News | August 30, 2019

Washington, D.C. — Three organizations working to expand literacy and promote reading in the United States and worldwide will be awarded the 2019 Library of Congress Literacy Awards at the National Book Festival gala, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today.

Hayden and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein will award the top prizes to: ProLiteracy Worldwide of Syracuse, New York; American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults of Baltimore; and ConTextos of Chicago.

The Literacy Awards, originated by Rubenstein in 2013, honor organizations doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work. They spotlight the need for communities worldwide to unite in working for universal literacy.

“Literacy is the ticket to learning, opportunity and empowerment on a global scale,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress is proud to honor and celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary organizations in their efforts to advance reading levels and give people the foundation for a better life.”

Prizes and Recipients

David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000): ProLiteracy Worldwide, Syracuse, New York ProLiteracy Worldwide advances and supports programs to help adults acquire literacy skills needed to function more effectively in their daily lives. It has 1,000 member programs across 50 states and works with 30 partners in 25 countries to provide a wide range of adult literacy and basic education services to vulnerable populations. ProLiteracy builds capacity among frontline literacy providers by modeling proven instructional approaches, developing affordable, evidence-based learning resources, and providing professional development and technical assistance. ProLiteracy was formed by the 2002 merger of Laubach Literacy International (founded in 1955) and Literacy Volunteers of America (founded in 1962). For more than 60 years, ProLiteracy has scaled successful practices and driven advocacy efforts by activating its grassroots network, resulting in a broad and sustained effort to improve and advance adult literacy at the community level.

American Prize ($50,000): American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, Baltimore Established in 1919, the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults is a service agency that assists blind and deaf-blind persons in securing reading matter, educates the public about blindness, provides specialized aids and appliances to the blind, gives consultation to governmental and private agencies serving the blind, offers assistance to those losing vision in their later years, offers services to blind children and their parents, and works toward improving the quality of life for the blind and deaf-blind. This includes services such as free braille books, free braille calendars and free white canes. Central to the organization’s work has been a commitment to braille literacy and the knowledge that braille is the only true means for literacy for the blind.

International Prize ($50,000): ConTextos, Chicago ConTextos brings literacy to schools, prisons and communities in El Salvador via two programs: Soy Lector (I’m a Reader) and Soy Autor (I’m an author). The Soy Lector Program trains local community members and teachers to develop libraries to encourage reading and the discussion of ideas in the community and schools. The Soy Autor Program encourages youth affected by violence to write their memoirs. Through this writing exercise, they work through the effect that violence has had on their life, either as a victim or perpetrator. In the process, participants develop critical literacy skills. The program has been replicated in Guatemala and Honduras and continues to grow. To date, ConTextos has created 84 libraries across El Salvador; 11,092 students have access to high-quality books; and 853 young authors have published their memoirs.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is also honoring 15 organizations for their implementation of best practices in literacy promotion. These best practice honorees are:

    •    Bring Me a Book, Redwood City, California
    •    The Conscious Connect, Springfield, Ohio
    •    Friends of Matènwa, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    •    Hartford Public Library, Hartford, Connecticut
    •    The Jane Stern Dorado Community Library, Dorado, Puerto Rico
    •    Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, New York City
    •    LitWorld International Inc., New York City
    •    Meridian Library District, Meridian, Idaho
    •    Nal'ibali Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
    •    One World Education, Washington, D.C.
    •    The PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Washington, D.C.
    •    Razia’s Ray of Hope, Wellesley, Massachusetts
    •    Ready for Reading, Dorset, Vermont
    •    Riecken Community Libraries, Washington, D.C.
    •    Western Massachusetts Writing Project, Amherst, Massachusetts

David M. Rubenstein is the co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group. He is a major benefactor of the Library of Congress and the chairman of the Library’s lead donor group, the James Madison Council. More information on the awards is available at

News | August 29, 2019
Courtesy of IFPDA

New York — Jenny Gibbs, Executive Director of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) and David Tunick, President of the IFPDA Board of Directors, are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 IFPDA Foundation Grants and the 2019 IFPDA Foundation Book Award.

Each year, the IFPDA Foundation awards grants to museums and non-profit organizations from around the world for exhibitions, public programs, and scholarly publications.

2019 IFPDA Foundation Grant Recipients

●    EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop: For its Print Now Series, a free, public program with professional lectures, Master Printer demos, and printmaking workshops.
●    Dieu Donné Paper Mill: For its Papermaking Workshop & Exhibition For Printmaking Students, a new one-day papermaking workshop and pop-up exhibition for MFA and BFA printmaking students at Dieu Donné.
●    Derfner Judaica Museum at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale: To fund Impressions of Eastern Europe: Prints From the Permanent Collection, an exhibition of prints by European and American artists from the early 20th century to the mid-1970s, whose works reflect the displacements and migrations experienced during their lifetimes.
●    The British Museum: To support the research publication ‘Late Hokusai: Thought, Technique, Society’, based on the scholarly discussions and outcomes of a symposium on the British Museum’s hugely popular exhibition, Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave.
●    Krannert Art Museum: In support of the exhibition Pressing Issues: Printmaking as Social Justice in the 1930s United States.
●    Milwaukee Art Museum: To support public programming for the exhibition, Landfall Press: Five Decades of Printmaking, organized by former IFPDA Curatorial Intern, Nikki Otten.
●    Flint Institute of Arts: For Political and Personal: Images of Gay Identity, an exhibition culminated by the IFPDA supported internship in 2018.

The annual IFPDA Book Award was founded in 2004 to honor books, articles, and catalogues on fine art prints which demonstrate excellence in research, scholarship, and the discussion of new ideas in the fields of printmaking, history and connoisseurship. The award is presented each year at the annual Curators and Collectors Breakfast held at the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair in New York.

This year’s winner is The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy by Naoko Takahatake, with contributions by Jonathan Bober, Jamie Gabbarelli, Antony Griffiths, Peter Parshall, and Linda Stiber Morenus. The book was published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Delmonico Books – Prestel, Munich, London, New York.

“Through our funding of these important programs, we hope to provide valuable support for all the communities that make up the art world ecosystem,” said Gibbs. The IFPDA Foundation is funded by donations and proceeds from the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair, October 23-27, 2019.

Exhibit | August 28, 2019
The Morgan Library & Museum, Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection, 1968.

Pietro Tempestini (1843–1917). "Verdi a Montecatini Terme," 1899. Courtesy of Bertelsmann / Archivio Storico Ricordi, Milan, and Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) sketches for Otello, act 3, scene 5, 1885(?).

New York/Milan – After Aida in 1871, except for occasional projects, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), Italy’s pre-eminent composer, retired from opera at the age of 58. This, however, did not prevent constant pleas from his publisher and future librettist for the maestro to return to the operatic stage. Reluctantly coaxed out of retirement, Verdi composed what would become the crowning achievements of his career: Otello and Falstaff. From September 6, 2019 to January 5, 2020, the Morgan Library & Museum will present highlights from the Milan-based, Bertelsmann-owned Ricordi Archive, offering visitors insight into the production of these two operas, as well as the complex enterprise of bringing an opera to life. Based on The Enterprise of Opera: Verdi. Boito. Ricordi, created by Bertelsmann/Ricordi and curated by Gabriele Dotto, Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff—Highlights from the Ricordi Archive traces the genesis and realization of Otello and Falstaff through original scores, libretti, selected correspondence, set and costume designs, and more, marking the first exhibition of these rare documents and artifacts in the United States.

Giuseppe Verdi—alongside Gaetano Donizetti (1791–1848), Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868), Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835), and Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) — is one of the five great names of nineteenth-century Italian opera, whose works were published by Casa Ricordi and documented in its Archivio Storico Ricordi. The Ricordi Archive is regarded as one of the world’s foremost privately owned music collections. In this exhibition, treasures from the Archive are complemented by rarities from the Morgan’s collection, including early editions of texts by William Shakespeare, whose dramaturgical material served as the basis for Verdi’s last two operas, in addition to rare editions of scores and libretti, contemporary publicity material, an autograph letter from Verdi’s wife, and autograph sketches for Otello.

This combination of materials from the two institutions, under the guidance of curators Fran Barulich, Mary Flagler Cary Curator and Department Head of Music Manuscripts and Printed Music at the Morgan, and Gabriele Dotto, Ricordi Archive Director of Scholarly Initiatives, gives visitors a unique opportunity to gain firsthand insights into the European cultural scene of the late nineteenth century. A number of important loans from the National Gallery of Canada, Yale Center for British Art, and the Clark Art Institute help complete the story. The supporting program of the exhibition includes a concert with Verdi arias, a screening of Franco Zeffirelli’s Otello, and a discussion featuring experts from the Ricordi Archive.

Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum, said: “We are delighted with the support of Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation to present these highlights from the Ricordi Archive, showing how Italy’s pre-eminent composer shaped what would become two of his crowning achievements, Otello and Falstaff. A selection of set designs, costumes from Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, autograph manuscripts, contracts, publications, publicity, video excerpts from recent productions, and objects from the Morgan’s collection enables visitors to experience the tremendous collaborative efforts that go into an operatic production.”

Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “The name Ricordi stands for two hundred years of Italian opera and music history. As the owners of the Ricordi Archive, we are very aware of the importance of this European cultural asset and take responsibility for its sustained preservation, care, and development. Exhibitions like the one in New York, in partnership with the Morgan Library, are a great opportunity to keep the creative work of earlier generations alive and to reach audiences beyond the musicological community.”

A formative influence on European cultural history

The richly textured exhibition Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff—Highlights from the Ricordi Archive illuminates the genesis and realization of the two world-famous operas, from initial deliberations about commissioning the celebrated composer to their premieres. In doing so, it provides a deep insight into the work of three geniuses who formed a kind of business partnership. Although the idea for Otello first arose in 1879, when Verdi was 65, he did not begin to work on the project in earnest until he was in his 70s, after his Milanese publisher Giulio Ricordi (1840–1912) teamed up with the librettist Arrigo Boito (1842–1918) to develop a diplomatic strategy for luring “the old bear” out of retirement. Their plan worked. Applying his mature compositional skills to two brilliant libretti by Boito, Verdi created two of the greatest operas ever composed. There was a hiatus of almost sixteen years between the 1887 premiere of Otello and the 1871 premiere of Aida; Falstaff premiered in 1893. Giulio Ricordi was ultimately responsible for marketing and managing both large-scale productions.

The Ricordi Archive houses a total of some 7,800 original scores from more than 600 operas and hundreds of other compositions; approximately 10,000 libretti; an extensive iconographic collection with precious original stage and costume designs; and a vast amount of historical business correspondence of Casa Ricordi. Founded in 1808 by Giovanni Ricordi in Milan, the Italian music publisher had a fundamental influence on the cultural history of Italy and Europe. Bertelsmann, the international media company that also includes the BMG music group and the New York–based trade publishing group Penguin Random House, bought Casa Ricordi in 1994, but sold the company and its music rights in subsequent years. Only the associated Ricordi Archive remained within the group. Since then, Bertelsmann has had the archived items comprehensively indexed, digitized, and in many cases restored. Bertelsmann also organizes concerts and exhibitions to keep Casa Ricordi’s cultural heritage alive and make it accessible to as wide a public as possible.

News | August 28, 2019

Dayton, OH – Recognizing the power of literature to promote peace and reconciliation, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation today announced the finalists for the 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction and nonfiction.
Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States. The Prize celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding. This year's winners will be honored at a gala ceremony in Dayton on November 3rd.
Writer N. Scott Momaday, who for more than half a century has illuminated both the ancient and contemporary lives of Native Americans through fiction, essays, and poetry, will receive the 2019 Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named in honor of the noted U.S. diplomat who helped negotiate the Dayton Peace Accords.
The full list of finalists can be found below and at
“At a time when the Dayton community and the nation are still reeling from the August 7th mass shooting, this year’s finalists offer moving examples of people who have forged a path to peace and reconciliation through even the most violent and unjust situations,” said Sharon Rab, Chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “These books remind us that, as the planet grows ever more interconnected, violence can have far-reaching repercussions -- but so can peace, and every individual effort toward healing, whatever the circumstances, can go a long way toward making the world a better place.”
The 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction finalists are
    •    Insurrecto by Gina Apostol, Soho Press: Histories and personalities collide in this literary tour-de-force about the Philippines’ present and America’s past. Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte’s Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts—one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino school teacher.
    •    Sadness Is A White Bird by Moriel Rothman Zecher, Atria Books: In this debut novel from the MacDowell Colony fellow and National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree, a young man prepares to serve in the Israeli army while also trying to reconcile his close relationship to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country. Powerful, important, and timely, Sadness Is A White Bird explores one man’s attempts to find a place for himself, discovering in the process a beautiful, against-the-odds love in the darkness of a never-ending conflict.
    •    The Overstory by Richard Powers, WW Norton & Co: Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and are drawn into its unfolding catastrophe.
    •    There There by Tommy Orange, Knopf: Fierce, funny, suspenseful, and thoroughly modern, There There offers a kaleidoscopic look at Native American life in Oakland, California. Writing in a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with urgency and force, Tommy Orange has created a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide.
    •    What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt: Here is an extraordinary story of exile, dislocation, and the emotional minefields between mothers and daughters; a story of love, guilt and dreams for a better future, vibrating with both sorrow and an unquenchable joie de vivre. With its startling honesty, dark wit, and irresistible momentum, What We Owe introduces a fierce and necessary new voice in international fiction.
    •    White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht, GP Putnam’s Sons: White Chrysanthemum brings to life the heartbreaking history of Korea through the deeply moving and redemptive story of two sisters separated by World War II. It is a moving fictional account of a shockingly pervasive real-life assault—the sexual slavery of an estimated 200,000 Korean women during the Second World War.
The 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize nonfiction finalists are
    •    Educated by Tara Westover, Random House: With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
    •    Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David Blight, Simon and Schuster: In his “cinematic and deeply engaging” (The New York Times Book Review) biography, Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family.
    •    I Should Have Honor by Khalida Brohi, Random House: A fearless memoir about tribal life in Pakistan—and the act of violence that inspired one ambitious young woman to pursue a life of activism and female empowerment. And ultimately, she learned that the only way to eradicate the parts of a culture she despised was to fully embrace the parts of it that she loved.
    •    Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow, Doubleday: From a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, the powerful story of how a prominent white supremacist changed his heart and mind With great empathy and narrative verve, Eli Saslow asks what Derek's story can tell us about America's increasingly divided nature. This is a book to help us understand the American moment and to help us better understand one another.
    •    The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Hinton with Lara Love Hardin, St Martins: With a foreword by Bryan Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, The Sun Does Shine tells Hinton’s dramatic 30-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
    •    Tigerland by Wil Haygood, Knopf: From the author of the best-selling The Butler--an emotional, inspiring story of two teams from a poor, black, segregated high school in Ohio, who, in the midst of the racial turbulence of 1968/1969, win the Ohio state baseball and basketball championships in the same year.
A winner and runner-up in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on September 17, 2019. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $5,000. Finalists will be reviewed by a judging panel of prominent writers including Lesley Nneka Arimah (What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky), Bob Shacochis (The Woman Who Lost Her Soul), Brando Skyhorse (The Madonnas of Echo Park), and Helen Thorpe (Soldier Girls: The Battles Of Three Women At Home And At War; The Newcomers:  Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom).
To be eligible for the 2019 awards, English-language books had to be published or translated into English in 2018 and address the theme of peace on a variety of levels, such as between individuals, among families and communities, or between nations, religions, or ethnic groups.

Auctions | August 28, 2019

Dallas — A trove of more than 10,000 pieces of the original art for Jim Davis’ iconic Garfield comic strip, with daily strips valued upwards of $500 each, and Sunday strips considerably more, will be offered exclusively through Heritage Auctions over the coming years in a series of Signature, monthly and weekly Sunday Internet Comics, Animation and Art Auctions.

The collection features individual daily and Sunday strips by Jim Davis, the artist behind the most widely syndicated feature in the world, reaches two million readers daily. Davis created the strip in 1978.

“Garfield is one of the most popular comic strips of all time, and has been for decades,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions. “It has matured into a wildly successful franchise, evolving from the strip that has appeared in newspapers around the world to a television show, multiple movies and an empire of licensed products. Collectors who pursue these strips by Jim Davis see the opportunity to acquire an important part of comic art history.”

In November 2011, the iconic strip switched to digital production, so the ink on Bristol board Garfield originals offered by Heritage represent all that will ever be created.

“I’m very excited about my exclusive relationship with Heritage Auctions,” Davis said. “I’ve always taken my responsibility to the strip seriously (go figure), so it’s gratifying to know that I’m reaching the ‘serious’ comic collectors with the help of the fine folks at Heritage.”

In this Sunday’s Comics, Animation & Art Weekly Online Auction collectors may bid on a classic Garfield strip. Bidding is now open and the auction closes Sunday, Sept. 1, on Heritage Auctions’ next comics Signature auction is Nov. 21-23 in Dallas, Texas, and on

News | August 27, 2019

Minneapolis, MN — For the first time, two fellowships—which include an award of $25,000 each, as well as professional development experiences, opportunities to participate in national conferences, and public discussions with visiting critics and curators—will be available in 2020 to book artists living in the state of Minnesota.

The McKnight Fellowships for Book Artists is a yearlong program designed to give exceptional, mid-career Minnesota book artists the space and time to delve more deeply into their craft, exploring and expanding on the historical foundations of the “contained narrative.”

While fellowships in visual arts, writing, and music have been staples of the McKnight Artist Fellowship programs since 1982, book arts is a new area of support for the philanthropic foundation. A new partnership between the McKnight Foundation and Minnesota Center for Book Arts makes this possible.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the McKnight Foundation to launch the Fellowships for Book Artists, which will recognize the dynamic and diverse work of mid-career book artists in the state of Minnesota, and provide support structures to advance their careers on the national level,” says Elysa Voshell, Executive Director at Minnesota Center for Book Arts.


Book artists blend disciplines such as bookbinding, letterpress printing, papermaking, screen printing, typography, and collage to create new structures and interpretations of the book. MCBA serves as a regional and national hub for new and practicing book artists, offering studio space, workshops, exhibitions, and events that champion these foundational art forms.


Fellows must have been a Minnesota resident one year prior to applying and must maintain residency during their fellowship year. Eligible candidates for the McKnight Fellowship for Book Arts will be at a stage in their career that is beyond emerging, meaning they will have already created a substantial body of work over a sustained period of time. Minnesota Center for Book Arts will administer the selection process next spring, as well as oversee programming throughout the year.


The $25,000 awards are unrestricted, allowing artists to set aside time for study, reflection, opportunities, new projects, experimentation, and exploration. Each fellow will benefit from Artist Collective membership during their fellowship year, which grants unlimited access to MCBA’s letterpress, papermaking, and binding studios.

Due to the rarity, expense, and scale of historical book arts equipment, open studio access is especially important to the advancement of book artists compared to those working in other disciplines. “Even for mid-career artists, the cost and space requirements of outfitting a studio can be prohibitive. Not everyone has a Vandercook press in their basement that they can print on, let alone an entire library of typefaces,” says Voshell.

Fellows will also receive studio visits from a national artist or critic in the field, funding for professional digital documentation of their artwork, a travel honorarium to attend a conference, and the opportunity to attend an artist residency. The two book arts fellows will also be featured participants of a public artist panel held at Open Book, the building that houses MCBA.

MCBA joins 12 other art organizations who partner with the McKnight Foundation annually and represent 14 disciplines ranging from dance and composition to writing and ceramics. The application period will be open from December 1, 2019 to March 1, 2020. Winners will be announced in May 2020. 

Recent Publications | August 26, 2019

London — During Japan’s Edo period, an era in which art and literature flourished, Kitagawa Utamaro (c.1754–1806) rose to fame as one of Japan’s most highly regarded artists and printmakers. Alongside his contemporaries Hiroshige and Hokusai, Utamaro was an acknowledged master of ukiyo-e (pictures of the Floating World).

Although he is now renowned for bijin o ̄kubi-e, pictures of beautiful women, it is Utamaro’s Studies from Nature, rarely seen and never before reproduced in facsimile, that reveal his unique artistic genius. These five superbly illustrated books of insects, shells and birds, designed between 1788 and 1790 and amongst Utamaro’s earliest known works, display his talent for pairing strong composition with a delicacy of design, his keen power of observation and eye for detail, and his skill in rendering the beauty of nature with subtlety and graceful simplicity.

More than just precursors to Utamaro’s later art, these extraordinary volumes established his name, assured his future artistic career and prefigured subsequent developments in Japanese art.

These beautiful books are designed to be read in the traditional Japanese style from back cover to front, and from right to left across the page. In each, Utamaro’s elegant illustrations, as interesting to the naturalist as they are to lovers of art and poetry, are paired with kyo ̄ka: playful, erudite and often erotic poems on the sentiments of love, composed by some of the form’s most prominent poets.

Bringing together the skill of the artist and the era’s best writers, printers and bookbinders, the five exquisite volumes that comprise Studies from Nature – the two-volume The Book of Crawling Creatures, the single-volume Gifts of the Ebb Tide and the two-volume The Book of Myriad Birds – are considered the ne plus ultra of the colour woodblock printer’s art and the art of bookmaking of the period and, in fact, surpass most craft bookmaking today.

The Folio Society has printed from amongst the finest surviving first editions – luxury items in their own time and now treasures of the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum – reproducing each element with absolute fidelity to create this magnificent facsimile. This remarkable publication is accompanied by an in-depth commentary which includes a full translation and essays on the poetry, the artist and the culture of the Floating World.

John T. Carpenter, who formerly taught Japanese art history at SOAS, University of London and is now curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has written fascinating translations of all the poems, revised for this edition. His accompanying notes reveal verses that are rich in wordplay and allusion to traditional waka (court poetry) and other East Asian classical literature as well as giving information about the flora and fauna depicted.

Following the translations is a newly commissioned essay ‘The Literary Dimension of Utamaro’s Illustrated Poetry Books on Natural Themes’, which provides the perfect introduction to the period’s kyo ̄ka movement. In it, Carpenter notes that the books ‘have achieved fame for their pictorial and technical brilliance, but the volumes should equally be recognised for their distinguished literary content’. Many of the most influential poetry masters of the day contributed kyo ̄ka verses using the form as a means of intellectual escape.

Project curator, in the Japanese Section of the Department of Asia at the British Museum, Alfred Haft has written an essay setting Utamaro’s images in the context of wider trends in Japanese art, and explaining how the three titles ‘epitomise the informed, aesthetically refined and broad-minded culture of the Floating World’.

The author of Lost Japan, and expert on Japanese culture and art, Alex Kerr provides the final piece in the commentary volume considering the enigmatic allure of both Utamaro and his enchanting illustrations of insects, shells and birds.

Production Details

Five high-quality reproductions plus commentary volume printed and bound, largely by hand, in the UK in a cloth-covered presentation box lined with printed paper and tied with grosgrain ribbon Two volumes of The Book of Crawling Creatures: Japanese sewn binding Gifts of the Ebb Tide and two volumes of The Book of Myriad Birds: bound in concertina style

All five volumes bound in Twist paper printed with original designs redrawn by Neil Gower

Printed paper labels with titles in English and in Japanese script

Illustrations and poems printed on Papermilk paper 100 pages in total 103⁄4 ̋x 81⁄4 ̋ Limitation certificate wrapped in Japanese Watermark Unryu paper Commentary bound in Twist paper blocked in gold 160 pages printed on Abbey Pure paper

The facsimile is limited to 500 copies

UK £495.00 US $795.00 Can $995.00 Aus $1,120.00



Auctions | August 22, 2019
Courtesy of Nate D. Sanders

Los Angeles – An inscribed first edition, first printing of Alcoholics Anonymous by AA founder Bill Wilson will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on August 29, 2019.

There are only 1,900 surviving first printings of Alcoholics Anonymous. Copies signed by Bill Wilson are extraordinarily rare. Wilson signed this copy on the front pastedown to his friends Dr. and Mrs. Forrist V. Haley, in full: ''My Dear Friends / Dr & Myrle Haley / Whose devotion has meant so much to so many - / As Ever / Bill Wilson / 11/21/43''. Bidding on the book begins at $19,500.

Additional information on the book can be found at

Also going under the hammer are: another first edition, first printing of Alcoholics Anonymous, a Bill Wilson signed copy of Alcoholics Anonymous / The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism and a Bill Wilson signed copy of AA Today.

Additional information can be found at:

Exhibit | August 21, 2019
Courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Unknown maker. Gold miners with sluice, California, ca. 1852. Daguerreotype, quarter plate, 3 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches.

Kansas City, Missouri — From the moment the first cry of “Gold!” was heard at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, thousands of people made the journey to California to find their fortune. Daguerreotypists also made their way west, not in search of gold, but to capitalize on the ready market of potential customers. Golden Prospects: California Gold Rush Daguerreotypes opens at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City Sept. 6.

“The California Gold Rush was the first broadly significant event in American history to be documented in depth by photography,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “This revealing exhibition utilizes the Nelson-Atkins deep collection of American daguerreotypes, providing an insightful look at this historic event through the eyes of the earliest photographers.”

The exhibition features more than 90 daguerreotypes (and ambrotypes) of the California gold rush.  Studios were established in the larger cities, but some adventuresome daguerreotypists traveled into the gold fields in photographically outfitted wagons. Images were taken of miners working in the gold fields using various mining technologies, large-scale riverbed and hydraulic mining operations, small gold towns, and the rapidly expanding cities of San Francisco and Sacramento. Inside, studio portraits were taken of miners.

“The California gold rush exposed many complicated issues that have continued relevance today, including immigration policy, water rights, and environmentally devastating mining practices,” said Jane Aspinwall, Associate Curator, Photography.

“California daguerreotypists were documenting essentially new territory: both the physical landscape and the region’s unprecedented mix of races and nationalities were unfamiliar.”

Gold rush daguerreotypes provide an extraordinary glimpse into the transformation of the American West: the evolution of mining technology, the diversity of nationalities and races, the growth of cities and towns, and the people who participated in these activities—while revealing a high level of technical and artistic accomplishment. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. An audio tour that tells the stories of the Gold Rush is easily accessed on the Smartify app. It runs at the Nelson-Atkins through Jan. 26, 2020. It then travels to the Peabody Essex Museum (4/4–7/12/20) and Yale University Art Gallery (8/28–11/29/20).

News | August 21, 2019

California — Most great collectors started when they were young, and most great collections started with a passion for a particular object or subject. When these objects are books and manuscripts, the collectors are called bibliophiles, or lovers of the book.
The purpose of The California Young Book Collector’s Prize is to nurture the next generation of bibliophiles. The competition is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome, no matter their monetary value or subject. The collections will be judged on their thoroughness, the approach to their subject, and the seriousness which with the collector has catalogued his or her material.
The winner of the competition will be awarded:

    •    A gift certificate of $500 to spend at the 2020 California International Antiquarian Book Fair
    •    An exhibition of the winner’s collection to be presented in a showcase at the book fair
    •    A stipend of $250 towards exhibition expenses (to help cover travel costs, showcase labels, and insurance)
    •    A year’s membership to the Book Club of California
    •    A year’s membership to the Bibliographical Society of America
    •    A year’s subscription to The Book Collector
    •    A year’s subscription to Fine Books & Collections

The deadline for receipt of submissions is December 1st, 2019, and the winner will be notified by January 6th, 2020. The exhibit will be at the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair held in Pasadena, CA, from February 7-9, 2020. The winner will be responsible for insuring his or her collection and for setting-up their exhibition on February 6th and taking it down on the evening of February 9th. The showcase will be for exhibition only; no parts of the collection can be offered for sale during the fair. Because this year’s book fair will be held in Pasadena, the jury will be comprised of the executive committee of the Southern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.
To participate, please submit the following materials as a pdf file:
·       Your age and contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, and email.
·       A list of no more than twenty entries from the catalogue of your collection.
·       A statement of no more than 1000 words concerning your collection. This should include a summary of your collection; your reason for forming the collection; a description of one or two of your most prized items (supported by photographs); and a description of a few desiderata, those works that you lack, but hope to find one day to add to your collection. All items in the collection must be owned by you, the collector.
Past first prize winners are not eligible, however, all past applicants and second and third place winners may apply.

Sponsored by the Southern & Northern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.
Submissions must be received by December 1, 2019. Please submit materials as a PDF file to Jen Johnson, Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA, at