William Anthony

Iowa City, Iowa

James Riedy, Chicago Sculpture, 1980

Bound in full gray levant and red Niger leather; sewn on frayed out hemp cords; gray paper endleaves; gray colored edges; handsewn gold and rust silk endbands; titled in blind with décor of black and red leather onlays. 25 x 18 x 2.5 centimeters. Created n.d. Lent by the University of Iowa Libraries.

William “Bill” Anthony was born in 1926, and began his life as a binder at the age of seventeen, when he served a seven-year apprenticeship with his father in Dublin, Ireland. He later worked as a journeyman binder in London, UK, studying at the Camberwell College of Art and exhibiting with the Guild of Contemporary Bookbinders, (the precursor organization of Designer Bookbinders). He immigrated to the United States in 1964, working first at the Cuneo Press in Chicago, then partnering with Hungarian-born binder Elizabeth Kner, and finally taking over the firm upon her retirement under the name Anthony and Associates. Anthony’s last job was as conservator for the University of Iowa collections, where he continued to successfully train apprentices. Throughout his career, his work covered the broad spectrum of edition binding, fine binding, and conservation. His impact cannot be measured by his work alone. His legacy is demonstrated by all those he trained, many of whom are now leaders in the field in their own right, including among many others David Brock, Mark Esser, Sally Key, William Minter, Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Pamela Spitzmueller, all of whom have contributed to the field through their own teaching and work. He served as Guild of Book Workers Standards Chair in 1987 and 1988.