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Hand Papermaking Receives a Significant Gift from the Beck Whitehead Estate

March 21, 2023


Beck Whitehead, “Desert Car,” 2007, 11 x 14 x 2 inches, abaca and cotton rag pigment. Courtesy of Jim and Janice Whitehead

Mendota, Minnesota (January 2, 2023) – Hand Papermaking, Inc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing traditional and contemporary ideas in the art of making paper by hand, is pleased to announce it has received a significant charitable contribution from the estate of Beck Whitehead. Board Chair Darin Murphy states, “The Board of Directors accepts this bequest from the executors of Beck’s estate with our deepest respect and gratitude and commits to manage these funds for the long-term health of the organization and thus the broader field of hand papermaking.”

The Beck Whitehead bequest will be perpetually maintained in a sustaining endowment named in her honor. As part of the organization’s forthcoming strategic planning process, Hand Papermaking will be surveying the community and convening discussions to define ways to expand on Beck Whitehead’s generosity.

Susan Mackin Dolan, former Chair of Hand Papermaking’s Board of Directors recalls, “Our friend and colleague, Beck Whitehead was devoted to papermaking through teaching and mentoring, and the years of work for our organization enriched her life and those around her. She was a dedicated supporter of Hand Papermaking and wanted it to flourish. Beck used her time, energy, and resources to make a difference for the organization, and we are humbly grateful for her inspirational generosity.” 

Hand Papermaking plans to honor the legacy of Beck Whitehead by making a continued lasting impact in the intersecting communities that make paper by hand.

About Hand Papermaking

Through its print and online publications, Hand Papermaking preserves, informs, inspires, and celebrates the transformative act of hand papermaking. The biannual magazine, quarterly newsletter, handmade-paper portfolios, Black Writers Fellowships, and online resources strive to reflect the field’s full breadth of work and practitioners. For more information, visit

About Beck Whitehead

Beck is remembered for her distinctive art and her tremendous impact as a teacher and leader in the field of hand papermaking. Her work was exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. She traveled widely across the US, teaching papermaking at many colleges and art centers, including Haystack in Maine, Pyramid Atlantic in Maryland, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Beck was a generous supporter of many paper organizations and hosted the annual meeting of the Friends of Dard Hunter in 2004 at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, where she worked as a teacher and department chair for 30 years. She served on the board of directors of Hand Papermaking for many years.


Michael Fallon/Executive Director/Hand Papermaking
P.O. Box 50859
Mendota, MN 55150
Phone:  651-744-7143