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Twelfth Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium

Flaps, Folds, Figures & Flash Books with Movable Parts

November 3, 2006

John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers, Newark Campus Newark, New Jersey

Books with movable parts have been produced since the thirteenth century, and many different techniques can be seen in books throughout the ages. Early scientific and medical books included lift-the-flaps and rotating wheels to help elucidate the text and illustrate complicated concepts. Books with split pages, introduced in the eighteenth century, allowed the reader to change one illustration into another, much like contemporary mix-and-match books.

Three-dimensional paper peepshows were commonly used by traveling showmen in the nineteenth century. By layering individual sets of pictures, they offered viewers a glimpse of historic sites and man-made wonders. From the mid-nineteenth century, more complex movable books were produced with devices that included transformational slats, intersecting wheels, intricate taboperated action, and stand-up scenes. True pop-up books, those with illustrations that automatically arise when the page is turned, began to be made in large numbers in the late nineteenth century and continue to be created by hand today much as they were when they were first introduced.

The presenters at the Twelfth Annual Symposium will discuss the history of movable books and show how they have incorporated movable elements into their books. The Book Artists’ Jam is an opportunity to meet with participating artists and to view and purchase their work. Ann Montanaro, chair of this year’s event, is a collector of pop-up and movable books, the founder of The Movable Book Society, and author of Pop-up and Movable Books: A Bibliography (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1993), and Pop-up and Movable Books: A Bibliography, Supplement 1, 1991-1997, and A Celebration of Pop-Up and Movable Books ([New Brunswick, N.J.]: Movable Book Society, c2004). She is Director of Information Technology at the Rutgers University Libraries. Amanda Thackray is the guest curator for the accompanying exhibition.



  • Ann Montanaro (Program Chair): Welcome and Introduction
  • William Dane, Chad Leinaweaver, Jared Ash: Pop up Treasures of the Newark Public Library
  • Ellen Rubin (Collector): Pop up History

Artists Presentations

  • Judith K. Brodksy: Observations
  • Michael Joseph: Parting Remarks
  • Ann Montanaro: Presentation on her pop-up and movable artists' books

Artists and Collectors

  • Ann Montanaro
  • Ellen Rubin
  • Maria Pisano
  • Chuck Miley
  • Ed Hutchins
  • Debra Weier
  • Kyle Olmon

Opening for Exhibition, "Flaps, Folds, Figures and Flash," curated by Amanda Thackray

Book Artists Jam

Program [PDF]

Original program page in Wayback Machine

Original Invitation in Wayback Machine

Ed Hutchins, Starbridge