November 2010 – February 2011

Celebrate 25 years of bookmaking
Friday, February 18, 2011

5:25 – 8:00 p.m.

North Exhibition Hall, Main Library

UICBThe University of Iowa Center for the Book (UICB) is a unique program that conjoins training in the technique and artistry of bookmaking with research into the history and culture of books. The first twenty-five years of the UICB reach back to the UI’s distinctive programs in art practice at the graduate level, while looking forward to the new media world we find ourselves in today.

Parallel to the UI’s pioneering MFA degrees in studio art and creative writing, bookmaking activity at the University originated in the 1940s with eminent printers Carroll Coleman and Harry Duncan in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In the 1960s and 1970s instruction and programming were enriched through the energetic work of Kim Merker, a printer and literary publisher in the department of English. In the 1980s papermaker Timothy Barrett and bookbinder and conservator Bill Anthony were brought to the UI, and in 1986 Merker oversaw the formal institution of the UICB in coordination with UI faculty Kay Amert, Jim Snitzer, Glen Epstein David Schoonover, UI Libraries’ Curator of Rare Books. Studio credits in papermaking, calligraphy, letterpress printing, and bookbinding were offered, along with research-oriented courses in the history and culture of books. Since September 1996 the UICB has offered a 24-credit-hour Graduate Certificate program, drawing students from across the nation to its dedicated facilities and superior teaching, while also serving students in traditional UI departments who integrate their UICB work with MAs, MFAs, and Ph.D.s in, for example, English, History, Studio Art, or Library and Information Science.

The Future of a Legacy shows the broad range of artistic and scholarly work done by current and former UICB instructors and students. Displays of the materials and techniques used in the work help show how, for bookmakers and scholars, inspiration can spring from tradition when creators join craft skills with contemporary art practice and research. Many of the books on display are available for viewing in the UI Libraries Special Collections, one of the most comprehensive teaching collections of literary fine press and artist’s books in the country.


Exhibition Planning

Sara Langworthy, Sara Sauers, Kristin Baum and Bill Voss

Exhibition Contributors (pdf)

Additional Contributions

Timothy Barrett, Matt Brown, Laura Capp, Gary Frost, Cheryl Jacobsen, Julie Leonard, Penny McKean, Larry Yerkes

Production and Installation Assistance

Bill Voss, Kristin Baum with assistance from jill Iacchei and Katie Wollan

Graphic design

Bradley J. Coulter and Lucia C. Weilein

Special thanks

Bradley Dicharry, Donate Design; Ed Shreeves; Mina Takahashi, Hand Papermaking; Kathleen Tandy; Sarah Moniger; David Muhlena, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library