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Sixteenth Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium

Research and Reverie

November 5, 2010

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


In an age of instantaneous electronic communication, the slow pace of traditional methods of composing and printing from type continues to offer book artists a complex, historically resonant and perhaps more deeply felt experience of the art of expression.

RESEARCH & REVERIE will focus on the recent history and culture of letterpress printing and the design of the book structure. A renowned historian of printing and a type founder will share their research into past practices and what that means for the future of type and artists will discuss how they use traditional letterpress skills and the book structure to create their own inventive and expressive artworks.

RESEARCH & REVERIE will also consider the essentially collaborative nature of building a book and how, in opposition to traditional artistic media such as a painting and sculpture, that emphasize the vision and expression of a single creative individual, the art of book-making is inherently cooperative and interactive, more like the work of a musical ensemble.


8:30 a.m. Coffee and Registration

8:40 a.m. Book Arts Jam

9:45 a.m. Welcome

10:00 a.m. Introduction to Research and Reverie Barbara Henry, Program Chair

Artist Presentations I

10:25 a.m. Barbara Mauriello: "How Edith Diehl Made Me a Bookbinder" is a survey of my work as interpreted through the words of a distinguished bookbinder I never met.

10:45 a.m. Roni Gross: "Collaborations Aren't Only with the Living," is a look at text-based work: hearing a voice and giving it form.

11:05 a.m. Theo Rehak, type founder: "A Life in Type," will speak on the past experiences, the current environment, and the prospects of the future for foundry type and its use in fine letterpress printing.

12:00 p.m. Lunch

2:00 p.m. OPEN MIKE (Random Announcements)

Artist Presentations II

2:15 p.m. Introduction of Michael Joseph and Bryan Baker by Karen Guancione

2:20 p.m. Michael Joseph: "Expletive Deleted/Undeleted" is a short reflection on the liminal typography of Lowell Bodger, with pictures and (some) expletives deleted.

2:45 p.m. Bryan Baker: "Turn that whole thing around," will be presenting images of his current letterpress work, in conjunction with a few of the key projects that lead him to setting letters aside yet still use movable compositional elements for printing.

3:05 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. Introductions of Steven O. Saxe, by Barbara Henry

3:20 p.m. Steven O. Saxe, historian: "Turning Lead into Gold: Nineteenth Century American Type Foundries and their Specimen Books" was originally given as the annual Hofer Lecture in Graphic arts at Harvard in April. It spans the nineteenth century, from the earliest days of typefounding in America, technological advances, the aesthetics of "Victorian" type, the "Artistic Printing" movement, and the demise of the great type foundries at the end of the century.

4:05 p.m. Opening of Research and Reverie: Amanda Thackray, curator

Invitation [PDF]

Program [PDF]

Original program page in Wayback Machine