After a 35 year career in the preservation field, conserving rare library materials at prestigious educational institutions in the mid-Atlantic region, Martha Edgerton transitioned from being a certified book and paper conservator to being the creator of the traveling exhibition entitled “The Amazing Race: The Atlantic Slave Trade through the Pages of Book Art.”
While working as a full-time conservator, Edgerton began (circa 2003) utilizing her professional bookbinding skills and informal visual arts training to make book art. Her passion for black history, in particular the subject of slavery, led her to create book art objects that would portray aspects of the topic.
After creating several successful objects, the idea struck her to create a full-fledged traveling exhibition. Exhibit production (centered mainly around books) had been a major part of Edgerton’s duties throughout her preservation career. Needless to say, these extra skills prepared her to fulfill her dream through this unique form of book art.