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University Archives & Special Collections Exhibits

Printed Works: Adaptations of Virginia Woolf 

February 24 - June 12, 2023

Printed Works: Adaptations of Virginia Woolf combines acclaimed Norwegian letterpress artist Dr. Ane Thon Knutsen’s (b. 1984) skills in letterpress printing and graphic design to bring an installation that enfolds visitors into the world and words of author Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).

In Printed Works, Knutsen adapts a selection of Virginia Woolf’s self-published short stories. Virginia and Leonard Woolf bought a printing press in March 1917. What began as a hobby quickly grew into an established publishing house, The Hogarth Press. The printing press liberated Woolf as a writer, changing literature forever. In her own words: “What I owe The Hogarth Press is barely paid (…) I am the only woman in England free to write what I like.”  Virginia Woolf was self-taught in typesetting, as is Knutsen. Knutsen’s artistic research aims to point out the influence typography, particularly typesetting, might have on the content of the text. It speaks to the power of designing and publishing one’s own work. 
“Going into the depth of typesetting changes the language. It dictates what is worth saying. The work involves and demands your whole body. It’s complete concentration. The craft lives in between the cognitive and the organic, switching between conscious presence and the body automatically. The text is set. Every letter back where it came from, until all that is left is the imprint.” - Knutsen

Knutsen is internationally known for her letterpress-focused installations and artists’ books; she is also an associate professor of graphic design at the Oslo Academy of the Arts. Knutsen has won numerous awards for her work. She owns and works from her private letterpress studio in Oslo. Printed Works: Adaptations of Virginia Woolf will culminate with the 32nd annual international conference in Woolf’s honor, hosted by FGCU’s Department of Language and Literature from June 8-11, 2023.