September 20 - November 25, 2006
Guild of Book Workers Centenary Exhibition
A retrospective of work by notable Guild members curated
by Peter Verheyen, and an exhibition of contemporary work
juried by Karen Hanmer, Richard Minsky, and Don Rash
The Guild of Book Workers was founded in 1906 in America to "establish and maintain a feeling of kinship and mutual interest among workers in the several hand book crafts" Among its early members are well-known artist-craft workers such as bookbinder Edith Diehl and printers and typographers W.A. Dwiggins and Frederic W. Goudy. The Guild still believes, as did its founders, that there is a responsibility among civilized people to sustain the crafts involved with the production of fine books. Its members hope to broaden public awareness of the hand book arts, to stimulate commissions of fine bindings, and to stress the need for sound book conservation and restoration. A century later that mission continues to drive the Guild's activities through the activities of its regional chapters, exhibitions, publications, and the annual Standards of Excellence seminars.
Opening on September 20, the Grolier Club of New York is proud to present the Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition. The exhibition, consisting of both a juried selection drawn from the Guild's approximately one thousand members, and a historical retrospective of work produced by the Guild, will reflect the maturation of this venerable organization and highlight its many contributions to the book arts. From a small group originally based in New York, the Guild has now evolved into a national organization whose members' activities encompass artist's books, bookbinding, calligraphy, conservation, and decorated papers. As it marks its centenary, the work produced by Guild members has evolved from being primarily focused on the art of traditional "fine" binding in leather with ornate gold tooling to more conceptual works embracing the artists' book movement, embracing sculptural books and innovative structures.
The 100th Anniversary Exhibition consists of two parts. The Retrospective of work by notable Guild members from the group's inception to the present was curated by bookbinder/conservator Peter Verheyen, and the traveling exhibition of contemporary work was juried by book artists Karen Hanmer, Richard Minsky, and Don Rash.
The retrospective portion of the exhibition showcases the rich diversity of backgrounds, talents and interests that has been a hallmark of Guild membership. Among the works are Richard Minsky's controversial Birds of North America and the ur-flagbook, April Diary, by Hedi Kyle. Other works highlight the English, French, and German traditions of bookbinding as represented by Don Etherington, Deborah Evetts, Monique Lallier, Louise Genest, Fritz Eberhardt, and Arno Werner, who among many others contributed much to the North American tradition of binding through their teaching and work. Also represented are the creative works of conservators, calligraphers, and decorative paper makers, many of who are skilled in a number of aspects of the book arts.
The juried traveling exhibition will highlight the recent works of many of the bookbinders and book artists who make up the membership of the Guild. Entries run the gamut from traditional bindings and historic structures, to pop-ups and other playful book forms, to purely sculptural works. Leather bindings stand alongside works fashioned from aluminum or PVC. Text and imagery are produced by numerous printmaking methods, calligraphy, photography and digital output. The broad range of content is another reflection of the diverse interests of Guild members: classic texts, political viewpoints, personal histories, and the sensual experience of reading a book.
The Guild of Book Workers 100th Anniversary Exhibition will be on view at the Grolier Club from September 20 - November 25, 2006. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM. Open to the public free of charge.
A full color catalogue (8½ x 11, 112 pp.) illustrating each entry in both the retrospective and contemporary exhibitions, will be available at each venue at a retail price of $28 while the work is on exhibit, and online from the Guild's website at http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/gbw/, or from the Guild of Book Workers, 521 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10175-0038. The complete exhibition, along with a catalogue order form, is available online at the Guild of Book Workers' website.
LOCATION AND TIMES: Guild of Book-Workers 100th Anniversary Exhibition will be on view at the Grolier Club from. September 20 - November 25, 2006. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM. Open to the public free of charge.
For more information e-mail Megan Smith at the Grolier Club.