Karen Hanmer

Artists' Books & Installation

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Title: Famopily book

Famopily book

Famopily book

Famopily book | 1999 | $50

Inkjet prints

7.5 x 15.75" open | 7.5 x 8" closed

Edition of 100
Wire bound book with text from game cards and photos from Famopily game board.


From artist's statement for the Famopily board game:

For several years I recorded family stories and my childhood memories. I printed out each on an index card to sort through when I was looking for text for various books I was working on. It struck me that they were like odd trading cards. The Famopily board game evolved from this idea. Players are members of a family. Mother, Father, Brother and Sister. They roll a die and move about the board collecting and reading aloud cards printed with childhood stories.

My military family moved often while I was growing up. By the time I was ten, I had lived in six cities. When a player of Famopily lands on the “Moving Day” space, she must spin the wheel and relocate her playing piece to a different space on the game board. She then loses a turn. This minor inconvenience is intended to give players a small indication of how disruptive and disorienting all that moving around felt.


Karen Hanmer's work is wonderfully playful and sculptural. Interaction is encouraged in a very unique way. These qualities make the pieces quite special in artist book displays. Because we collect game oriented books, the University of Kentucky's Lucille Little Fine Arts Library collections include five of her books.

Meg Shaw, Art Librarian, Lucille Little Fine Arts Library & Learning Center, University of Kentucky Libraries