Claire Van Vliet was born in 1933 in Ottawa, Ontario, lost her parents as an adolescent, and moved to California to live with an aunt. She studied at San Diego State University (B.A.) and Claremont Graduate University (MFA) and now resides in Newark, Vermont, a town of roughly 600 people, located in an area mysteriously called the “Northeast Kingdom.”

Van Vliet works primarily with artists books but also makes etchings and lithographs. She published her first artist’s book in 1955, called The Oxford Odyssey, and since then she and her proprietary Janus Press have published over ninety more. She experiments with innovative formats and unique binding structures each of which often challenges the idea of a codex. Ruth Fine of the National Gallery of Art in Washington said “no one has done as much experimentation with non-traditional formats…She has had a profound impact on the book arts.”

Van Vliet has had retrospectives at the University of Vermont, the Grolier Club, the Robert Hull Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vermont, and at the National Museum for Women in the Arts.  She was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1989.

 

Books with Clair Van Vliet available from Boreas Fine Art:

[ Janus Press and Theodore Press ]  Shakespeare, William.  The Tragedie of King Lear.  Bangor: Theodore Press.  1986.  (Woodcuts by Claire Van Vliet.)

 

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