Fanny and the Doll Corpse (2016) - Deluxe Edition Artist Book Set by Don Widmer, item no. 101

Fanny and the Doll Corpse (2016) - Deluxe Edition Artist Book Set by Don Widmer, item no. 101



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paper, thread, adhesive, ink, book cloth, book board


Ten-year-old Fanny wakes one wintry morning to find her toy doll stripped naked and shattered in the parlor of Chicago’s famous Glessner house. A fan of Sherlock Holmes, she attempts to solve the “murder” by questioning several well-known architects including Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Isaac Scott. This work of historical fiction was inspired by Captain Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962), a pioneer in modern forensic science and creator of the miniature crime scenes known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.

This deluxe edition includes two artist book structures housed in a clamshell box.

The Glessner House Tunnel Book features outside views of all four sides of the famous Prairie Avenue home designed by Henry Hobson Richardson. Inspired by theatrical stage sets, tunnel books date back to the mid-18th century. Stored flat, the book can be expanded to create a 3-dimensional scene. The interior view of the Glessner House parlor contains visual clues to the "murder" and is reminiscent of the miniature crime scenes constructed by Frances Glessner Lee. This book is ink-jet printed on Bristol Smooth 270 gsm paper and Mohawk Superfine Text paper. It is hand-sewn with linen thread. Size: 8 x 9.5 x .5 inches (expands to approximate depth of 10 inches); Bristol Smooth 270 gsm paper, Mohawk Superfine Text Paper, linen thread, ink; tunnel book structure, hand-sewn, ink-jet printed.

Fanny and the Doll Corpse tells a story from the point of view of ten year old Frances (Fanny) Glessner Lee. It features a drum leaf binding, a structure developed by contemporary bookbinder Tim Ely. This structure is archivally sound, using very little adhesive, and provides the feel of a child's picture book. The 19 illustrations depict objects from the story with dictionary-like objectivity, appropriate for the shrewd mind of a police detective cataloging evidence. Fanny and the Doll Corpse is ink-jet printed on Arches Cover 250 gsm paper. It is covered in hand-marbled paper by Leah Zhang using a pattern called Italian Vein. The spine is covered in Hahnemühle Bugra paper and Asahi bookcloth. The book features graphite edge decoration polished with beeswax. Size: 8 x 9.5 x 1 inches (opens to width of 19 inches); Hahnemühle Bugra paper, Arches Cover 250 gsm paper, hand-marbled 55 lb. text paper, Stonehenge 250 gsm paper, French Paper cover weight, matboard, Asahi bookcloth, graphite, beeswax, ink, PVA; drum leaf structure with graphite edge decoration, ink-jet printed.

The clamshell box container is covered in Asahi bookcloth and lined with Laval bookcloth. Size: 8.75 x 10 x 2.25 inches (opens to width of 22 inches); bookboard, Asahi bookcloth, Laval bookcloth, Hahnemühle Bugra paper, ink, PVA; clamshell box structure with inset illustration, ink-jet printed.

This limited edition of 10 is entirely hand bound, sewn and assembled by the artist and includes his illustrations and original story.

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1–3 business days


Chicago, IL

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Don Widmer

Don Widmer

Owner of DonWidmerPaperArts

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Shop rating

5 out of 5 stars

Total shop reviews



kstephen3 Mar 9, 2020

5 out of 5 stars
Love Don’s birds, as always! Love his yellow-shafted flicker painting, love the paper he paints on.

Purchased item:

isingonrooftops Feb 24, 2020

5 out of 5 stars
Everytime I get one of Don's works, it comforts me but also challenges me (I really don't mean to sound pretentious or make his art sound pretentious because really - it is the opposite of that) - reading his books are some of the happiest, most thoughtful moments in my life and the fact that someone can create something that another human being connects with or relates to is amazing and peaceful

Purchased item:

kstephen3 Dec 16, 2019

isingonrooftops Dec 14, 2019

5 out of 5 stars
I was so excited to get this and it lived up to my imagination in every way

Purchased item: