A Florentine Alphabet

Modified accordion structure

5 ¾ inches square; ⅞″ thick when closed

(14.6x14.6x2.2 cm)


Photos and text printed with archival

inks on heavyweight Rives paper


The content of A Florentine Alphabet is structured as an abecedary. I find the concept of these books that follow the alphabet, unfolding one letter at a time, to be very inspiring—it’s a traditional way of organizing content that has endless possibilities.

Bound into an accordion that can be experienced like a conventional book or fully expanded for display, A Florentine Alphabet meanders through the Italian alphabet, taking readers from the Arno that “shimmers through Florence” to the bridges that “provide an intimate view of the ever-changing canvas of the river.” You encounter the iris, which inspired the city’s long-time symbol, meet the Medici family, who shaped the city during their three centuries as rulers, and get a taste of December’s magical transformation for Natale. The piazzas—those open public spaces where the city is most alive—show up often along the journey.

I have interpreted each element through an arrangement of photographs and accompanying text (for which I used Arno Pro, a font named for the river that I cross almost daily). Pages alternate between full-width for the photos and half-width for the text.

A Florentine Alphabet appeared in an exhibition entitled Abecedaries, at the Abecedarian Gallery in Denver (20 May through 19 June 2010).

Click here to read more background on the making A Florentine Alphabet.

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