The Guild of Book Workers gives out two awards every year. The first is the Laura Young Award, given to a member who has served the Guild in an outstanding manner. The second is the GBW Lifetime Achievement Award, given to anyone, member or not, for service to the profession of the book arts. To read about past recipients, check the August or October issue of the GBW Newsletter for the appropriate year.
2011: Craig Jensen
2010: Gary Frost
2009: Betsy Palmer Eldridge
2008: Michael Wilcox
2007: Deborah Evetts
2006: Sue Allen
2005: Heidi Kyle
2004: Don Etherington
2003: Bernard Middleton
2001: Willman Spawn
1999: Mary Schlosser
1997: Frances Manola
1994: Jane Greenfield
1993: Stella Patri
1992: Fritz & Trudi Eberhardt
1992: Arno Werner
1992: Laura Young
1992: Carolyn Horton
1992: Polly Lada-Mocarski
1947: Edith Diehl
1937: Helen Haskell Noyes
1937: Emily Preston
1936: Sarah Jane Freeman
1936: Sara Cunningham Engert
1936: Frank Tolles Chamberlain
Recipient of the 2011 Laura Young Award for service to the Guild of Book Workers
Read the article about Susan Martin published in the August 2011 GBW Newsletter
Recipient of the 2011 GBW Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the profession of the book arts.
Read the article about Craig Jensen published in the August 2011 GBW Newsletter
Recipient of the 2010 Laura Young Award for service to the Guild of Book Workers
Frank Mowery was president of the Guild of BookWorkers from 1984 to 1994, a ten-year span of service only surpassed by Laura Young herself.
His term saw the rise of the major features that characterize the Guild today: the development of regional Chapters that now number ten, the establishment of the annual Standards of Excellence Seminar, and the creation of the video program based on those seminars. Together those developments were responsible not only for the dramatic rise in membership numbers but for the impressive dissemination of information and training that brought the quality of American binding to a new high level. The ripple effect spread to the far corners of this country and beyond. Frank promoted these changes with energetic dedication, feisty determination and a courageous willingness to try what others said could not be done - and then did it.
The first step was to move the focus of Guild out of New York City, thought to be an impossible feat. With Frank as president in Washington, members of the GBW Board soon came from all parts of the country, and meetings were held by conference call. Since then, the organization has had “its feet planted firmly in thin air” - and has been all the better for it. Local regional Chapter activities have carried much of the responsibility, with the national Guild serving primarily as an umbrella organization.
The second step was the founding of the Standards Seminar, first hosted by Frank in Washington in 1982. Tentative at first, and always experimental in format, it evolved as a model for demonstration workshops that has been emulated worldwide. Teaching hands-on techniques to small groups proved to be remarkably effective. Frank himself - who holds the record for attending every Standards Seminar - was a frequent presenter. The annual gathering of the clan in various locations across the country provided a forum for discussion that unified the membership and advanced the cause of the book arts, both regionally and nationally.
The third step was to address the limited exposure of the Standards Seminar information to the membership at large, and to broaden it by video taping the sessions. Seeing the possibilities and understanding the importance, Frank initially jumped in with his own home video camera to document the sessions. Still today the GBW videos stand as a remarkable record and an invaluable resource.
Beyond the Guild, Frank built an impressive career. Returning to the USA from his training in Hamburg, Vienna, and Florence, Frank became the Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington in 1977. Realizing the need for apprenticeship experience, he created Internships at the Folger that provided important training for book and paper conservators from this country and abroad. At the same time he made significant contributions - too numerous to list - to the emerging conservation field through his frequent lectures and workshops.
Meanwhile Frank continued to produce spectacular fine bindings that reflected his early German training. In 1982 the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a one-man show of his work, the only American binder to have been so honored. His alum tawed binding, “Amazon Birds”, was chosen to be included in the Guild’s 100th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition. In addition he organized the Guild’s 80th Anniversary Exhibition, and later the Guild’s exhibition in Paris, appreciating the importance of exhibitions to raise the awareness of American binding.
A busy man, Frank has won the respect and admiration of his peers through his many accomplishments. He deserves - ten fold - the thanks of the Guild and the recognition of the Laura Young Award for service to the Guild . The Guild today is to a large extent the result of the groundwork laid by Frank Mowery.
Article and research by Betsy Palmer Eldridge
Recipient of the 2010 GBW Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the profession of the book arts.
Gary Frost was a key player during that pivotal period in the ‘70s when the bookbinding field turned its attention from the traditional focus on the decoration of the book to the new fascination with the structure of the book. Gary’s artistic talents created distinctive detailed line drawings of structures and meticulously crafted models that caught the attention of the book world and brought these new interests to the fore. Eventually these interests in structure were to play a major role in developing the new specialty of book conservation and the emerging specialty of artists’ books.
In 1969, fresh from obtaining a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gary joined the staff of the Newberry Library in the conservation department under the direction of Paul Banks. Gary became the supervisor of Paul’s new conservation lab. As such, he was responsible for the management of the library’s conservation facility and the evolution of its practices, including the treatment of the research library materials, the conservation of historical bindings, and the design of rebinding structures. Under Paul and Gary, the Newberry became the cradle of the new thinking about conservation practices. It attracted an impressive group of talented young people, many of whom went on to hold prominent, influential positions elsewhere in the country.
In 1981 Gary moved to New York City to help Paul start a Graduate Program in Library Preservation and Conservation in the School of Library Service at Columbia University. As an Assistant Professor, Gary was responsible for developing and operating the training facility, and for providing instruction in the conservation treatment of book materials. After ten eventful years the Columbia program moved to a new home in Texas, at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas in Austin. In 1992 Gary joined the Columbia/Texas program as an Adjunct Professor, again in charge of developing a training lab, and teaching conservation treatment. During that period in Austin, he also worked with Craig Jensen at BookLab Inc., a company noted for its high quality edition binding that developed a library conservation facility. In 1999 Gary left Texas and moved to Iowa to take up his present position as Conservator at the University of Iowa Libraries in Iowa City, becoming an Instructor in its School of Library and Information Science as well, his third such program since his early days at the Newberry.
Along the way, Gary served a ten-year stint from ’83 -‘93 as a Co-Director of PBI, the Paper and Book Intensive. PBI, a summer program of educational workshops and lectures in the book arts, always had an impressive roster of participants. In addition, Gary worked briefly in private practice as a consultant to various institutions, including the National Library of Venezuela.
Throughout his career, Gary has applied his talents to a wide variety of challenges in the book field, leaving his mark and influencing many. Gary has spoken frequently, taught widely, and written extensively, particularly in regard to his forte on historical structures and modern applications. He has also often been involved in an amazing variety of projects such as cleaning up after a flood on the Mississippi, dealing with the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, and preserving historical libraries in Arequipe, Peru. Above all, Gary has always asked questions - unflaggingly and unflinchingly - about the whys of book practices in the past, and now about the fate of the book in the electronic future. His current website is www.futureofthebook.com.
Gary is a rare bird who over four decades has become a monumental personality in the book world. For his many achievements he merits the GBW Lifetime Achievement Award... and hopefully he is not finished yet.
Article and research by Betsy Palmer Eldridge