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.