Photo by Todd R. Lockwood
Since 1966, fine artist and typographer Claire Van Vliet has been creating fine art prints and handmade books in Newark, Vermont. From her modest studio in the Northeast Kingdom, she has impacted the art of bookmaking and printmaking around the world.
Claire’s art has influenced and inspired several generations of artists and fine bookmakers — many who have gone on to important careers of their own. Her works are featured in museums, libraries and personal collections throughout the country and have been quietly celebrated by the Vermont arts community for decades.
Claire is a recognized pioneer in the art of book construction, using weaving and folding to bind pages without the use of adhesives. To hold one of Claire’s books in your hands is a journey into a rarified world — a world of color, texture, design and language. But her creations are not just art for art’s sake. Claire often uses her work to speak out about human failings and social justice.
Claire has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship and an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Arts in Philadelphia. In 1955, Claire founded Janus Press, which has fostered unique collaborations between writers, papermakers, printmakers and artists. Janus Press has published over ninety books since its inception.
Even with such prodigious output, Claire still finds time to open her studio to local schools, and for many young artists it has been their first glimpse into the magical world of printing and bookmaking.
To her peers, Claire Van Vliet is an icon. Her skill and dedication to her medium and her willingness to share her gifts with others is a rare and special combination.
Claire Van Vliet