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Russian Bookplate Exhibit



                        RUSSIAN BOOKPLATE EXHIBIT

           Ex-libris from the Collection of Svetlana Smelansky

San Francisco: Ex-libris--bookplates--are the subject of a new exhibit in the
rare book room of the San Francisco Public Library. The bookplates, created by
Russian artists for Russian authors, actors, producers, composers, etc., are
from the collection of Svetlana Smelansky, a Russian émigré to San Francisco.
Mrs. Smelansky has long been active in journalism and the performing arts, most
notably puppet theater. She became a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Pup-
peteers Guild in 1993, and is Director of Theater of Miracles in San Francisco.

While working at the Kharkov Puppet Theatre in the Ukraine, Mrs. Smelansky
started to build her collection of ex-libris and participated very actively in
the first exhibitions in the Ukraine of these wonderful creations of fine art.
Her collection currently numbers about 1000 ex-libris arranged according to
certain topics--about 300 feature puppeteers--and include the bookplates of
M. Gorky, S. Esenin, M. Svetlov, and many other noted Russian writers, poets,
and actors. Of course, Mrs. Smelansky has her own ex-libris, made by Zhanna
Vorobjova-Korovyanko.

Mrs. Smelansky was forced to leave her beloved collection behind when she
immigrated to the United States, but it was later retrieved at some risk by a
close friend. In this first public exhibition of ex-libris from her collection,
Mrs. Smelansky presents a selection of them for the enjoyment of visitors to
the San Francisco Public Library.

The exhibit opens Saturday, May 29 and continues through Saturday, July 31,
1999, in the Book Arts & Special Collections Center, 6th Floor, San Francisco
Public Library, Civic Center. A reception hosted by the San Francisco Biblio-
philes will be held the same day from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon in the
Roof Garden on the 6th Floor of the Main Library.

For more information, please call 415.557.4560. This free event is sponsored
by the Book Arts and Special Collections Center of the San Francisco Public
Library.


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