Have you ever seen a book performed?
Week 2 of Shelf Life culminates in a talk by Sandra Kroupa, Book Arts and Rare Book Curator of Special Collections at the University of Washington Libraries. Sandra has been curating treasures of the book arts world for UW’s Special Collections for decades and her talks about the history of the book are legendary. She has influenced the work of many highly-regarded book artists as well as legions of aspiring ones. Over the course of Shelf Life Sandra will curate three different displays of works from the UW Book Arts collection, addressing themes of multiple voices/multiple readings (currently on display), artists’ interpretations of extant texts (on display August 3), and works where author and book artist are one and the same (on display September 7). In addition Sandra joins us one Sunday every month to showcase more works from the UW Book Arts collection that address the exhibition’s current theme; these are works that need to be manipulated — or ‘performed’ — in order to be fully understood.
The Book Arts collection contains more than 14,000 pieces encompassing every aspect of the physical book — bookbinding, typography, papermaking, letterpress and offset printing, illustration, book design, paper decoration, calligraphy and artist’s books. Many of the works defy easy categorization. In preparation for the different displays of book arts for Shelf Life, Rachael Faust (the Henry’s Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Affairs) and I have been making multiple visits to see Sandra in her offices in the basement of the main library. Sandra shows us the pieces she’s thinking of bringing to the Henry, and not a meeting goes by without one or the both of us exclaiming “WOW” or “WWWWOOOOOWWWWWW”. (We really did say that on our most recent trip.)
Think you know what a book is? Stop by this Sunday: Sandra will prove you wrong!
Book Arts: Performance Exhibition
With Sandra Kroupa
Sunday, July 17
And don’t forget these other upcoming presentations!
Sandra will bring in DIFFERENT works for each Performance Exhibition.
Sunday, August 7, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Sunday, October 16, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Shelf Life is the Henry’s summer ode to BOOKS and READING. From July 1 – October 15th, the Henry has invited book lovers from various fields — independent publishers, librarians, poets, writers, designers, and, most importantly, readers — to share with us what they do and why they love to do it. For a complete list of Shelf Life related programming, please visit this page.