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About Martha

Baltimore County

Martha Edgerton's picture
After a 35-year career in the preservation field, conserving rare library materials at prestigious educational institutions in the mid-Atlantic region, Martha Edgerton made the transition from book and paper conservation to book art.  She is the creator of the traveling exhibition entitled “The Amazing Race: The Atlantic Slave Trade through the Pages of Book Art” (TARBAE).  Exhibit production had been a major part of Edgerton’s duties throughout her preservation career. She uses those... 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 and beyond.

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.
  • Josephine

    This object exemplifies the life of Josephine baker.
  • Josephine (inside the covers)

    Inside the book covers of Josephine Baker.
  • Then and Now

    Depicting mass incarceration from the past to present times.