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[BKARTS] Sandra DeNola Kirshenbaum -- book enthusiast



Sandra DeNola Kirshenbaum -- book enthusiast

Jose Antonio Vargas, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, January 1, 2004

A memorial service will be held Friday for Sandra DeNola Kirshenbaum,
a lifelong book enthusiast who founded Fine Print, a one-of-a-kind
journal devoted to the art of making books.

Ms. Kirshenbaum died Dec. 26 at the age of 65.

Born July 4, 1938, in Milan, Ms. Kirshenbaum's family came to San
Francisco in 1940 to escape fascism. She was a Phi Beta Kappa
graduate of UC Berkeley, earning a degree in Italian literature.
Following that, she attended Carnegie Library School and received her
master's degree in library science in 1960. Her passion for books was
developed very early on -- "not just reading them," her daughter
Daniela said, "but also appreciating how they're made."

After living in Cordoba, Argentina, for a few years, Ms. Kirshenbaum
returned to San Francisco and became a rare book dealer. She founded
Fine Print in 1975, and the Colophon Club of San Francisco
thereafter. To many, she was a central figure in the renaissance of
the Bay Area book arts movement, and she was recognized by book arts
enthusiasts worldwide. She received several honors, including the
Oscar Lewis Award from the Book Club of California in 1998 and the
American Printing History Association Award in 2001.

She read in English, Italian and French, and "was just starting in
German" when she passed away, said her daughter. "My mother loved
literature. She caused others to realize the pleasure in the reading
experience itself."

Ms. Kirshenbaum's office was filled with unusual, hand-made books,
some in non-traditional shapes. Some of the books, Daniela said,
tested the boundaries of what was a book and what was art.

She is survived by her husband, Noel, of San Francisco; a son, Ken,
of New York City; a daughter, Daniela, of San Francisco; two sisters,
Lydia of Los Gatos and Emily of San Mateo; a brother, Albert, of
Atherton; and three grandchildren.

The memorial service will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at Temple
Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco.

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