Oak Knoll are my crack dealers. They brought Jan van der Marck’s The Art of Contemporary Bookbinding to the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair for me and, of course, I bought it. This is not your average vanity exhibition catalog. Jan van der Marck (1929-2010) was an art historian, both a university professor and probably the most frequently fired museum curator in modern history.
What really sets this exhibit catalog apart from most in my collection is not just the breadth of van der Marck’s taste, which is significant, but his introduction, his essay on each binder, and his brief commentary on each binding. As an art historian, his point of reference is significantly different from that of a librarian, a binder, or a collector who is not an art historian (most of us).
Donald Glaister was one of van der Marck favorite binders. He selected eight examples from his collection for this exhibition. Below are images of all eight, complete with van der Marck’s commentary. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m just home from a disappointing weekend in Boston. I’m going to say something dreadfully unpopular: the standards of contemporary hand-binding, especially fine art binding, are depressingly low. I wanted to weep. I’m not sure who I felt sadder for: my professional colleagues, who can evaluate with ease the condition and the quality of craftsmanship in all other types of books, or for the binders who are far better than the legions of run-of-the-mill binders in New England. The general lack of discernment of dealers on the one hand, and the praise piled on the good binders on the other, gives no one an incentive to seek out master binders near and far. Exceptions on both sides, of course, and I’m talking about what I saw at both fairs over the weekend. I am aware that awesome binding is happening in the vicinity.
All of you can start shouting at me while I go scan pictures of Donald Glaister bindings from the exhibit catalog I bought in Boston. Stay tuned for some serious eye candy.
I started this post in July after a wonderful correspondence with Jill. Then I was overcome by events:
I was frantically rounding up binders to participate in a fundraiser for Booklyn. Today, the photos posted are of Mark Cockram’s box, followed by 3 views of his binding (Mark was assigned copy 1/10, the “deluxe” copy with all kinds of weird ephemera included. He blogged about it here. The next two photos are Gabrielle Fox‘s binding, and the last four are Celine Lombardi‘s (already sold!). Bindings by Christine Giard and Uriel Cidor are in the photography queue and five more are in the works. Many, many thanks to all of the artists who have donated their time, materials, and extraordinary skill to create outstanding bindings to raise money for a not-for-profit organization that exists to support book arts.
At the same time, I was preparing for Brooklyn BAPD, which happened last weekend, and the Editions/Artists Books Fair in November (they have really early deadlines for all kinds of stuff). In the midst of all of this, I am delighted to announce that I became the sole dealer for Timothy C. Ely. Keep checking his page on my website as I add many images and essays about his work. Prepare to have your minds blown.
Back to Jill Oriane Tarlau.