Richard Minsky: Job Printer at 13, Book Artist Today (And Not Only That!) [iBB Podcast #25.1]

This time we invited Richard Minsky to our podcast, a bookbinder, book artist, teacher, and many things more. In the end, the episode became a three-parter, as we recorded with Richard for more than 3 hours. The first part is mostly dedicated to beginnings: printing in childhood, first experiences in bookbinding, shifting to art as a social commentary, and the origins of the Center for Book Arts in New York.

In the other two parts, Richard talks and shows more of his bindings, digital world, politics, history, and takes us for a tour of his studio. Stay tuned, they will be published in the upcoming weeks!



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Find out more about Richard Minsky:

00:00 – Beginning
00:55 – Richard’s childhood: graphic art shop class, starting a first printing business at the age of 13 with a platen press
04:58 – Making a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson with handmade “Working press” shield
06:45 – How a printing press helped to attract 300 students to a Junior Astronomy Club’s lecture
07:48 – Promoting events and printing art through the years
09:11 – Twists of life: Path from printing to bookbinding through astrophysics, car crash, economics, violin, and chorus
16:41 – Richard’s firsts: full leather and tooled bindings made as a student of Daniel G. Knowlton in 1969
17:54 – “The Georgics” of Virgil with the French method of onlay: Learning on your own mistakes to make your bookbinding and design better
21:52 – “Garbage or archive”: The importance of documenting the process and the results of errors
25:43 – The shift from making “just” books to making book art that is a social commentary
34:28 – Origins of the Center for Book Arts in New York City
41:44 – Disconnect between the communities: design, art, and bookbinding. Possibility of collaborations
50:00 – Theoretical critical apparatus for discussion of bookbinding and book art. The “Material meets metaphor” methodology introduced by Richard Minsky
55:31 – Should an artist be versed in all the theories or can it be an intuitive art? Differences between art and craft
57:28 – Importance of being able to talk about your art
58:07 – Continuation of the story of the origin of the Center for Book Arts in New York City

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