1990 // Book Arts Exhibition — Polychrome — Polytechnique

April 22 through June 3
Creative Arts Workshop
New Haven, CT
Exhibit Catalog – Book Arts Exhibition — Polychrome — Polytechnique

Huda Abi Fares, Charles Altschul, Nancie S. Ash, Anne Beidler, David P. Bourbeau, Lage Carlson, Louise Belknap Carter, Barbara Cash, Constance Clement, Mindell Dubansky, Karl Eberth, Mark Esser, Jack Fitterer, Babette and Daniel Gehnrich, Jane Greenfield, Christine Kidder Griffin, Gloria Helfgott, Jenny Hille, Kei January, Daniel Kelm, Hedi Kyle, Polly Lada-Mocarski, Monique Lallier, Nancy Leavitt, Jim Lee, D. Ann Lindbeck, Liisa Lindholm, Martha Little, Diane Maurer, John McCrillis, Connie Mortensen, Betty Mount, Jeanne-Marie Musto, Nancy H. Nitzberg, Gisela A. Noack, Jan Paris, Hugo Peller, Peter C. Richey, Alan James Robinson, Linda Rubinstein, Susan Share, Jeanette Karpie Smith, Ruth Stein, Valerie Wyckoff

Take A Look Back

The Guild of Book Workers is proud and grateful to have been among the many organizations to benefit from Polly Lada-Mocarski’s interest in the book arts. Sharing the Guild’s goals of technical education for hand bookbinders and education of the public about hand bookbinding, Polly has actively pursued these goals for as long as I have known her.

She has pursued in on an individual basis as well as through organizations. It was she who, in 1956 after a casual conversation about binding (in which my total ignorance of the subject was revealed), invited me to her apartment to see what hand bookbinding looked like. She suggested places to study, and set in motion my education in and involvement with bookbinding. Her influences has touched many others.

The Guild of Book Workers was founded in 1906 to foster mutual acquaintance among book workers, exchange of information, and to sponsor lectures and exhibitions. By 1948, a post-World War II Guild had declined until membership had dwindled to only a few members. A reorganization was undertaken, and a core of devoted bookbinders, including Polly, began the rebuilding of the Guild with a new governing structure and increased activities. She served as President from 1954-56 during these crucial years.

Her special contributions to the GBW were many. She devoted much time and her usual energy and persistence to the development of a traveling exhibition of the steps in binding a book. It crossed the country from October 1954 until 1956 when it was sold to Yale University and now reposes in the Conservation Studio. To answer the frequently asked question Where can I study bookbinding?, she researched and developed the Guild’s first booklet of Study Opportunities in 1976 – a booklet revised and reissued many times since.

Polly, has always believed that binding exhibitions were among the best ways of educating both the public and bookbinders and bookbinding. She has been a significant force in inspiring major exhibitions, especially in the fifties, sixties, and seventies when binding exhibitions were few and far between. In 1964 she engineered a loan exhibition of French fine bindings at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts under the sponsorship of the Société de la Reliure Originale and drew the Guild in to provide technical displays. In 1971, she promoted the Guild’s Gerlach Memorial exhibition which was held at the Grolier Club, and in 1975 negotiated an invitation for a major Guild exhibition in the Sterling Library at Yale.

This exhibition at CAW seems an especially appropriate way to honor Polly for her lifelong commitment to the book arts.

Mary C. Schlosser
Past president, GBW

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