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Collector’s Tour Led by ABM Donor Kathleen Roberts

Bound for Beauty

Highlights of the Kathleen V. Roberts Collection of Decorated Publishers’ Bindings

The American Bookbinders Museum proudly presents the Bound for Beauty Collector’s Tour. Collector Kathleen V. Roberts, will lead two 60-minute tours of the Bound for Beauty Exhibit, featuring Decorated Publishers’ Bindings from 1840-1920. The Collectors Tours are Saturday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, April 4th at 1pm.

For the first time, technology of the Industrial Revolution made mass production of books possible. To sell those books, publishers produced beautifully decorated covers reflecting the tastes of the age. Known as Decorated Publishers’ Bindings, they were bound in colorful fabric and elaborately decorated in silver and gold.

Find out how the Civil War, Victorian opulence, the opening of Japan to the West, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the simplicity and elegance of the Arts and Crafts movement influenced cover designs.  Witness the rise of artists, most notably women, such as Margaret Armstrong and Sarah Wyman Whitman, to icon designer status. Learn how World War I and the less expensive dust jacket foreshadow the end of these   works of art.

Drawing from the books on display in the Bound for Beauty exhibit, Kathy will highlight notable pieces from her 20 years of collecting. See the original bindings for Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women series, the artistry of Maxfield Parrish, and Vanessa Bell’s woodcut designs for Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press titles. Come see these stunning masterpieces. Prepare to be amazed. The WOW factor is high!


Kathy Roberts, collector and book seller, divides her time between Burlington, Vermont and San Francisco, CA. She is a member of the Vermont Antiquarian Booksellers Association, The Book Club of California, and the Miniature Book Society. In 2016, she donated over 450 of her decorated cloth bindings to the American Bookbinders Museum.



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American Bookbinders Museum

The American Bookbinders Museum is the only museum of its kind in North America, celebrating and exploring the history, tools and stories of bookbinders and bookbinding, from its earliest forms through the changes and innovations of the industrial revolution.

In addition to the craft and artistry of binding, we focus on the stories of the men, women, and children who worked in binderies.

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