Women's Words Exhibit

Celebrating the 19th Amendment

Suffragists in Print! Join us in celebrating the centennial of the 19th amendment. Woman’s suffrage dates back to the American revolution when Abigail Adams reproved her husband (John Adams, member of the Continental Congress) that: If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to

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Open Set

Design Binding Today: OPEN • SET 2020

OpenSet 2020 is canceled due to the COVID–19 pandemic. We are sadden by this eventuality, but applaud the effort and creativity of all the designer binders who participated in the OpenSet triennial. Bravo! West Coast exhibition of OPEN·SET 2020 In Collaboration with the American Academy of Bookbinding. More than 100

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Exhibit Promotion

Bound for Beauty: Highlights from the Kathleen V. Roberts Collection of Decorated Publishers Bindings

Held Over–closes August 1st. Can you judge a book by its cover? 19th century publishers vied to catch your eye–and your wallet–with glittering gold and vividly colored bindings. Mass-production made beautifully designed books widely available. New technologies stamped elaborate, multi-colored designs on book covers.  Designs reflected the tastes of the

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Book Smart: Learning to Break the Rules

Where do Book Artists come from? Like apprentices of old, book arts students learn core bookbinding structures from skilled instructors. With their guidance and encouragement students transform basic structures into new and unique forms. The American Bookbinders Museum is pleased to present works from three book arts programs: San Francisco

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Queer Voices: Paperbacks and Periodicals Forging Community

June 1 – August 31 Like early communication in the LGBTQ+ community, queer literature emerged from clandestine networks: books were printed and distributed in secret. Early literature was subject to harsh censorship and heavy-handed editorial control if the content was overtly LGBTQ+. Overcoming homophobic charges of obscenity and immorality, the

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Long Live the Book!

Folded, stitched, stapled or glued: the book is alive and well in 2019, and so is bookbinding. Long Live the Book! samples contemporary bookbinding from the purely commercial to boldly artistic. While bookbinders still use many of the tools and processes from the Middle Ages, modern technology has added new

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Members Exhibition of the Hand Bookbinders of California

We’re extremely excited to host the 43rd Annual Members Exhibition of the Hand Bookbinders of California. We’re equally pleased that it coincides with the grand (re-)opening of the American Bookbinders Museum. Established in 1972, the Hand Bookbinders of California is a close-knit group of hand bookbinders, with shared interests in

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Time Honored Techniques: Bookbinding Manuals from 1650-1880

An exhibition of manuals from the museum’s collection, reflecting changes in culture and technology, curated by book restorer, fine binder, binding historian, and toolmaker Tom Conroy, author of Bookbinders’ Finishing Tool Makers 1780-1965 (Plough Press, 2002). List of exhibits »

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The Woman Bookbinder

As part of Women’s History Month, the American Bookbinders Museum presents an exhibition featuring books and ephemera from the Museum’s collections, curated by Elspeth Olson, librarian and archivist at ABM. The exhibition offers looks at women in the binding trade, women and the rise of the bindery unions, and women

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Books and Mud: The Drowned Libraries of Florence

In November, 1966, the banks of the Arno River in Florence rose to record heights, breaking its embankments and flooding the city. Art and books stored in library and museum cellars steeped for days in water, mud, and sewage. In an unprecedented international effort, volunteers converged on the city to

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