January 30 - March 28, 2010
The Library is pleased to be hosting Fine Design Bindings and Artists' Books, the 37th Annual Members' Exhibition of the Hand Bookbinders of California. The exhibit celebrates the art of the book and features thirty-five exquisite examples of hand crafted book bindings and artists' books.
The history of fine bookbinding in the United States formally begins at the turn of the 20th century, at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. This period saw the founding of the first Guild of California Bookbinders in 1902 and the national Guild of Book Workers, in 1906.
The Hand Bookbinders of California, founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1972, continues the mission of the original 1902 guild &emdash; to support and promote bookbinding and the related book arts on the West Coast. It does so by sponsoring an annual members' exhibition and a full program of workshops and classes offered throughout the year at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Visitors to the exhibit will see extraordinary examples of hand crafted full-morocco bindings, executed in high French style, gold-tooled and richly decorated with colored leather onlays and jewels. Other books feature fine covers fashioned from hand-made Japanese, Italian, and marbled papers.
The exhibit also includes numerous artists' books. Works such as Heidi Ferrini's accordion fold book and Lyall Harris' paper and barbed wire construct (inspired by Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall") are sculptural artifacts that make their own poetic statements.
Also on display are keepsakes and postcards printed by California fine presses and examples of fine press books and bindings selected from the Archives & Special Collections' holdings.