Joanne Margretha Sonnichsen

Menlo Park, California

Marie-Ange Doizy, De la Dominoterie à la Murbrure, 1996

Bound in black Morocco calf with marbled paper onlays; concave spine structure; black leather endbands; silver top edge. 29 x 24 x 4.5 centimeters. Created 1997. Lent by Deke Sonnichsen.

Joanne Sonnichsen was born in 1933, and after completing a degree in art and design at Stanford in 1958, she painted, studied photography, and opened her own studio in Palo Alto. In the 1970s she began an intensive study of bookbinding in the French tradition with Don Glaister and founded her own studio in Menlo Park where she practiced and taught her craft for over 25 years. Her work has been displayed in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, and the USA. She was commissioned to design a special binding for the AIDS Names Project Book of Remembrance that is on permanent display at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. In the 1990s she was one of the nine founders, and only American, of AIR-neuf, an international “fresh look” book arts organization based in Paris, France, speaking at AIR-neuf’s conference at Chantilly. She has served as President of the Book Club of California, the Hand Bookbinders of California, the Colophon Club of San Francisco, and was active with the Guild, the Roxburghe Club of San Francisco, the Bancroft Library Associates, and Stanford Library Associates. In 2003 she was honored by the Book Club of California with the Oscar Lewis Award for her “outstanding contributions in the field of the book arts.” Joanne died at her home, from breast cancer, on 25 December 2003.