Kathleen Walkup is Professor Emerita at Mills College, where she held the inaugural Lovelace Family Endowed Chair in Book Art and taught classes in typography, letterpress printing, artists’ bookmaking and graduate seminars in book history and theory. At Mills she established the first graduate program in book art in the country in 1983. She began her printing career as part of a radical offset printing collective in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then co-founded both Five Tress Press and Peartree Printers, the first women’s letterpress trade press since the late 1800s in San Francisco. Her publishing imprints have included Matrix Press and new broom. In 2019 a solo exhibition of her printing, Transitory Matter, was held at Mills College.
Her most recent curatorial project is Possibilities: When Artists’ Books Were Young (San Francisco Center for the Book, 2022); she also wrote the catalogue. Her essay on the women of the Distaff Side appears in Making Impressions: Women in Printing and Publishing (Legacy Press, 2020). In October 2022 she wrote the text for a keepsake for the Book Club of California on eleven California women of the private press. In addition to her focus on the history of women in printing, she researches, speaks and writes on conceptual practice in artists’ books and on Ireland’s Cuala Press.
- Printing at the Margins: A History of Women Printers: 2017, 2023
- Scholar’s Studio: 2015