Harriet Bart

Plumb Bob

Harriet Bart

Plumb Bob



Edition Size





Artist Book


Mnemonic Press


Hermetic Press

$ 2,620.00


View Collectors

Boston Athenaeum

Florida Atlantic University (FAU), The Jaffe Book Arts Collection

The University of Chicago Library

University of Minnesota

In keeping with her practice of presenting cultural artifacts as sculptural objects, Harriet Bart has used the quotidian plumb bob as both subject and object of her conceptually-based installations for more than a decade. Largely unchanged from ancient Egypt to the present, this elegant and simple tool has been handed down to us as if it were a gift from our ancestors. Bart has explored the plumb in its many guises: as a building tool, an object of initiation and divination, as a pendulum, and as a metaphor in the search for that which is timeless and true.

Plumb Bob, a book object, is a reflection of that extensive body of work.

In keeping with the modest origins of the plumb, the binding and case materials are fabricated from common hardware store materials. The book has brass covers with the chemical symbol for lead, Pb, hand-engraved on the front. Steel hinges enclose the perimeter of the brass covers.

Plumb Bob is housed in a hinged masonite and beech case with aluminum covers overlaid with brass hardware cloth and trimmed with brass angle and brads. The binding and case were designed and fabricated by Jill Jevne.

Concept, text, and images by Harriet Bart are true to her interest in the transformative use of ordinary materials to express the alchemy of ideas.

Thirty copies of Plumb Bob have been printed from Koch Antiqua and FF Meta on 200 lb Fabriano Artistico by Philip Gallo at the Hermetic Press. The first twenty-five are press numbered 1-25. Five copies designated artists proofs are lettered A-E.

Mnemonic Press.