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From Pigskin to Paper: The Art and Craft of Bookbinding

decoration06 Feb. 2015|20 Aug. 2015

Wooden boards, raised bands, end-leaves, vellum, blind-stamped, and fillets are all part of the language of the bookbinder. The exhibition decodes the jargon used by bookbinders, and showcases their creative skills which become evident in all aspects of the binding process. On display are hand-bound calfskin, pigskin, or vellum examples from the hand-press period along with machine-made mass-produced bindings from the early 19th century. They range from the earliest English binding in New Zealand (dated 1482), 16th century European samples, and 19th century publisher's bindings, to works by English binders Sangorski & Sutcliffe, art nouveau books, and bindings by local Dunedin artists.

They all provide information on the book trade through the ages - how books were sold, how they were used, and how they were made according to the prevailing fashions at the times in which they were printed and produced. The online exhibition which had been on show until March 2013 at the de Beer Gallery is like a journey through the ages of book preservation which has become a book art in itself.

Go to the website, click on the pictures and enjoy this excellent online exhibition!


06 Feb. 2015|20 Aug. 2015
University of Otago
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