Fairs | April 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Saturday at the Fair(s)

Yesterday was another full--productive, surprising, humbling--day of looking at books. I started off at the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair, otherwise known as the 'Shadow Show,' and I'm so glad that I did. It's a smaller and more casual atmosphere (also more affordable) than the show uptown, with about fifty dealers. For younger and beginning collectors who might be intimidated by bigger, flashier shows, this is a perfect fair to get one's feet wet. 

I was happy to meet new bookseller Daniel B. Whitmore of Whitmore Rare Books, Pasadena, CA, who specializes in modern firsts and whose catalogue has a good amount of first editions from which popular films were made. Melissa Sanders told me that they already sold the Tim Burton manuscript we featured on the blog last week. I enjoyed poking around in the booths of Wilfrid M. de Freitas of Montreal, Richard Mori of Mori Books of New Hampshire, and The Country Bookshop of Vermont. John and Tina Bruno of Flamingo Eventz are very welcoming hosts too.
I stopped in to speak to Molly Sacamano of Iron Wheel Books who has some fine book art and private press books. I was smitten by this delicate 'tunnel book' (seen above) that she was exhibiting. It shows the view of Paris from the top floor of the Institut du Monde Arabe near the Seine and is painted on pages from a 1952 edition of Les Guides Bleus, a Paris guidebook. One of 500 copies, it is signed by the book artist, Laura Davidson.  

While browsing through the Brooklyn Books booth, a book nearly jumped up and caught me by the throat. It is a mid nineteenth-century British book on surgery that had been on my dormant 'want list.' Reader, I bought it. My thanks again to Peter Austern.

After a lovely lunch at Le Singe Vert, I headed back to the Armory to meet our columnist and fellow bibliophile, Jeremy Dibbell. He and I spent some time in the bustling double booth belonging to Ian Kahn of Lux Mentis Booksellers and Brian Cassidy Booksellers, both of whom revel in the unexpected. Great energy there. Jeremy then introduced me to Michael Suarez, director of the Rare Book School, who is a delightful guy.

At Priscilla Juvelis' booth, I was introduced to both amazing books and people. One of the books that caught my eye is from her catalogue #49. Compositions is a unique artist's book by Dorothy Krause made from an early twentieth-century hand-written knitting book. Part altered book, part collage, it is a beautiful book object with a powerful message. In her front display case, Juvelis also had a first edition (with its original dust jacket) of Celia Thaxter's An Island Garden, with a binding designed by Sarah Wyman Whitman. I had the good luck to be looking at these and other beauties when Virginia L. Bartow of the NYPL and Mark Dimunation, chief of the Library of Congress's rare books and special collections division, were also popping by to say hello.

With that happy ending, I left the NYABF. Until next year.