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Peter D. Verheyen, Philobiblon
Syracuse, New York

Ruth Vassos, Ultimo, illustrated by John Vassos, 1930

Juror’s Entry

Sewn on three frayed-out cords, endpapers of black Japanese paper with gold and silver flecking, graphite top edge with black and grey sewn endbands, covered in full alum-tawed goat with décor of raised leather onlays and surface gilding, title in graphite. Ultimo tells the story of the death of the earth under a blanket of ice, man’s migration below the surface, and ultimate emigration to a new world. The design is drawn from the stark graphic illustrations of Vassos. Just as man was marking time before emigration, the fourteen-plus year binding period was an exercise in marking time. 10 x 7.5 x 0.75 inches, 25.5 x 19 x 2 centimeters. Created 1995-2009.

Began his involvement in the book arts while a work-study student in the conservation lab at the Johns Hopkins University Library. Interned in the conservation lab of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany, 1984 and 1986. Formal apprenticeship in hand bookbinding at the Kunstbuchbinderei Klein in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, passing examinations in 1987. Studied at the Professional School for Book Restoration at the Centro del bel libro Ascona in Switzerland in 1987. Mellon intern in book conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 1988. Worked in Chicago with Heinke Pensky-Adam at Monastery Hill Bindery and as assistant conservator to William Minter. In 1991 he began work as assistant conservator at the Yale University Library. In 1993 he became rare book conservator at the Cornell University Library, before establishing the conservation lab at the Syracuse University Library, where he is now head of preservation and conservation. He is past exhibitions and publicity chair for the Guild of Book Workers. His bindings have been exhibited widely with the Guild, and in invitational and solo exhibitions throughout the USA and abroad. In 1994 he founded Book_Arts-L and the Book Arts Web, also publishing The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist. Website at