By Karen L. Crisalli
Ninety years ago forty-two craftspeople gathered at a New York City bindery to formally organize the Guild of Book Workers, having held two preliminary meetings to discuss the needs and aims of an organization of book workers. Those forty-two people represented a variety of book arts crafts, including illumination, printing, binding, and the design of type, finishing tools, book covers and book plates. From its very inception, one of the primary goals and responsibilities of the Guild has been to sponsor national exhibitions of members' works.
Our exhibitions seldom focus soley on bindings: because our membership includes not only bookbinders and book artists, but also fine printers, papermakers calligraphers and marblers, many past exhibits have married the art of bookbinding with that of calligraphy, fine printing and other related book arts.
This year, we are pleased to be able to offer an exhibition which fuses the talents of two groups of gifted artisans those of the hand bookbinder and the hand papermaker. The text (in itself a beautiful demonstration of the art of fine printing) may be the same throughout, but every page of every book is unique and reflects the individual interpretation and talent of its creator. In combing the arts of bookbinding, hand papermaking and fine printing, we truely celebrate the art of the book. I think our forty-four founding members would be pleased.
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