1986 // Fall Exhibition

Fall Exhibition
November 3 – 28
Bromer Booksellers
Boston, MA
Exhibit Catalog – 1986 Fall Exhibition Catalog

Catherine Badot-Costello, Richard Baker, Carol J. Blinn, Barbara B. Blumenthal, Barbara Cash, Claudia Cohen, Sarah Creighton, Karl Eberth, Babette Gehnrich, Peter Geraty, Donald Glaister, Harcourt Bindery, Faith Harrison, Robert Hauser, Jovanis Bookbindery, Daniel E. Kelm, Suzanne Moore, Joseph Newman, Kimberly O’Donnell, Sherelyn Ogden, Ann Pelikan, Sarah Griggs Pringle, Alan James Robinson, Julie B. Stackpole, James Talin, Pamela Talin-Bryant, Thistle Bindery, Deborah Wender, Mary Wootton, Nancy L. Yarborough

Arts and crafts — the phrase conveys a number of meanings: the nineteenth century movement started by William Morris, Stickley furniture, a summer camp activity, artists who work in the “decorative” arts rather than the “pure” arts of painting or sculpture. Interestingly, the two worlds are often used together, as a pair, suggesting a relationship between art and craft. The pairing also implies that art and craft are not synonymous; that there is a border between them.

The approaches to bookbinding found in this exhibit range from those which treat binding primarily as an exercise in craft to those which treat the book mainly as a vehicle for expressing art. The current exhibit represents the work of members of the New England Regional Chapter, amateurs as well as professionals. In their number are talented craftsmen and talented artists. While all the items in the show are to be enjoyed on their own terms, for me the excitement lies at the frontier where craft and art meet. There is something sublime when an everyday object such as a book transcends itself through art. The pleasures it brings are quite distinct from those brought by a well-made object like a finely-crafted automobile or the purely aesthetic joy of a good painting. It is that combination of art and craft that T.J. Cobden-Sanderson achieved and that makes his bindings special.

To explore the frontier between art and craft is a challenge for all engaged in the book arts. Their responses to that challenge are on exhibit in this show.

Richard Baker
Lexington, MA
September 7, 1986

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