Invitation to Florence is modeled after an old-fashioned voyager’s chest. With this piece I have tried to recreate the pleasure of discovering a place. Within is everything needed for a personal and intimate experience with the city, whether you travel to Florence in person or in your imagination.

Readers are encouraged to interact with what they find: there are postcards to write and map cards with suggestions for things to do in a dozen of the city’s piazzas. I’ve included a brief history of the natural and urban features that combine to create such an appealing city. I've also shared my thoughts on books by past visitors and put together a reading list, as well as including notes about recording one's travels and a booklet of Invitations designed to encourage creativity. A brochure called “Creating a Mental Map” offers details on  the building of Brunelleschi’s Cupola for the cathedral and a map and notes to orient yourself from the top of either the dome or the bell tower.

Ribbon boards are found on the inner covers; they hold business cards from some of my favorite places, which can be replaced with personal favorites. The journey will be different for each person who explores the book …

Invitation to Florence appeared in the exhibition “Hand2Hand” at Columbia City Gallery in Seattle, Washington from 17 November 2010 through 23 January 2011.

Scroll to the right for more images >

Getting to Know the City, with pop-up images of each urban feature discussed

Creating a Mental Map, with map indicating the city’s major landmarks

Backsides of Map Cards, with suggestions for things to do

Map side of Map Cards

Postcard Booklet, closed

Postcard Booklet, extended

Booklet of Invitations

Invitation to Florence

10½” W x  10½” H x  1⅞” D


Photos and text printed with archival inks on heavyweight Rives

Exterior structure: Board covered with copper/brown block-print paper. Drawer compartment opens with a hand-crafted wire & bead knob. The gatefold cover has a ribbon closure, and each inner

cover features a “ribbon board”

wrapped with raw silk.

Interior contents: Various booklets printed with archival inks on a variety of Fabriano papers. All photographs and maps are my original work.


<   A red folder holds 4 booklets: Getting to Know the City; Notes on Reading; Notes on Recording one’s travels; Creating a Mental Map

<  Two Postcard Booklets feature a total of twelve

sepia photos of Florence, with descriptions on the back;

each is enclosed in a vellum belly band.

<  12 Map Cards each feature a large-scale annotated map of the

piazza on one side and suggestions for things to do on the back;

housed within a vellum sleeve printed with  notes on each piazza.

<  A booklet of 10 Invitations to jumpstart your

creativity are gathered within a vellum sleeve.

<  A “Welcome Letter” is found within a vellum envelope

printed with an image taken along the Arno River.

<  The drawer contains marbled paper-covered pencils,

a custom-wrapped eraser and a metal pencil sharpener.