Jan Sobota

Loket, Czech Republic

Vladimír Škutin, Marie Jose Sacre, ill., Kde Bydlí Cas (Where Time Lives), 1985

Book is enclosed in sculptured binding in the shape of a tower with clock. Box for binding is in the shape of a house with an arcade and it stands behind the book when exhibited. Balsa wood, binder’s board, white deer skin, brown goat skin, parchment, blind tooling. 49.5 x 23 x 55 centimeters. Created n.d.

Jan B. Sobota is the founder of artistic bookbinding in the Sobota family. In 1954, he was accepted at the School of Applied Arts in Prague. He studied bookbinding in Masters’ Studios of Karel Silinger in Pilsen, (then) Czechoslovakia, and Emil Pertak in Prague, completing his studies 1957. In 1969, he was awarded the title “Master of Applied Arts” and ten years later in Germany the title MDE, “Meister der Einbandkunst.” Jan Sobota’s contribution to modern bookbinding spans a broad spectrum, from creative art form to the painstaking craft and science of conservation and restoration work, which depends upon his substantial theoretical knowledge, and fifty years of experience. He is best known in the international bookbinding scene for his original and unusual book sculptures and objects. His work has been exhibited in countries on four continents (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York). Since 1969, he has participated in 137 group and thirty-two individual exhibits and has received some twenty-one prizes. Among them: II.Exhibition of the Society of Czech Bookbinders, Special Mention–Appreciation for the Contribution to the High Standard of the Design Bookbinding, 2000; X. Triennial of Design Bookbinding in Kromeriz, Jaroslav Dolezal’s Prize, 2001; Maesteri Rilegatori per Francesco di Assisi, Macareta, Italy. Silver Medal, 2002; Helen Warren de Golyer Triennial Exhibition and Competition for American Bookbinding, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Judges’ Distinction for Interpretation, 2003; II.Biennial, Bibliofilia 2003, Society of Slovak Bookbinders, First Prize, 2003; The Miniature Book Society Exhibition, Bath, England, Distinguished Book Award Winner, 2004. He has lectured and taught in USA and in Europe, and his work has been published widely in numerous international journals and books. Website at www.jsobota.cz.