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[BKARTS] FACE THE NATION opens July 12 at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

How did type design impact efforts to establish and support the Irish Free
State? Or the development of a Czech national identity? What role did
typefaces play in the modernist milieu of Weimar Germany, or under the Third

Face The Nation:
How National Identity Shaped Modern Typeface Design, 1900-1960
On display July 12 - Sept. 21, 2008 at Minnesota Center for Book Arts
Opening reception Saturday, July 12, 6-9pm; gallery talk 7pm

Presented by Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) and the University of St.
Thomas (UST), this historical exhibition investigates how the desire to
reinforce, redefine or transcend national identities shaped the design of
typefaces between 1900 and 1960. The same era that encompassed two World
Wars also saw many new designs of type, in part demanded by the new printing
technology of the Monotype and Linotype casting machines. The exhibition
will include a number of engaging case studies, including historical
curiosities, examples of original printed works and objects from the
printing trade.

Curator Craig Eliason, assistant professor of art history at UST, describes
this time period as "the last great era of metal type." The evolution of
printing technology ? from carving and casting wooden and metal letterforms
by hand, to typecasting technology like the Monotype and Linotype machines,
to photostatic and now digital composition methods ? has relegated metal
type to the studios of MCBA and other such devotees of historical
handicraft. Furthermore, Eliason says, "the digital age has revolutionized
not only typesetting but also type design: the designers of almost all of
today's letters do not carve punches nor draft engineering drawings, but
rather drag points and curves on computer screens."

Two coordinating exhibitions feature the work of two contemporary designers,
Romano Hanni (Switzerland) and Erik Brandt (U.S), who explore typography in
contemporary graphic design and new challenges in designing for global
markets and cross-cultural messaging. Alongside the exhibitions, MCBA and
University of St. Thomas will be hosting a number of presentations,
workshops, panel discussions and even a film screening to provide multiple
opportunities for the public to engage these topics.

"Typography and type design continue to attract scholars' attention because
unlike verbal communication, type creates a physical record; how an idea is
presented can affect the message," says MCBA Artistic Director Jeff
Rathermel. "Many designers feel that good typography is transparent, that it
should not get in the way of the information, but rather add content and
value to what is being presented. Due to this transparent quality, type
design is something you must have your attention called to to appreciate."

An integral component of the exhibition is the Face The Nation website,
which will include additional historical insights on the featured case
studies, photographs of the exhibit, and a series of audio guides, which you
can download to an MP3 player and use in the gallery for a virtual guided
tour. Find all this and more at: http://www.stthomas.edu/facethenation

For a complete listing and details of all coordinated exhibitions and
events, visit MCBA's website at:

All exhibits and events are free and open to the public, except where noted

Opening Reception:
Saturday, July 12, 6 to 9 pm at MCBA; Gallery talk begins at 7pm
Join designers, historians, artists and book and printing arts enthusiasts
to view the exhibitions, enjoy refreshments and print a commemorative
letterpress broadside to take home with you. Free and open to the public.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts
1011 Washington Avenue South, First Floor
Minneapolis, MN  55415

Gallery Hours:
Mondays through Saturdays: 10 am to 5 pm
Tuesdays open late: 10 am to 9 pm
Sundays: 12 noon to 4 pm

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation,
Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a contemporary art
form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking,
letterpress printing and hand bookbinding to non-traditional artmaking and
self-publishing, MCBA helps artists and learners find creativity, expression
and inspiration through the limitless creative evolution of book arts. MCBA
provides workshops in the book arts for adults, teens, youth, families and
teachers. Our artist programs include exhibitions, lectures and community
events, residencies, fellowships, and an artists' co-op. The Shop at MCBA
features work by over 140 consignment artists along with handmade gifts and
art supplies. MCBA is located in the nationally renowned Open Book building
in downtown Minneapolis.

The University of St. Thomas is Minnesota's largest private university with
campuses in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Owatonna, Minn., and Rome, Italy. A
Catholic university established in 1885, St. Thomas enrolls more than 11,000
undergraduate and graduate students. It offers more than 90 undergraduate
majors and graduate degrees in more than 45 fields of study, including art

           NOW ONLINE, The Bonefolder, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008 at
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
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This page last changed: July 10, 2008