When Light Touches Paper by Barbara Beisinghoff

Barbara Beisinghoff in Residency

beisinghoff-posterSeptember 15-October 14

In a career that has spanned more than five decades, artist Barbara Beisinghoff has produced etchings, artists’ books, handmade paper, and installations, and has exhibited her work internationally in China, Peru, Israel, Egypt, Korea, Italy, and the US. Beisinghoff will serve as an artist-in-residence this fall at Vassar College.


A selection of Beisinghoff’s works will be on view in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center’s Project Gallery and in the Art Library. The exhibition, When Light Touches Paper, will be on view September 29-October 16.  An opening reception will be held in the Art Center’s Sculpture Garden at 5:00pm on September 29. On Monday, October 3, a documentary about Beisinghoff’s work, produced by artist Eva Wal, will have its premiere screening. All events are free and open to the public.


A prize-winning graphic artist, Beisinghoff creates etchings and artists’ books from handmade paper with watermarks and waterjet drawings. During her residency at Vassar, Beisinghoff with work students and faculty from German Studies to create illustrations for their children’s book, from Biology to teach about plants for paper making, and Media Studies to talk about artist books.  In her hometown, Dreieich, near Frankfurt, Germany, she worked on one project with 250 children, whose drawings—etched into copper reliefs—are embedded in the pavement around the town hall.  At Vassar, she will engage in a tree poetry project with students, which entails putting words and quotes from pulp on the beautiful trees of Vassar’s arboretum. The tree project will also be available for viewing.

Beisinghoff will also be working with students at the Poughkeepsie Day School, silkscreening words from certain fairy tales onto the trunks and branches of trees. The words will be in German, and students at Vassar have laminated cards, with translations. The cards will hang from the trees like leaves. Recordings of the stories, in English, are being made for us as well, so that we can listen to the stories while standing under the trees. The project fits with some of the themes that grade 6 studies this year: the tales are middle ages in origin, and in science the students do a unit on trees and often work to make their value understood to a wider public.

The Creative Arts Across Disciplines initiative is generously funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This residency was dreamed up by Professor Silke von der Emde in the German Department



Exhibition, Events and Locations


Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Exhibition: When Light Touches Paper: Watermarks by Barbara Beisinghoff

September 29-October 16

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and Vassar College Art Library

Exhibition Opening Reception

Thursday, September 29, 5:00pm

Frances Lehman Loeb art Center, Sculpture Garden

Premiere Screening

Monday, October 3, time and place to be announced.

A new documentary about the work of Barbara Beisinghoff, directed by Eva Wal

Gallery Talk

Thursday, October 6, 5:00pm

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Barbara Beisinghoff and Silke von der Emde will lead an informal talk about the exhibition When Light Touches Paper.



ABC Stories and PoeTree

Located underneath the Planetree on the Library Lawn

September 19-22, 2016

Monday-Thursday , 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Special Collections at the Vassar College Library

The Angel Is My Watermark & Various Artist Books on view September 29-October 16


Art Library

Artist Books, WaterMark  & Room for a Clairvoyant  on view September 29-October 16


German Department, Chicago Hall

Bettine von Arnim on view September 29-October 16


Poughkeepsie Day School

Fairtytale Tree on view September 19- 30th

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