Block title

Share:

About Martha

Baltimore County

After a 35 year career in the preservation field, conserving rare library materials at prestigious educational institutions in the mid-Atlantic region, Martha Edgerton transitioned from being a certified book conservator to being the creator of the traveling exhibit entitled “The Amazing Race: The Atlantic Slave Trade through the Pages of Book Art.” Edgerton earned certification as a book conservator from the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of the Johns Hopkins University and the Library of... more

The Amazing Race: The Atlantic Slave Trade Through the Pages of Book Art

In the form of traditional and contemporary bookmaking and paper crafting, The Amazing Race exhibition is designed to chronicle certain aspects of the Atlantic slave trade experience from its beginnings in Africa to its early years in the Americas.

The exhibition exemplifies the extraordinary strength, courage, and grace of the people and their descendants who survived this African diaspora to become valuable productive citizens of the Americas.

Displayed here are several of many pieces to this exhibit.

  • I Was Once Lost

    Martha Edgerton. 2011. An altered book portrays a scene from the Middle Passage and a connection to Captain John Newton’s redemption song “Amazing Grace.” Newton, an English sailor who held a variety of positions on slave ships later became an Anglican clergyman and advocated for the abolition of the slave trade.
  • Motherland I

    Martha Edgerton. 2013. An altered book depicts a traditional African hut, a place some Africans called home before capture—symbolizing peace and family unity before capture.
  • Traded Spices II

    Martha Edgerton. 2013. An accordion cloth binding depicting Africans in a variety of roles and statuses before capture: workers, hunters, gatherers, royalty, mothers, fathers, etc.
  • Traded Spices I

    Martha Edgerton. 2013. A series of miniature cloth bindings symbolizes the different types of tribes captured and then trafficked across Africa by African captors to trade to the white American slavers awaiting at sea, represented by the metallic blue and green altered book pages.
  • Tricks of the Trade I (top view)

    Martha Edgerton. 2013. A Coptic style cloth binding embodies beads, cowry shells, and textiles to symbolize some items used in the slave trade as currency.
  • Tricks of the Trade I

    Martha Edgerton. 2013. A Coptic style cloth binding embodies beads, cowry shells, and textiles to symbolize some items used in the slave trade as currency.
  • The Crime of Punishment (closeup of clasps)

    Martha Edgerton. 2012. An altered paper binding illustrates a cruel method of slave punishment—depicted by the two small black human figurines serving as book clasps.

Martha's Curated Collection

View Martha's favorite works from other Baker Artists