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dying art



All,

I'm rather intrigued by Peter's comment on the Russian capitalist article.
Why does the press keep calling the book arts a lost or dying art?  And why
do we allow it?  A couple of years ago, a local TV station sent out a human
interest reporter to a local bookbinder, Don Sanders.  They did a wonderful
little homey homage to him, showing him working in his bindery, and showing
some of his work.  Then, in the last few seconds, it was reported that Don
was the last keeping a dying art alive, one that no one else is doing, and,
in not so many words, a throwback to a time gone by.  Well, the book arts
community in Austin, TX was a little surprised by this remark.  My guess
(and it's completely a guess) would be that there are more people doing
book arts now than, say, a hundred years ago.  And certainly it's a form of
art that's growing in terms of creativity and diversity.

We shouldn't get hung up on this article because some rich guy decided to
become an artist (I wish I could have taken this route so I could afford
more materials); rather, we should get hung up on the fact that a respected
national newspaper just told the world that hardly anyone is making
artistic hand bindings anymore.

Working on the living arts,
Alan Van Dyke

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