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The Southeast Chapter brought British book artist Martin Frost to Atlanta to present "The Curious Art of the Secret Fore-Edge Painting." Mr. Frost presented an illustrative slide lecture on the evening of April 14, 2005 to a small but captivated crowd. He discussed the history of fore-edge paintings showing examples of the early painters’ works, many of whom were unknown. As he discussed the genesis of this little known art form, it is clear that the art is exclusively British. The lecture continued through paintings done by contemporary artists; Mr. Frost believes he is the only painter today who makes his living doing fore edges.

The day long hands-on workshop held on April 16th was completely filled with 13 participants who ranged from painters to book conservators, and fine binders to collectors of fore edge paintings. We learned the techniques of English water coloring onto book-edges. From the preferred type of pan watercolors to dry brush techniques to the best way to fan up the book, the workshop was filled with valuable tips.  Mr. Frost is an excellent and engaging teacher. Participants all finished their own fore edge painting hidden under the gold edges of their own book!

Throughout the events we had the opportunities to look at many painted books, from the Martin Frost’s own collection, to examples brought by three collectors and a selection of those in the Emory University Libraries collection.

The events were made possible by generous contributions from the friends of the Emory University Libraries and Mr. Ian Lloyd-Jones.

Ann Frellsen


Ann Frellsen and Marcis Cohen

The Atlanta fore edge painters

Martin demonstrates to Monique Lallier and Linda Hawke

Matin Frost during lecture

Martin fans up a finished painting; Sonja Schwoll

Martin fans up a finished painting; Ronnie Campbell (L)

The Atlanta fore edge painters picnic

(L to R) Brenda, Linda, Maggi, Sonja, Ann