AEPM annual conference 2018
bookbinding as cultural heritage
Imprenta Municipal. Artes del libro
C/Concepción Jerónima, 15
24-26 May 2018
Bookbinding is a vital part of the publishing process. Without it typeset texts and printed sheets could not be turned into books to be read. Most bookbindings serve more or less utilitarian purposes. Others are considered to be of artistic value and so to be worthy of display. Historical bindings are also of considerable interest and are regularly exhibited in museums and libraries.
Books – whether finely-bound of for everyday use – are not the only bookbinding artefacts to have historical or artistic value. Other objects related to bookbinding are also very important because they can help us to understand more fully the history of written and print culture. The machines and tools used by bookbinders in their workshops are of particular interest, as are gilding tools which offer fine examples of artistic engraving. Many aspects of the non-material heritage of bookbinding, such as technological change, techniques and skills, are also of great interest.
The conference will consider a broad range of aspects of the material and non-material heritage of bookbinding and its place in printing museums:
- historical aspects of bookbinding: research concerning the artefacts and techniques of craft and industrial bookbinding,
- contemporary bookbinding: practical research about new techniques and developments; the role of museums in contemporary bookbinding,
- conservation techniques and issues: preserving and restoring bookbindings in museum collections,
- the materials and tools of bookbinding,
- practical workshops and other forms of mediation as means of preserving and transmitting of craft skills and non-material heritage to future generations,
- the role of the workshop in museums: for public demonstrations, as an archive, and for bibliographical conservation and restauration.
All events take place at the Imprenta Municipal unless otherwise stated.
Thursday 24 May 2018
10.00 – 19.00
Arrival of participants, registration and informal visit
At the Imprenta Municipal.
Welcome speech by the Mayor of Madrid
and by the AEPM Chair, Alan Marshall.
Director of the Atelier du livre d’art et de l’estampe et du patrimoine de Imprimerie nationale, France.
Editor-in-chief of two cultural magazines, Art & métiers du livre (1985-2001), and Plume, magazine du patrimoine écrit (2007-2015), Pascal Fulacher also directed the publishing house Art & métiers du livre / éditions (1994 -2001), then curated two museums dedicated to the written heritage in Paris and Brussels (2003-2015). He is also the author and co-author of several books including: Papiers et moulins des origines à nos jours (Art & métiers du livre / éditions, 1989 and 1997), Six siècles d’art du livre, de l’incunable au livre d’artiste (Citadelles & Mazenod, 2012), Jean Cocteau le magnifique. Les miroirs d’un poète (Gallimard, 2013). He defended a doctoral thesis in 2004 (Sorbonne University, Paris) on the aesthetics of the book in the twentieth century, in which are traced the different aesthetic trends of typography, illustration and binding. In 2016 he was appointed director of the Atelier du livre d’art et de l’estampe et du patrimoine de l’Imprimerie Nationale.
Is contemporary bookbinding a fully-fledged art form?
It was in the 1970s that institutions in France became seriously interested in contemporary artistic bookbinding. The Bibliothèque nationale (national library) opened the way in 1977 and was followed in the early 1990s by the Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris (City of Paris historical library) which gave further impetus to the movement. Many other libraries and museums also began ordering works from bookbinding artists from a variety of backgrounds. All of this raised many questions: what to bind? And for what reasons? What criteria should be applied when choosing a bookbinder? And for what kind of binding? To what extent can the binder be oriented technically and aesthetically? What is the cost of a creative binding? How should such bindings be preserved and exhibited among other books and collectibles? Pascal Fulacher will attempt to answer these various questions with a view to clarifying the status of contemporary art binding within heritage collections.
Reception: informal discussions and drinks
Friday 25 May
Elke Van Herck
Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp, Belgium.
Imprenta Municipal – Artes del Libro, Madrid, Spain.
Maria Luisa López-Vidriero
Royal Library, Madrid, Spain.
María Luisa López-Vidriero has been Director of Madrid’s Royal Library since 1991. She previously trained and acquired experience as a historian of the book and reading at Salamanca University Library, Complutense University Library and the rare books and reference department of the National Library of Madrid.
Arachne’s cell. Royal bindings on the web
Madrid Royal Library’s bookbindings database is the result of an accurate understanding of the role which bindings play as an interpretative element of the royal bibliographical collection. It is a research tool woven to a precise pattern: the idea of a private royal library as a means of representation and as part of the State which, in consecutive reigns, has played a changing symbolic role and has expressed different aesthetic ideas. In the Royal Library, each book is an unique element because of the binding that is an essential part of it and that gives it its singularity. Aracne’s cell addresses this conceptual starting point for the construction of the Library’s bindings database.
Herzog August Library, Wolffenbüttel, Germany
Rosita Nenno studied of art history, Islamic art and French literature in Saarbrücken and Paris. After a freelance contract at the MAM – Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris she has, for 28, years been responsible for the European collections of the German Leathermuseum in Offenbach. Base in Frankfurt, she is currently a freelance curator and is pursuing research in the field of fashion and industry, design, and marketing strategies in the 1920s and 1930s. She is a member of the board of ICOM ICDAD, and a member of netzwerk mode textil and the Verband Deutscher Kunsthistoriker.
Ignatz Wiemeler and his ingenious bookbindings. A highlight in the collection of the Klingspor Museum Offenbach (1920s and 1930s)
In 1921, Ignatz Wiemeler began teaching at the Technische Lehranstalten Offenbach where he met Karl Klingspor, a great bibliophile and owner of the type foundry Gebr. Klingspor. Influenced by his cooperation with the designer-typographer Rudolf Koch and Ernst Engel, Wiemeler created more than a hundred bookbindings for Karl Klingspor who, over a period of thirty years was his most important commissioner and collector of his work. The influences of the Offenbach years are traceable in Wiemeler’s layouts/designs even after he moved to Leipzig in 1925. Presenting the collections of the Klingspor Museum Offenbach, the paper focusses on the composition of Wiemeler’s bookbindings.
National Library of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain.
Aitor Quiney Urbieta is doctor in the History of Art (Barcelona University), and graduate in Humanities (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) with a master’s degree in restoration and conservation (Catalunya University). Is a conservator at the National Library of Catalunya and hes been doing research on the Catalonian book since 2001, with special emphasis on historic and artistic bookbinding and the book as an art object. He has curated various exhibitions: Emili Brugalla, enquadernador (2001), Hermenegildo Miralles, arts gràfiques i enquadernació (2005), awarded with the Recuperació i recerca de la Memòria Històrica de Arts Gràfiques a Catalunya’s prize, Col·leccions privades, llibres singulars (2005), Emili i Santiago Brugalla, el seu llegat patrimonial (2009), L’exlibrisme a Catalunya al voltant del 1900 and Encuadernación y Bibliofilia en la Associació de Bibliòfils de Barcelona (2015). His professional work is oriented towards research into the arts in Catalunya and the Canary Islands from the last years of the 19th century to the historic avant-garde movements, and art after the Spanish Civil War.
The collection of finishing tools from Brugalla’s workshop in the collection of National Library of Catalunya. A model for artistic bookbinding heritage conservation.
When, in 2008, the National Library of Catalunya bought the equipment from Brugalla’s workshop it became one of the most important libraries in Europe in the field of conservation of artistic bookbinding heritage. Emilio and Santiago Brugalla’s workshop was the most important in artistic bookbinding in Spain and ran from 1931 to 2007. With its purchase the National Library of Catalunya improved its collection in the field with more than 5,000 finishing tools: handtools, rules, roulettes and blocks and all the workshop’s equipment. The acquisition also included patterns and sketches for artistic bookbindings; an important collection of books on the subject; 500 books bound by the workshop; the workshop’s archives including documents, letters, photographs and writings of Emilio Brugalla who wrote several books about bookbinding. This lecture will talk about cataloguing and conservation of the Brugalla’s collection with a special focus on finishing tools and the bookbinding collection of the Catalonian Library.
Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany
Dr. Stefan Soltek, born 1956 in Cologne, Germany, studied history of art at Cologne and Bonn Universities. His dissertation about a medieval baptismal font brought him to the study of the art of the book in early times. After a volunteer-internship at the Landesmuseum Kassel he became curator of the Linel collection for bookarts and graphic design at the museum of applied arts in Frankfurt. Since 2002 he has been in charge of the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach. Most of his publications lie in the field of book arts and graphic design.
The outside starts inside: the artist’s intention for the book’s appearance
The Klingspor Museum holds a book collection which ranges from 1900 to the present day. Though the Museum has not actually specialised in bookbinding, its collection offers a broad panorama of the evolution of the value accorded to the binding of books and the designing of covers. Stefan Soltek’s talk gives examples of different attitudes to how a book should look on the outside, highlighting artists who have given condsiderable attention to how they bound their books. Rather than decorating the book, their aim has been to integrate the binding into the message of the artwork itself. Examples are also taken from Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main.
Saturday 26 May
Annual general meeting of the AEPM
AEPM members only.
Short communications, news from museums and closing discussion
Various speakers, organisations and subjects including:
- Claudio Galeri, Musée Médard, France