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Dena Robertson

While studying painting at MICA, Dena Robertson ’94 fell in love with a student at The Johns Hopkins University named Robert Greenberg. Two years after graduating, the couple was married—but Robertson was having trouble finding the perfect album to display the couple’s wedding images.

“I really wanted something that was unique and special and that had more of a fine art presentation,” Robertson said. For months, she’d poured her heart into researching and creating an elegant, museum-quality book for the photographs. The result was an album made with exquisite Swiss ribbons, luxurious Japanese bookbinding fabrics, and papers repurposed from a mill on the East Coast that became the prototype for Cypress Fine Handmade Albums and Boxes.

Today, Cypress employs 12 artisans who work round-the-clock to create intimate, personal albums. Robertson, who lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children, said the 6,000-square-foot bindery where she works and keeps a studio offers the perfect creative environment for her. “Everyone who works here is also a painter, or graphic designer, or some kind of artist. We really feed off of each other,” Robertson said. Of her time at MICA, Robertson said, “It was such an amazing experience for me; I think about it all the time. It has led me to where I’m at right now.”