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[BKARTS] Bill Anthony: the Lineage of a Master, at Iowa Artisans Gallery, July 21 - August 23, Iowa City, IA



Bill Anthony: the Lineage of a Master, at Iowa Artisans Gallery

Iowa Artisans Gallery hosts Bill Anthony: Lineage of a Master, with hand bound books by protégés of master bookbinder and conservator William Anthony, July 21 - August 23. This special exhibition is being held in conjunction with the University of Iowa's conference, The Changing Book: Transitions in Design, Production and Preservation, July 22-25 <http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/book2005/index.htm>. As an accompanying exhibition, photographer Randy Richmond will show digitally-altered, photographic assemblages in a show entitled New Work. Richmond's works tie into the narrative quality suggested by handbound books. (Please see separate press release for Richmond's show.) An opening reception will be held 4:30-6pm Friday, July 22 and is free and open to the public.

William Anthony inspired and instructed many professional artists and craftsmen in the world of hand bookbinding. Anthony's works are currently on display at the University of Iowa Art Museum. This one time, special exhibition at Iowa Artisans Gallery includes work by Anthony's apprentices: William Minter, Lawrence Yerkes, David Brock, Sally Key, Ralph Weber, Annie Tremmel Wilcox, and Mark Esser, plus approximately 20 of their students. Anthony began his early apprenticeship in hand bookbinding as a 16 year old in Ireland. His knowledge was supplemented by studies at art academies and by contacts with other artists and handbinders.

His distinguished career in Europe and the US included restoring projects such as the ancient texts damaged in the devastating floods in Florence, Italy in 1966, as well as Northwestern University's rare, intact copy of John James Audubon's four-volume Birds of America. In 1984, Bill came to Iowa to establish the Conservation Department in the UI Libraries. While conserving books for the UI Libraries' Special Collections, he had greater opportunity to reflect on and experiment with the ideas and techniques that had shaped book conservation since the floods of Florence. He and his apprentice Mark Esser began to make models of historical book structures, seeing these models as educational tools for the general public and as aides in teaching students and apprentice conservators. The models became well known as a result of being exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1986 and through the visits of binders from the U.S. and Europe to the University's Conservation Department. Today Bill and Mark's models are the nucleus of a collection that the current University of Iowa Conservator, Gary Frost, has much enlarged. Some models crafted by Bill's apprentices or their students are also included in this exhibit.

Toward the end of his life, Bill began to take an interest in yet another form of binding, the artist's book. Book artists typically use nontraditional structural principles and/or materials to create a three-dimensional work of art that expresses an intellectual or artistic statement. This is an area that students who had studied privately with Bill in Chicago practiced and excelled in, and an area that Bill himself might have practiced had he lived longer. Bill Anthony innovated and crossed bridges from the book craft industry and its conventions to the wider fields of the sciences of preservation and the prospects for artists' books. Now his students need to convey fine traditional bookwork in an environment of screen based reading and digital libraries. These are exciting challenges that Bill prepared us to enjoy.

The Iowa Arts Council provided support for the exhibition catalog as well as other support materials. Established in 1984, Iowa Artisans Gallery is open daily at 207 E. Washington, downtown Iowa City. Hours are Monday: 10-8pm; Tuesday-Friday 10-7pm; Saturday 10-5:30pm; and Sunday 12-4pm.

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Edelpappband / "Millimeter" Binding Bind-O-Rama, Entry Deadline - October 1, 2005
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