• Ground Floor Gallery
    • OPEN/SET: Design Binding Today
      February 19 - April 25, 2020

      A Design Binding is a uniquely-conceived and beautifully-executed book covering, a work of art that evokes the content of the book through the passion, design sense, and skill of the binder. Through the techniques and structures that go into each individual artwork, the bookbinders share their excitement in the pages of the books they transform. The books in this exhibition are by the winners of the 2020 contemporary designer binding competition. They are drawn from the work of binders from across the globe and all have been created within the past year.

      The title OPEN SET reflects the two categories in which binders may compete—an OPEN category, in which the artist chooses which book to bind, and a SET category, in which all participants bind the same book. Binders are allowed to produce bindings for one or both categories. For the 2020 competition, the set book was conceived and printed by fine press printer Russell Maret. He selected the text of a letter by William Blake entitled Happy Abstract. The Open category books will be chosen by the artists themselves who decide what they will bind; but the judges expect to see a tremendous variety in both size (from miniatures to folios), and in subject.

      The design bindings on display were juried by renowned American binders Mark Esser, Patricia Owen and Monique Lallier; and examples of the set book bound by each juror will also be part of the display.

      A book’s cover is, in essence, an invitation to explore its content. "Open Set demonstrates the ways in which a design binder’s invitation can be recognizable or abstracted, visually unsettling or charming, in artistic terms calculated to spark conversation, comment, and curiosity,” observes Lang Ingalls, exhibition coordinator.

      The Best Read Army in the World (Armed Services Editions)
      May 13 – August 1, 2020

      This is the story of how American librarians and publishers used books to fight against Nazi Germany’s destruction of ideas during World War II.

      Following their book successes during WWI, American librarians united in 1942-43 to host the largest book drive in history. The Victory Book Campaign collected 18 million books for Americans in the armed services. From the Roosevelts to boy and girl scouts, everyone did their part to ensure good books were available to troops to fill their leisure time while training.

      But as millions of Americans shipped out overseas, foot soldiers clamored for books that were lightweight and tiny. American publishers rose to the challenge, inventing the most unique mass-produced books in history, the “Armed Services Editions.” Measuring as little as 3 and 3/8 inches by 5.5 inches, these books fit the pockets of a military uniform. From the beaches of Normandy to the Pacific Islands, American troops read these books until they fell apart. Each month, a fresh shipment of dozens of titles arrived. After years of reading while at war, veterans returned home with an appetite for reading and learning. Millions went back to school under the GI Bill, and the paperback book industry exploded after the war.

      Through posters, photographs, documents, and the books themselves, “visitors will be treated to a unique and inspiring exhibit showcasing how books were the ultimate weapon in the ‘war of ideas,’” comment co-curators Molly Manning and Brian Anderson.
  • Second Floor Gallery
    • "They Also Wrote Children’s Books" from the Collection of John R. Blaney

      March 4 - May 2, 2020

      John Blaney has been collecting modern first editions for over 40 years by such well-known authors as Maya Angelou, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ken Kesey, Toni Morrison, William Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut, and Virginia Woolf. However, it may not be known, or even expected, that they also wrote at least one children's book, some excellent, some not so good. This presentation juxtaposes each children’s book with a famous adult novel to help make the point.

      Hemingway's book The Good Lion is a perfect example of a book that might not be appreciated or even understood by a child. It seems the lion is very unhappy living in Africa—the other lions mock him because he refuses to eat the Hindu traders that pass through his village! He is also teased because he has a pair of wings and so he decides to fly away to Italy. Where? To Venice where he goes to Harry's Bar and orders a very dry martini with Gordon's gin, of course, from Mr. Cipriani. And every child knows that the city symbol of Venice is a winged lion!

      New Members Collect
      May 27- July 25, 2020

      Selections from the collections of individuals elected to Grolier Club membership within the past year.

For more details regarding any of these upcoming exhibitions, including related publications, special tours, and public events. Contact:

Susan Flamm 
PR Consultant

Jennifer Sheehan
Exhibitions and Communications Manager

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