A year ago I participated in a bookbinders' fair for the first time. And that was the Bookbinders' Fair in Sint-Niklaas near Antwerp in Belgium. It was an amazing experience and this Sunday I go back to that small Belgian town.
My wife had a business trip to the French town of Grasse. I came along to spend a weekend here and used this opportunity to visit an old books shop there.
What I love about international exhibitions catalogs, is the diversity of art. All the works from different artists coming from multiple countries. And that's exactly what you get with the tenth-anniversary celebration of the Belgian Association of Ex Libris Collectors.
While the current British Library's exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War includes not only manuscripts, books are the main topic here at iBookBinding, so we'll focus on them in this post. Especially because it's manuscripts that the curator Claire Breay speaks about in the video you'll find below.
I decided not to wait until I edit the video and the photos from the Boekkunstbeurs (Book Arts Fair in Leiden, the Netherlands) and summarize my impressions right after the two-day event has ended.
Every once in a while the Museum Meermanno in the Hague (The Netherlands) brings a new temporary exhibition. This time they show the works of Quentin Blake, an artist, who had illustrated multiple books, including stories by the world-famous author Roald Dahl.
My recent visit to the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) in Bucharest, Romania, had made me muse on what exactly the book is as a medium. There are purists who would tell you that codex (with some basic alterations) is the only valid format. In the modern world of electronic media, this view seems to me a bit narrow. Even more, if you consider the long and diverse history of the book, you will see that codex may be a prominent format today, but it is only a small part of all of the invented book formats. Continue reading →
As in many other Eastern European countries, Romania had seen a steep decline in bookbinding craftsmanship in the post-Soviet years. There are some remarkable masters, including some younger bookbinders. However, book restoration and bookmaking are reasonably expensive services, and it is quite understandable that in one of the less developed European countries the demand is quite low. Continue reading →