Thanks to the lovely folks at Bromer Booksellers, I now (actually just after Xmas) have my very own copy of the catalog from the International Miniature Bookbinding Competition I wrote about here. The competition, sponsored by the Dutch Hand Bookbinding Foundation, the Museum Meermanno (The Hague), and De Buitenkant Publishers, attracted 155 submissions from all over the world, nearly half from outside of The Netherlands. The winners were announced at the beginning of October and the exhibition at Museum Meermanno is up through February 18, 2018. The catalog is tiny (see photo above with a quarter for scale). It’s not a miniature, but it’s appropriately sized for the books pictured inside. Despite the small size, catalog is truly substantive, containing an introduction by the organizers, an explanation of the competition assignment, and essay by Anne Bromer. The jury then walks us through the selection process, something we don’t usually hear about. They describe their methodology and, for each prize awarded, they explain the features that made that binding outstanding. In a way, it could be read as a how-to guide for competition judges, for competing art bookbinders, and for binding collectors.
The catalog reproduces the submissions, arranged by stage, as the jurors winnowed down the pool of submissions in four rounds of judging: first excluding those that failed to meet the size limitations (a painful thing to do to an otherwise gorgeous binding) and those that they felt failed to meet their technical or aesthetic standards, on through to the prize-winners. The bindings demonstrate a stunning range of creativity and technique.
So, who won? Read the rest of this entry »
Were you inspired by the miniatures in the exhibit of Neale Albert’s collection at Yale?
Try your hand at it!
Here’s a new international set book competition. The book looks pretty interesting. Below are the details, rules, and registration form. Good luck to all who enter!
The Dutch Handbookbinding Foundation (Stichting Handboekbinden) is organizing an International Miniature Bookbinding Competition in 2016/2017. This event is being organized in close co-operation with the Meermanno Museum (the oldest book museum in the world) in The Hague and Private Press De Buitenkant in Amsterdam. The competition will be closed with an exhibition at the Meermanno Museum autumn 2017.
Bookbinders worldwide are invited to enter this competition. The famous Dutch writer Geert Mak will exclusively write the text ( in English) for the miniature book to bind. Moreover, the well-known graphic designer Max Kisman will do the illustrations.
The jury will be made up of a panel of bookbinding experts and book designers who will be looking for a high standard of craftsmanship in relation to the bookbinding process, together with an original and innovative design. The jury will award three prizes for the most beautiful and well-crafted books, € 1000, € 750 and € 500 euros will be rewarded to the first, second and third prizewinner respectively.
All prize winning books will become the property of the Meermanno Museum and will be part of a new collection of miniature books, to be constituted as a result of this competition. Non-winners may choose to donate their entry to the Meermanno Museum (receiving a signed certificate of donation) or to have their entry returned to them after the exhibition.
You are invited to participate. You will find more information in the attachment to this mail and on our website www.stichting-handboekbinden.eu.
For questions and/or additional information you can contact Lidy Schoonens at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tine Krijnen at email@example.com
“The Poet of Them All”: William Shakespeare and Miniature Designer Bindings from the Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert
I just got back from the opening of “The Poet of Them All.” It’s a must see. Whether or not you like miniature books, you’ll never see so many works by great binders on display in one exhibit. Fortunately, I’ve had the great privilege of handling many of the bindings in the past few years, otherwise it would have been totally overwhelming. Leave yourself plenty of time and buy the catalog. You won’t regret it.