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[BKARTS] ABC Books Exhibit at SFPL

Alphabet Soup: A Selection of Alphabet Books

April 1 - June 30, 2007

Exhibition shows how ABCs shape our lives


We live in a world of alphabets. Children are immersed in letters of every shape and size, learning their ABCs from a spectacular range of alphabet books and toys. Adults enjoy sophisticated renderings of nonsense rhymes or risqué alphabets. Some of the most gifted artists and writers wrote and illustrated alphabet books, including Walter Crane, William Nicholson, Gelett Burgess, Sonia Delaunay, Edward Gorey and Ed Emberley. Alphabet Soup: A Selection of Alphabet Books, drawn from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor, is on display April 1-June 30 in the Skylight Gallery at the Main Library.


On view are eccentric, obscure, and comic alphabets. Joining the show are books from other special collections-the brilliant color printing techniques of 19th century alphabets from the Fox Collection of Early Children's Books; contemporary hand-lettered alphabets from the Harrison Calligraphy Collection; and whimsical letterpress printed alphabets from the Grabhorn Collection on the History of Printing. These collections are part of the Book Arts & Special Collections Center where they are accessible to every reader. A selection of alphabet books from the Fisher Children's Center will also be on view in that department through June 30.


Alphabet-inspired movies will be shown during the month of April at the Thursdays at Noon video series in the Koret Auditorium at the Main Library.


The Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor (SCOWAH) was presented to the San Francisco Public Library in 1947 by Nat Schmulowitz-attorney, bibliophile, and humanitarian. Now more than 21,000 volumes in 35 languages, the collection covers 400 years of wit and humor. The annual SCOWAH exhibition, which is presented every April Fool's Day, is a tribute to Mr. Schmulowitz's generosity and lifelong interest in the Library, and highlights the treasures to be found in the collection. This year's exhibition marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of SCOWAH.


For more information, please visit http://sfpl.org/news/exhibitions.htm#upcoming, or call (415) 557-4277. This exhibition is free and open to the public.



Asa Peavy, Program Manager

Marjorie G. & Carl W. Stern Book Arts & Special Collections Center

San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin St.

San Francisco, CA 94102

T: 415.557.4560

F: 415.437.4849




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