Selections from Guild of Book Workers’ 100th Anniversary Exhibition on display in E.S. Bird Library
Selections from Guild of Book Workers’ 100th Anniversary Exhibition on display in E.S. Bird LibraryJuly 07, 2006Mary Beth Hintonmbhinton@syr.edu
The Guild of Book Workers’ 100th anniversary exhibition unofficially opened its year-long tour through the nation in the sixth-floor exhibition gallery of Syracuse University’s E. S. Bird Library, where it can be viewed weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Aug. 18. The exhibition will officially open Sept. 20 at the Grolier Club in New York City, before traveling to the Newberry Library, the University of Utah, Portland State University, the Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University and the Boston Athenaeum.
Founded in 1906 by a group of 42 craftspeople residing in New York City (among them the famed typographer Frederick W. Goudy), the Guild of Book Workers is the oldest continuously active book craft society in the country. It survived two world wars and the Depression as a result of the efforts of volunteer members. Following the Second World War, the guild experienced a decline in membership and became affiliated with the American Institute of Graphic Arts in New York until the late 1970s, when it began a steady period of growth. It now has 1,000 members and has expanded internationally.
The local exhibition began with approximately 50 works from the curated retrospective, which illustrates the roots of contemporary American bookbinding and highlights the work of some of its most significant proponents. On July 6, these works were replaced with the juried part of the exhibition: contemporary book works by leading binders and book artists in the guild representing the broad spectrum and vitality of the book arts at the beginning of the 21st century.
Bookbinding and the book arts have changed greatly over the past 100 years and especially since the rise of the artist’s book movement, which has transformed the book from a flat canvas of two covers and spine to an oftentimes sculptural and interactive object.
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