Carol June Barton

Carol June Barton

Born 1954

Artist Details

Birth Place
St. Louis, Missouri
Phonetic Spelling
KAIR-ohl joon BAHR-tehn
Books and manuscripts; Drawings and prints; Paintings; Photography; Poetry
Places of Residence
Glen Echo and Bethesda, Maryland; Washington, D.C.
Washington University School of Fine Arts, St. Louis, Missouri, 1972–76
NMWA Exhibitions

Bound to Amaze: Inside a Book-Collecting Career, 2018
25 x 25: Artists’ Books from the NMWA Collection, 2011-2012
Moveable Feast: The Book as Art, 2008
The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists’ Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 2006-2007
Insomnia: Landscapes of the Night, 2003
Book as Art XII: Artists’ Books from the Permanent Collection, 2000
Artists’ on the Road: Travel as Source of Inspiration, 1998
Book as Art VI, 1993-1994
Artists’ Books from the LRC Collection, 1990-1991
Upstate New York Artists’ Books, 1990
Book as Art II, 1989
Book as Art I, 1987

About the Artist

Carol Barton teaches book art classes all over the U.S., she has curated many exhibitions of book arts, and she is the author of a series of interactive workbooks, The Pocket Paper Engineer, which offer guidance on creating paper art.

After graduating as a painting major from Washington University in St. Louis in 1977, Barton moved to Washington, D.C., to work at Glen Echo Park Arts Center. She still lives and works in Glen Echo, Maryland, where she owns and operates Popular Kinetics Press.

At the Arts Center, Barton learned the pre-press skills necessary to start printing her own works and was later offered a grant to produce her first artist’s book,  Beyond the Page, 1981. She developed an interest in adding pop-ups to her work, and she spent two years mining library collections in search of early examples of dimensional and movable books.

Barton describes: “My father was a diesel engine mechanic, and my own love of the structural and mechanical aspects of pop-ups probably stems from his early influence. As my work evolves, I am constantly finding new ways to push a book’s pages beyond their flat surface and to integrate a message into the very form of the book, weaving visual and verbal narrative into the magic of the third dimension.

“But construction of the pop-ups is only a small part of the larger design challenge in creating a successful artist’s book. Text, images, sequencing, rhythm, and the flow of time across a book’s pages are all elements to be considered. The fact that an artist’s book can encompass a wide variety of subject matter and materials prompted me to make the transition from painting to book arts early in my artistic career.” 

National Museum of Women in the Arts