Leonard, Julie

Director of Graduate Studies, UI Center for the Book
Associate Professor

The Center for the Book
216 North Hall
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1420

While in design school, Leonard discovered book making and moved to Penland School of Craft in North Carolina to study the craft of bookbinding as well as its sister arts; papermaking and printing. As a resident artist there, she was able to build a studio and begin to market her work.  In 1997 she came to Iowa to enroll in the newly created Graduate Certificate Program at the UI Center for the Book, and gained an MFA in Studio Art and a Graduate Certificate from the Center in 2001.  She has been teaching for the Center since 2001.

Her work is divided between the study of historical book binding structures and the creation of contemporary artist books.  Her research is directed toward understanding the development of bookbinding back to the 2nd century and forming a deep and intensive understanding of how the book as a physical object functions as well as how that object has functioned in society. This background influences how her approach to artist book work. Her most recent body of work makes use of old books, primarily reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias…) and botany books from the turn of the 20th century.

Areas of Interest: 
Contemporary artist's books; history of bookbinding.