Sunday, August 20, 2017 – 8:00am to Friday, September 15, 2017 – 5:00pm
Friday, September 15, 2017 – 8:00am to Wednesday, November 1, 2017 – 5:00pm
UI Special Collections, 3rd Floor Main Library
An exhibit of works that engage not just the eye, but also the hands—through folds, flaps, tabs, slices, pop-ups, embossing, decay, wear, mutilation, feel—mind and hand linked by the book. On display with the historic books that inspired the artists’ creations.
September 15 – November 1,
Unversity of Iowa Special Collections
Main Library, 3rd Floor
The University of Iowa Special Collections is home to the archives of Peter and Donna Thomas, a selection of which is on display on the Special Collections gallery on the third floor of the Main Library until September 13, 2017.
Donna and Peter will join us in Special Collections for an exhibition reception and talk the evening of September 6, 2017. Details here.
Peter and Donna, book artists from Santa Cruz, California, started their business in 1977. They completed their first book, “The Three Cedars,” in 1978. 2017-18 marks their 40th anniversary, which will be celebrated in libraries across the country with retrospective shows displaying from those libraries own holdings. The University of Iowa Special Collections is home to their archives, a selection of which is on display until September 13, 2017.
Donna and Peter make their own paper, letterpress print or hand render the texts, illustrate, and hand-bind their books themselves. They make both edition and one-of-a-kind books that combine the precision of the fine press aesthetic with the structural exploration and artistic creativity found in contemporary artists’ books.
Beginning in August of 2017 Donna and Peter will be traveling as “Wandering Book Artists” to visit those shows. They will also be meeting with community-based and academic book arts classes, teaching book arts workshops, and working with fellow book and paper artists to create collaborative artworks. They keep a blog documenting their travels and conversations as wandering book artists which you can find at: http://www.wanderingbookartists.blogspot.com/
The Documenting Dada/Disseminating Dada exhibition continues until April 28, 2017 in the Main Library Gallery and is free and open to the public. More details can be found on the exhibitions page for UI Libraries: https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/gallery/
Special Collections and the Iowa Bibliophiles will be hosting a reception and open house extravaganza the evening of Wednesday March 8, 2017 celebrating the arrival of the traveling exhibition Open*Set while providing an opportunity for in-depth investigation of our newest acquisitions.
Explore the Open*Set exhibition from the American Academy of Bookbinding, in the Special Collections gallery space while recent acquisitions from Special Collections are set up for browsing in our Reading Room. Bookbinder, printer, and Open*Set judgeDavid Esslemontwill speak about the exhibition at6:15pm.
Acquisitions and Collections Management Librarian Margaret Gamm will provide an in-depth recap of rare book acquisitions over the past three years at 7:00pm. Learn how the University acquires material through purchase and donation, and discover which areas have been most heavily developed, all the way from Medieval manuscripts to modern artists’ books. Come for a bit or stay for all. The festivities all take place in the Special Collections Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Main Library from 5:30PM~7:45PM. Refreshments will be served
The University of Iowa Libraries’ Special Collections is pleased to announce the imminent arrival of Open*Set an exhibition in the third floor gallery space in Special Collections March 8-April 19th, 2017.
The OPEN • SET competition is a NEW triennial competition that formed in response to the burgeoning interest and palpable momentum in finely crafted design book bindings in the United States. Sponsored by the American Academy of Bookbinding, www.bookbindingacademy.org.
All are welcome for a reception in honor of this exhibition March 8, 2017 in the Special Collections Reading Room from 5:30pm. Artist, designer, printer, bookbinder and publisher and Open*Set judge David Esslemont will speak about the exhibition at 6:15pm. Light refreshments will be served.
EXHIBITION LOCATIONS AND DATES 2017
DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY – January 5 to 28
SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR THE BOOK – February 1 to March 4
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA – March 8 to April 19
AH HAA SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS, TELLURIDE – April 24 to May 20
NORTH BENNETT STREET SCHOOL, BOSTON – June 8 to July 19
AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY – July 26 to August 26
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY – September 8 to October 28
MARRIOT LIBRARY, SALT LAKE CITY – November 10 to January 19
OPEN SET JURORS
Cathy Adelman began her bookbinding career by accident – a happy accident – at North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft in 1999. In 2003, she graduated from the American Academy of Bookbinding, having spent five years studying with Tini Miura. During that time she also began a 10-year pilgrimage to the internationally known Centro del Bel Libro in Ascona, Switzerland, to study with Edwin Heim and other international master binders.
Originally from northern Maine, Adelman is now a studio binder in southern California. Her work is exhibited both domestically and internationally
by ARA (France, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland), Designer Bookbinders, Society of Bookbinders, Estonian Association of Designer Bookbinders, Guild of BookWorkers, and Hand Bookbinders of California. She has received several awards from The Society of Bookbinders: ‘Highly Commended’ (2001); ‘Harmatan Leather Award’ for forwarding (2003); and ‘First Prize Case Binding’ (2007). She also received recognition from the Estonian Association of Designer Bookbinders (2005) and the Chicago Public Library (2006).
Cathy teaches at the Penland School of Craft as well as privately. She is a Trustee at the Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina, and the Center for Craft Creativity and Design in Asheville, North Carolina.
David Esslemont hails from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and studied fine art (painting) at the Central School of Art in London. He began printing, binding and publishing in 1978 and from 1985 to 1997, was Controller (artistic and managing director, and printer) of Gwasg Gregynog, the University of Wales’ private press.
He has won many awards, including the Felice Feliciano International Award for Book Design. He has judged both Designer Bookbinders UK competitions and book design and production surveys in Wales. In 2012, he won a chili cook-off and turned the recipe into a book: Chili: a recipe. This book won the Printmaking Today ‘Innovation in Printmaking Award’ at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair (2013) and a ‘Best of Show’ Award in the Feast exhibition in Portland, OR. His books and fine bindings have recently been selected for exhibition in Marking Time (Guild of BookWorkers, 2009-11), Feast (23 Sandy Gallery, 2013) and InsideOUT (Designer Bookbinders UK, 2014-15).
Esslemont has lectured widely in the U.K. and U.S., and his work can be found in both private and public collections worldwide. His archive is held at the University of Iowa. He has been artist-in-residence with the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, England, and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) in Minneapolis. He now lives on a farm in northeast Iowa and continues to work as an artist, designer, printer, bookbinder and publisher.
Eleanore Ramsey began her studies in design bookbinding with Barbara Hiller in San Francisco, CA in 1974. She began exhibiting work in 1978 and has been teaching fine bookbinding privately and accepting commissions since 1980.
Ramsey has presided over a number of presentations, courses and workshops at prestigious institutions, including Mills College, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Scripps College, the ‘Standards of Excellence’ Conference for the Guild of BookWorkers, the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, CO, and the California Chapter of the Guild of BookWorkers in Los Angeles, CA.
Her design bindings have been exhibited widely. Notable awards include Hand-Bookbinding Today: An International Competition and Exhibition, Stanford University, 1992 (winner of the competition); the DeGolyer Triennial Competition sponsored by Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University (awards received in 1997, 2003 and 2012 for ‘Design’ and ‘Excellence in Fine Binding’); the Oscar Lewis Award, given by the Book Club of California for outstanding contributions in the field of Book Arts (2004); and the San Francisco Center for the Book,in recognition as one of “Five Treasures” for extraordinary dedication and innovation in Book Arts (2009).
Ramsey continues to work and teach in her San Francisco studio.
Documenting Dada / Disseminating Dada is an exhibition featuring items from the University of Iowa Libraries’ International Dada Archive, the world’s most comprehensive collection of material related to the Dada movement. Timothy Shipe who is the curator of the International Dada Archive and a librarian in Special Collections curated the exhibition.
From 1916 to 1923, a new kind of artistic movement swept Europe and America. Its very name, “DADA,” was notably missing the obligatory “ism,” distinguishing it from the long line of avant-gardes that had determined the preceding century of art history.
More than a mere art movement, Dada claimed a broader role as an agent of cultural, social, and political change. Its proponents wanted to affect all aspects of Western civilization, to take part in the revolutionary changes unfolding as inevitable results of the chaos of World War I.
The Dada movement was perhaps the single most decisive influence on the development of twentieth-century art, and its innovations are so pervasive as to be virtually taken for granted today.
This exhibition highlights Dada’s printed output, which documents the ephemeral aspects of the movement and shows how the dadaists used their publications to spread the movement beyond its origins in Zurich.
On January 18, 2017 the exhibition was officially opened with a ribbon cutting. The ribbon cutting involved creating a Dadaist poem inspired by the instructions from Dada writer Tristan Tzara:
“To make a Dadaist Poem” (1920):
Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are—an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.
Dracula has been a name that has instilled fear and fascination in the imaginations of readers and viewers since its original publication by Bram Stoker in 1897. There have been many adaptations and remakes of the novel since then, including F.W. Murnau’s silent film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Graunens, the 1931 Universal Studios version of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Gary Oldman and directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992.
There was even a play adaptation about the captivating vampire. In 1924, Hamilton Deane adapted Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula into a stage play with the permission of Stoker’s widow. The play toured in England and was brought to Broadway in 1927.
Dracula was revived in 1977 under the direction of Dennis Rosa. Sets and costumes were designed by Edward Gorey, who is well-known for his quirky cat drawings on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and other Gothic illustrations that have graced the covers of numerous classics, poetry books, and various other publications. With the set and costume design for Dracula, Gorey channeled his obsession with bats. Bats can be found in the walls, in the cobblestone, in the furniture – there are even bats incorporated into the characters’ clothing, like Renfield’s bat-buttoned pajamas.
The set and costumes were so enthralling that the play soon became known as “Edward Gorey’s production of Dracula,” instead of being fully credited to the director. Gorey’s designs were nominated for Tony Awards, and the production received a Tony in 1977 for the best revival of a play.
Dracula closed in 1980 after a strong run of 925 performances.
Edward Gorey’s vision of Dracula did not die with the close of the play. The designs rose once again in 1979 when Scribner’s published them as a spiral-bound book called Dracula: A Toy Theatre. The book contains Gorey’s original designs of the sets and characters, as well as a synopsis of the characters, scenes, and acts. The images of the characters, furniture, and set could be cut out from the pages and taped together so the reader could create their own interactive version of the original stage.
More recently, Pomegranate Communications picked up the book and made it into a box set of the toy theater with loose leaves of die-cut fold-ups and fold-outs. Once the theatre is constructed, the reader can have a full 3-D model of all three acts of the play.
Here at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections, we not only have a copy of Scribner’s publication of Dracula: A Toy Theatre, but two copies of the Pomegranate publication as well.
If you want to see them in person, you can swing on by to the Special Collections on the third floor of the Main Library. Otherwise, on October 28th, 11:00am – 3:00pm, we will be hosting a Halloween Pop-Up Exhibit on the first floor of the Main Library, where the complete construction of Dracula: A Toy Theatre will be the star of the exhibit, along with a showcase of some of our spookiest comics and fanzines.
Read more about the event at the link below, and we hope to see you there!
Hands-on demonstrations of book arts, acting, fencing
18 September 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Main Library, North Plaza
Rain location: Just inside the Main Library’s north entrance
Free of charge, open to the public
All are welcome to attend this event filled with activities for all ages. Come celebrate the art of book making and other Shakespearean delights, featuring a lively cast of actors, artists, scholars, book makers, and fencers. Roll up your sleeves for book art fun with paper making, book binding, and more.In Shakespeare’s time, all books were made by hand. But that didn’t mean book craftspeople were slow. A team of 3 papermakers could make 2000 or more sheets in a day! Individuals and families are encouraged to come join us, have a chance to try various aspects of bookmaking, and take home a piece of paper, a printed sheet or a bound small book that you make yourself!
Papermaking—Form your own sheet of paper from wet pulp, press it, and take it with you to dry at home. Handouts will be provided for more information about papermaking history and how to make it at home.
Printing—Print a small keepsake on a hand press similar to the presses that were used in Shakespeare’s time. The printed impression will be a piece of Shakespeare’s writing, with a bit of background on the Bard.
Bookbinding—Bind a simple pamphlet structure, using xerox copied Shakespeare text, and a handmade paper cover. Requires basic sewing with a (dull!) darning needle.
Visitors are welcome to take part in one, two, or all three activities!
On August 29 through September 25, the University of Iowa Libraries’ Main Gallery will be featuring the Folger Shakespeare Library’s traveling exhibit First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare. This exhibition will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
This exhibition will also be marking another anniversary more pertinent to the history of Iowa City and the University. One hundred years ago, on May 12, 1916, the University and the city hosted a Shakespeare parade in honor of the Bard’s 300th death anniversary. A procession of people walked from campus to the City Park, roughly a mile away, to present portions of Shakespeare’s plays under the guidance of the Iowa City Center of the Drama League of America. There were roughly 5,000 participants, with three hundred and fifty Shakespearean characters represented.
Pictures of this event can be found at the University Libraries’ Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs, as well as digitized online through the Iowa Digital Library.
The University of Iowa Libraries will be hosting a similar event at the City Park. This event is not only meant to highlight the Folger exhibition and anniversary, but will also serve as a throwback to the parade held 100 years ago.
Dost Thou Speak Masterly?: Iowa Reads Shakespeare, the Shakespeare public reading will be held at the Festival Stage in Lower City Park on Saturday, September 24. All are welcome to participate in, and watch, the performances. (See on the events calendar). The event will also include a costume contest.
Interested in reading? Gather your troupe, choose your scene from Shakespeare’s plays, and register to deliver your lines on the Riverside Festival Stage at City Park in Iowa City. Pick a 5 minute section of your favorite play, and get assigned a time to jump up onstage and practice your elocution in memory of Shakespeare, and how Iowa City has celebrated his legacy through time. SIGN UP here for a five minute slot HERE.
Migration is Beautiful Website Premieres at the 2016 National LULAC Convention
July 12th was the kickoff for the 2016 National LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) convention. Janet, assistant curator for the Iowa Women’s Archives, attended the conference to promote “Migration is Beautiful,” a new website featuring vignettes, oral history interview clips, memoirs, letters, and photographs from the IWA’s Mujeres Latinas Project.
The new website highlights the experiences and contributions Latinas and Latinos have made to the state of Iowa. It also hosts an interactive map that shows the migration of Latinos through Iowa during the 19th and 20th centuries.
UPDATE: transcription of the Hevelin Fanzines has begun! This afternoon 1,000 pages of scanned zines were opened up to a select group of fans for transcription. This “soft launch” of the transcription phase will give us an idea of how quickly transcription will go, and reveal any unexpected challenges we have not foreseen. All of the zines were published between the years 1930-1950, and represent a variety of content, creators, and printing techniques. We are now one step closer to our final goal: a text-searchable database which will offer unprecedented access to this massive and fascinating collection. Onward!
We do not accept class requests sent to personal emails of special collections librarians.
The two exhibitions will run through August 24, 2016.
Visiting Exhibition: Geographies: The Midwest Examined from The Midwest Guild of Book Workers
A Collection of Wood and Rocks
Our graduate student worker Ellen Wrede put together a curious collection of stones, wood, and oddities from the natural world found in Special Collections.
1960’s Online Exhibition from the University Archives is Now Online
A new digital exhibition curated by University Archivist David McCartney is now online highlighting over 150 entries pulled from 30 different collections in the University of Iowa Archives such as “Sutdent Life, ” “Pop Culture,” ” Politics & Protest,” ” and “Civil Rights.” Video and audio clips from the time give a tour of the sights and sounds.
Last week we had a film crew visit from the Big Ten Network to make a one minute film about Special Collections outreach. As video producers it was an enormous opportunity to watch a major network’s team in action. We’ll post about the segment in the coming months when it is released. Stay tuned.