Jack and Betty Forever (English and Japanese), 2005

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German printmaker and book artist Veronika Schäpers embraces the distinctive material and structural nature of books in her elegant examinations of cross-cultural themes inspired in part by her love of Japanese popular culture. Jack and Betty Forever features a short story by Shimizu Yoshinori, whose protagonists—Jack and Betty—were subjects of textbooks that an entire generation of Japanese used to learn English in the 1950s and 1960s. A story of love, Yoshinori’s narrative follows the pair’s relationship thirty years after they graduated from school. The pages of the book are printed on ruled paper resembling school notebooks and are animated by Schäpers’s buoyant floral designs. The first half of the book presents the story translated into English, while the second half features the original Japanese text. The book’s slipcase (on view in this display) playfully mimics the original graphics of its Japanese predecessors.

Jack and Betty Forever (English and Japanese)
Artist Life
born 1969
6-1/2 × 7-7/16 in.
Accession Number
William P. Kosmas, London, England (d. 2017); Estate of William P. Kosmas, Minneapolis; given to MIA, 2018.
Curator Approved

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