Bertha Stuart Exhibit

Barbara Hebard says, “You all are cordially invited to the gallery talk on October 15 at 6:00 pm.”

A Fixed Rule of Design: the Book Art of Bertha Stuart
Boston Public Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Department
October 5 – December 31, 2009
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
For directions to the BPL go to:

Bertha Stuart (1869-1953), an Oregon artist, trained at the School of the Art Institute of
Chicago, moved to NYC in 1900, and studied at Cooper Union and the Art Students League while creating more than 175 book cover designs, numerous page decorations, and illustrations for major NYC publishers between 1902 and 1912. Bertha, an award-winning artist, also designed bookplates. In 1912 she returned to Oregon, was a trustee of the Society of Arts and Crafts of Portland, and pursued a career in interior design. This exhibition of books with covers and interior pages designed by Stuart also includes bookplates and items from her interior decorating career. The curator, Barbara Adams Hebard, Conservator of the John J. Burns Library, Boston College, will give a gallery talk on October 15, at 6:00 pm.

Barbara Adams Hebard, Conservator of the John J. Burns Library at Boston College, is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School bookbinding program.  Ms. Hebard is a member of the National Guild of Book Workers and the Ticknor Society. She is a Professional member of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, a Fellow of The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and Board Member of New England Conservation Association. She is proud to be an Overseer of North Bennet Street School. She frequently exhibits books of her own design nationally and internationally. Ms. Hebard also enjoys writing articles on book related topics.

David Bourbeau

David P. Bourbeau, 67, bookbinder, book designer, and Smith School trustee, died peacefully at home on August 22, in the company of family and friends.

Born January 3,1942, he grew up in Holyoke, the ninth of ten children.  At age eleven he became intrigued by the shapes of letters while watching a sign painter apply gold leaf to a store window. After taking a correspondence course in sign lettering he went on to study fine and applied arts in Provincetown and New York. His arts education was greatly influenced by his older brother, Arthur, a painter who had studied with Matisse in Paris.
In 1965 David moved to Northampton, where he and his first wife Nancy Cowen opened a successful craft gallery called Faux Pas. He was introduced to the art of the book by Leonard Baskin, and in 1972 he sold his business and took a two-year apprenticeship with master bookbinder Arno Werner. In 1975 he established the Thistle Bindery, located at various times in Northampton, Easthampton, and Florence, and in 1977 he took on the first of his many students and apprentices.

A consummate bookbinder, he designed and constructed strong, innovative bindings for fine press books while also working in book restoration and art conservation. Having coined the word “bibliotect,” or book-architect, he  observed that a binding “is not merely a fancy cover, the facade, but all of the elements, seen an  unseen, that form the foundation and structure of the book.”  This is borne out in his many organically unified editions, among them Poe’s The Raven, with graceful wing-like forms emerging from a raven-black binding, and Robert Francis’s  posthumous collection Late Fire, Late Snow, whose handmade paper cover contains gold-tooled lines representing the shape of the title poem.  Both of these books were bound using fine papers, a bookbinding material championed by David.

Working in close collaboration with other bookbinders, as well as printers, designers, and artists, he organized local and national book exhibitions, including, in Northampton in 1987, “Form & Content: The Art of the Book in the Pioneer Valley,” a two-week series of lectures, readings, workshops, and demonstrations covering every aspect of book arts in the region. David was also a founding member of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, serving as chapter president for two terms, and was chair of the Hampshire County Historical Records Advisory Board. His craftsmanship, generosity, and friendship enriched the entire book arts community in this area and far beyond.

David devoted much of the last twelve years of his life to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, serving on its Board of Trustees for six consecutive terms. As a tradesman and artisan, he was passionate about vocational education. His vision for the school was based on its original purpose-to produce well-educated tradespeople and well-educated farmers- and on his concern for the future directions of its agricultural programs and the use and protection of its land. Believing that the school farm should be a model for future generations, he helped the school refocus its resources on contemporary issues such as the importance of locally grown food and agricultural sustainability.  Thanks to his efforts, the state of Massachusetts recently approved the school’s application for a new agricultural complex.

In 2002 David was diagnosed with adrenal cancer, but after a year-long period of treatment and recovery, he was able to able to continue working almost until his decease. Surrounded by his family, colleagues, and friends, he was buried Monday in Mount Cemetery in Chesterfield.

He is survived by his wife of twenty-one years, Marie Waechter, daughters Anja Waechter-Bourbeau and Jennifer Bourbeau Joyal, brothers Richard Bourbeau and William Bourbeau, and sisters Joan Hart, Norma Raftery, Ellie Moriarty, and Carol Burrows, and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of David’s life will be held at 1 pm on Sunday, September 27th at the Unitarian Society, 220 Main Street, Northampton. Memorial gifts may be made to Smith Vocational Building Fund and mailed to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, 80 Locust Street, Northampton MA 01060.

This obituary appeared in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, on August 27th.   Here is some more information:

An image of Poe’s “The Raven” can be found at:

David also wrote an essay on Clarence and Ruth Kennedy and their Cantina Press:  and a personal essay about Leonard Baskin and the Gehenna Press in the 2004 publication, “Paradise Printed and Bound: Book Arts in Northampton and Beyond”  (available from Collective Copies, Florence MA)

His work was featured in many GBW exhibitions, including the NE chapter 2008 exhibition “Inspired Design”:

Please excuse any multiple postings.

Submitted by
Rare Book Specialist, Mortimer Rare Book Room
Neilson Library, Smith College

Job Posting

North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA seeks a part-time teaching assistant for its Bookbinding Department—a two-year, full-time bench bookbinding program with a complementary program of short-term courses and bookbinding workshops. Teaching duties will begin in September, 2009; approximately 7-8 hours per week. 

The successful candidate will be an accomplished bookbinder with traditional binding skills. Field experience in book repair and conservation is preferred. 

Eight students are accepted annually to begin the full-time program.  Classes meet from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, September through May, in a well equipped bindery.

Additional information about North Bennet Street School is available at

North Bennet Street School is an equal opportunity employer.  Salary will be based on experience. 

Letters of interest with a résumé should be sent to:

Jeffrey Altepeter, Bookbinding Department Head
North Bennet Street School
39 North Bennet Street, Boston, MA  02113

Or email Jeff at

Book + Art

News from chapter member Dorothy Simpson Krause:


Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books
by Dorothy Simpson Krause, has just been published by North Light.

Focusing on content and suggesting simple and elegant ways of
presenting it in book form, it covers:

• An introduction to bookmaking tools and materials
• The basics of selecting paper and other substrates
• Traditional and digital ways to incorporate images and words
• Blank books and altered books
• Handmade book structures including multiple examples of single sheet, glued and sewn books
• Covers
• Alternative presentations including unbound collections, boxes and sculptural forms.

With Examples chosen from more than 50 books produced in the last decade, Projects, Tips and Creative Explorations, Book + Art contains a wealth of information designed to provide inspiration for many bookmaking sessions.

Additional information about the contents and double page spreads from the book can be seen on the Viewpoint Editions website. <>  It will be available at the Monday Editions table at the Hybrid Book Conference in Philadelphia, June 4-6.

On Amazon you can “look inside this book” and order Book + Art for $16.49 but through July 31st Book + Art can be ordered for $15 using the code BOOKART from North Light’s MyCraftivityStore.

You can see more at: <>

Pastepaper Quilts

Claire Maziarczyk has been creating her line of decorative papers known as PASTEPAPER PATTERNS since 1982.  As a member of the Guild of Book Workers, she has given talks and workshops on her work all over the United States, Canada and England.  All Claire’s standard patterns can be seen at her website,

An exhibit featuring Claire Maziarczyk’s Pastepaper Quilts is showing from March 3- April 30, 2009.

The Robert and Dorothy Ludwig
Schenectady Jewish Community Center
2565 Balltown Road
Niskayuna, New York 12309
Directions available here

Artist’s reception and talk Sunday, March 15, 2009, 3:00 pm -5:30 pm.

Sorry for the short notice regarding the reception, but Claire has just extended the following invitation to you all:

Artist’s Open Studio and Sale
Plus a Gallery Tour with Claire
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Open Studio 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
Gallery Tour with Claire at the nearby SJCC at 3:00 pm

For open studio and gallery tour RSVP via

pastepaper quilts

Other GBW Chapters

The Delaware Valley Chapter has just joined us in the blogosphere (I think that is what this is called, anyway):

The DVC has a review posted about a Shanna Leino workshop they held recently, which reminds us that we forgot to mention in our last post that Shanna is also teaching a workshop in June at North Bennet Street School on “Late Coptic Bookbinding.”

You can find other chapter websites and information on the GBW web site currently at:

Membership in any of the regional chapters is open to any member of the Guild of Book Workers, regardless of your actual geographical home region.  A few of you out there are members of all 10 chapters— Thanks for the support!

Bookbinding: A Romp through 600 years of History

Salem Athenaeum
337 Essex Street
Salem, MA

February 24, 2009.  7PM.

New England Chapter member Sam Ellenport of the Harcourt Bindery will give a talk at the Salem Athenaeum on February 24, 2009 at 7PM.  The lecture will be illustrated by good slides and, Sam promises, “There is some meat to the story as well.”  The event is free and open to the public.

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