Six Wives for the Brothers Grimm

August 31, 2004 - October 10, 2004
Central Library, 2nd floor Balcony Cases
Six Wives for the Brothers Grimm

Sculptural artist books and dioramas by Miriam Schaer

Miriam Schaer is a New York-based multimedia book artist and printmaker, living and working in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Her sculptural approach incorporates a variety of media and found objects. A recent recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) grant, she has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Eastern Europe and Canada; and has been featured in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series at Mabel Smith Douglass Library at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, the longest-running exhibition series showcasing women artists in the United States.

Ms. Schaer frequently leads workshops and lectures, and has taught in many institutions here and abroad, including the Center for Book Arts and the Lower East Side Printshop, both in Manhattan; the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University; Pyramid Atlantic in Maryland; and Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in Spain.

Ms. Schaer's selected works can be seen online at

Artist Statement

"Six Wives for the Brothers Grimm presents a series of tableaux that visually explore themes raised by the stories and fables of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm and other sources of traditional fairy or folk tales reinterpreted for an urban, multicultural context. The scenes showcase a series of characters I created, each embedded within settings reflective of the ideas expressed by the individual character. I employ a visual vocabulary similar to magic realism with embedded elements that include common objects made disproportionately large or small or that are allowed to float."

"While the content draws extensively from children's literature, the design draws on the varied modes of display found throughout Brooklyn and New York City, from the realistic dioramas of natural history museums to the expressionistic retablos found in numerous Latin American communities."

"The Brothers Grimm were among the first collectors of folklore to recognize in traditional tales a deeper understanding of the culture from which they emerged. Through retellings that preserved their stories' simplicity, strength, patterns, even crudeness, they encouraged growing recognition of the universal themes they expressed as well as their similarity to folk stories from cultures around the world."

"By drawing on a narrative tradition in which the impossible is probable, in which magic and marvels coexist with things actual and proven, I hope to interpret for today's reality themes explored by the Grimms and other essential folk-tellers like Charles Perrault, Andrew Lang, Hans Christian Andersen, Peter and Iona Opie, and Italo Calvino, whose stories are both accessible and revealing."