Jim Lee was born in the Mid-west, received a B.A. from Bethany College in studio arts and a M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. In 1978 he began making limited edition letterpress books and established a private press called Blue Moon Press. He has taught relief and intaglio printmaking, drawing and book arts at the Hartford Art School/University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT since 1982.
Since the early 1990’s, landscape has been at the core of his work. Recent work has been based on the landscape of New England and Maritime Canada. He often begins a series with pastel and pencil drawings done on-site, and from these develops his prints, primarily color reduction woodcuts. He is also very interested in the people who inhabit the locations he depicts, weaving references their history and culture into his work. Humor and a sly, satiric streak also often show up in various ways. His limited edition, hand-printed books contain his images, letterpress texts (often publishing poetry or writing by other writers), which he binds in various kinds of structures, in order to emphasize and develop the content.
Jim Lee’s work has been exhibited in many national and international exhibitions, including: Recent Acquisitions of Artists’ Books, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; New American Woodcuts, Galerie Im Hollental, Buchenbach, Germany; Third and Fourth International Biennial Print Exhibitions, Taipei Museum of Fine Arts, Republic of China; Rare Books of the Future, Center for Book Arts, NY; 2nd Qijang International Print Festival, Chongqing, Peoples’ Republic of China; and The Boston Printmakers International Biennial.
His work is in many important print and book collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Portrait Gallery, The Getty Art Center, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, The Boston Athenaeum, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Guangdong Museum of Fine Arts-Chongqing, China, The New York Public Library, The Boston Public Library, Yale University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Smith College, The University of San Francisco, well as corporate and private collections.