Victorian children's pop-up book (A Day in the Zoo) for structure. My impressions of life in the 1930s changed after researching this decade through Good Housekeeping. It was not yet a fully consumer culture. There were hints at emerging women's emancipation. The narrative is drawn from somewhat conflicting articles and advertisements resulting in Happy Hotpoint's Helpful Hints of six kitchen recommendations for a successful marriage. The introduction of many so-called labor-saving devices did not, in fact, reduce the time required to attend to housewife duties. As the equipment reduced time to do some chores, the time was then filled with tackling the increasing complexities of the chores, including cookery with more recipes using a greater variety of ingredients. Facsimiles of related ephemera sit on the back side of the panels.

Artist Bio

Elsi Vassdal Ellis has been teaching design production and book arts at Western Washington University since 1977. She established EVE Press in 1983 with her first offset edition; letterpress in 1990; and digital in 1996. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is housed in many public and private collections. Since 1983 she has produced over 130 editions and 127 unique books employing a variety of reproduction techniques and materials. Her work is permanently housed in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York City Public Library, Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Grabhorn Collection in the San Francisco Public Library, and Arts of the Book Collection in the Yale University Library.