October 2019

Christie’s Announces Sale of John Nash's Nobel Prize and Rare Documents

Courtesy of Christie's

John Forbes Nash, Jr., 1994. Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Estimate: $500,000–800,000. Sold to Benefit The John Nash Trust.

New York – Christie’s is pleased to announce the 25 October sale of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to John Forbes Nash, Jr. for his contributions to Game Theory (estimate: $500,000–800,000). The prize is housed in its original red morocco gilt case lettered “J.F. Nash” and comes with the Nobel Prize Diploma in its tan morocco gilt portfolio and original suede-lined blue cloth clamshell box.

Additionally, handwritten documents from Nash will be sold and include a c.1940s Bluefield, West Virginia high school trigonometry paper (estimate: $800–1,200) replete with encouraging words from Nash’s teacher, which the mathematician retained for the rest of his life. On the lined paper, the teacher writes to the nascent thinker: “I think you will really go places if you would only organize your work — otherwise your talent will be wasted.” On the verso he continues, “Remember: Your work is only useful insofar as it may be of use to other people.”

Other documents being offered include a group of rare 1950s offprints from Nash’s personal library — two of them annotated — illustrating his first great contributions to Game Theory (estimate: $2,500 – 3,500), a first edition of Nash’s 1951 doctoral thesis (estimate: $3,000 – 5,000), and a handwritten lecture on the history of Game Theory Nash gave at Princeton University in the 2000s (estimate: $2,000 – 3,000). Each of the lots in the group will be sold to benefit The National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nash was known for his decades-long battle with schizophrenia.

Christie’s will also be offering the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to Reinhard Selten for refining Nash’s work (estimate: $200,000 – 300,000). A portion of proceeds from the sale of this lot will be donated to the California Institute of Technology.


University Archives’ Nov. 5 Online Auction to Feature Historical Documents & Pop Culture

Courtesy of University Archives

Leather-bound ledger from 1769-1770, a paymaster’s account book from a New York regiment that remained loyal to King George III during the American Revolution. Est. $10,000-12,000.

Westport, CT – A scarce first pressing of the 1963 album With the Beatles, signed by all four members of the group, a two-page letter written around 1895 by French artist Paul Gauguin, an Apollo 11 lunar color photo signed by all three astronauts on the mission, an 1833 copperplate engraving of the Declaration of Independence and a Walt Disney-signed animation cel depicting Mickey Mouse as an Argentine gaucho will all come up for bid on Tuesday, November 5th.

They’re just a few of the expected top lots in a stellar collection of manuscripts, rare books and Apollo-related items to be sold in an online-only auction by University Archives, at 10:30 am Eastern time. Categories include aviation and space, art, music, Americana, science, foreign leaders and royalty, business and finance and more. In all, 264 premier lots will come up for bid.

The catalog has already been posted online and bidding is available via LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. The auction is packed with an important selection of autographed documents, manuscripts, books and photos. Folks can visit the website and browse the catalog now at www.UniversityArchives.com.

“Attention history lovers and holiday shoppers,” announced John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “The November 5th auction represents a remarkable – and affordable – sampling of rare items in many collecting categories. Maybe you can’t afford a genuine artwork by Monet, Degas, Matisse or Gauguin but you can own these artists’ autographed letters for a fraction of the price.”

Reznikoff continued, “Not planning on traveling to the moon anytime soon? Not to worry, you can purchase the autographs of the most famous astronauts and cosmonauts who actually did. Washington, D.C. might be too far away to visit, but you can consider acquiring early engravings of the Declaration of Independence produced by Huntington, Stone, Tyler and Binn instead.”

He added, “Have you ever wanted to visit the Great Pyramids or the Sphinx? Save the airfare and buy an authenticated piece of each. Eager to own mementos from the bygone age of rock ’n roll? How about a Beatles album signed by all four Beatles, Woody Guthrie’s hand-inscribed lyrics, or Buddy Holly’s stage-worn tie clip? We have a huge array of fine holiday gift options like these.”

The first pressing monaural copy of the album With the Beatles (later renamed Meet the Beatles) is signed by all four of the lads from Liverpool and is expected to realize $10,000-$12,000. The album has the misspelled song You Really Gotta Hold On Me on the back album sleeve. With the Beatles was released on November 22, 1963 – the very day President Kennedy was assassinated.

An identical estimate of $10,000-$12,000 has been given to the Apollo 11 lunar photo signed by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. The color photo – showing Buzz Aldrin gazing at the American flag while standing on the surface of the moon – is beautifully matted and comes with a letter of authenticity from a former employee of NASA. It’s also accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from Zarelli Space Authentication. Also, a rare black and white photograph depicting six early Russian cosmonauts, signed by all six in Cyrillic along the lower margin (including Russia’s first man in space, Yuri Gagarin), 9 inches by 5 ½ inches, with several certificates of authenticity, should sell for $2,000-$2,400.

The two-page letter handwritten in French and signed by renowned French artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), was penned two months before his final departure for Tahiti and right after his split from his wife (who he possibly refers to in the letter as “the little snake”). The letter, with the original envelope, is presented in a handsome mat along with a reproduction of a Gauguin self-portrait (est. $15,000-$17,000).

The copperplate engraving of the Declaration of Independence, printed on thin wove paper in 1833, as the country’s 50th anniversary of independence from Great Britain approached, has an estimate of $15,000-$17,000. It’s imprinted bottom left, “W.J. Stone SC Washn” (William J. Stone for Peter Force, Washington, D.C.) and housed in a frame measuring 32 ¾ inches by 37 ½ inches.

The circa 1940 Walt Disney-signed animation cel with original background art depicting Mickey Mouse as an Argentine gaucho is from the studio’s south-of-the-border features – the result of a goodwill tour of Latin America by Disney himself. The limited-edition framed and matted cel, inscribed “To Michael R. Nex, all Best Wishes, Walt Disney,” should rise to $3,000-$3,500.

A one-page letter written and signed by then-President elect Abraham Lincoln, dated Jan. 24, 1861, addressed to Ulysses Doubleday (the brother of baseball’s Abner Doubleday), regarding the tense situation in Charleston’s harbor just three months before the firing on Fort Sumter, is estimated to reach $10,000-$12,000; as is a leather-bound ledger from 1769-1770, signed by over 200 soldiers from the New York 16th Regiment of Foot. It’s a paymaster’s account book from a regiment that would remain loyal to King George III during the American Revolution.

Two lots with roots in France share estimates of $3,000-$3,500 each. The first is a two-page letter written in French and signed by the Impressionist painter Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), penned in November 1907 to the art critic Felix Feneon, and beautifully matted alongside a color reproduction of one of Monet’s water lily studies. The second is a three-page letter written and signed by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), also in French, in 1807, regarding the Polish Campaign, War of the 4th Coalition.

A letter signed by Winston Churchill in 1936, addressed to the chief copy editor for his publishers, in which Churchill sends more chapters for Volume III of the four-volume biography of his ancestor, John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), should garner $3,000-$4,000. Also, a two-page letter written and signed by Eli Whitney in 1802, eight years after he invented the cotton gin, possibly regarding Savannah cotton contacts, has an estimate of $2,000-$2,400.

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call Mr. Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at john@universityarchives.com.

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by Mr. Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.
For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, November 5th online-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com. For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.


First Photograph of a Living Animal on View at Hans Kraus Fine Photographs

Courtesy of Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs

Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey’s Rome, Forum, Boeufs, 1842. Quarter plate daguerreotype.

New York — In conjunction with a new exhibition that highlights animals in photography, the search is on for the earliest photograph ever made of an animal. By Hoof, Paw, Wing or Fin: Creatures in Photographs, on view through November 15, 2019 at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs, explores some of the ways in which photographers have represented animals over the course of the medium’s history.
A few days before the show opened in September, a contender for the first photograph of an animal arrived quite unexpectedly at the gallery. The daguerreotype, by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, depicts cattle reclining by their carts in the Roman Forum or at a cattle market in Rome.
According to the chronology established by Stephen Pinson in Monumental Journey, the Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019), one of de Prangey’s first stops on his Mediterranean journey was Rome from April to July 1842. Since it appears that this was the only time he worked in Rome, this daguerreotype of cattle can be precisely dated April to July 1842, and is possibly the earliest firmly dated photograph of any animal.
Rome, Forum, Boeufs was not included in the remarkable Girault de Prangey exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum (30 January - 12 May 2019). The exhibition By Hoof, Paw, Wing or Fin at Hans P. Kraus Fine Photographs marks the first time this daguerreotype has been on public view.


Autograph Book Sells for $12,500 at Auction of Robert Osborne's Hollywood Memorabilia

Courtesy of Grant Zahajko Auctions

Two pages from Robert Osborne’s personal copy of the 1979 book he authored titled 50 Golden Years of Oscar®: The Official History of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Book contains 383 autographs of Oscar winners and nominees. Pages shown here were signed by stars of Gone With The Wind. Sold for $12,500.

Davenport, WA – An Oscar® statuette awarded in 1936 to acclaimed art director Richard Day led the lineup of Hollywood memorabilia sold by Grant Zahajko Auctions on October 10, capturing a winning bid of $50,000. The Oscar® was the most highly prized item in the personal collection of the late Robert Osborne, best known as the quietly authoritative host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

The Oscar® was awarded to Richard Day for his work on the 1935 film The Dark Angel, starring Fredric March and Merle Oberon. Day was nominated for 20 Academy Awards® between the years 1930 and 1970, and won seven, including Best Art Direction for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and On the Waterfront (1954).

“We were honored to represent the heirs of Robert Osborne and to be able to bring an Oscar to the marketplace,” said Grant Zahajko, owner of Grant Zahajko Auctions in Davenport, Washington. “The sale of Oscars is strictly controlled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and it’s always exciting for collectors when they have an opportunity to bid on one.” The new owner of the Oscar® statuette has chosen to remain anonymous.

Another key item in the collection was Robert Osborne’s personal copy of the 1979 book he authored, 50 Golden Years of Oscar®: The Official History of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For decades, Osborne sought and secured the autographs of Oscar®-winning stars at red carpet and other media events. The autographs were signed on pages specific to the films for which the stars had won their awards. The book contained no fewer than 383 signatures and sold for $12,500.

In spite of a snowstorm that passed through the Spokane area the day before the auction, the gallery event was very well attended and also attracted heavy bidding via the Internet. Many collectors reveled in the Osborne collection’s abundance of rare movie studio publicity stills, including a photo of Hollywood’s first Chinese-American film star, Anna May Wong, which sold for $1,000. A fully authenticated, autographed photo of Babe Ruth from the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees commanded a winning bid of $11,250.

Part II of the Robert Osborne collection will be auctioned on November 7. To contact Grant Zahajko Auctions for comment or to enquire about future auctions, call 509-725-5600 or email info@gzauctions.com. Online: www.gzauctions.com.


Breakout Sale of Old Master Drawings at Swann November 5

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Ludovico Carracci, St. Luke, red chalk, circa 1585-88. Estimate $8,000-12,000.

New York — In addition to Swann Galleries’ biannual sale of Old Master Through Modern Prints, the house will offer a curated sale of Old Master Drawings on November 5. The auction traces the development of draftsmanship over several centuries from late-Gothic, early-Renaissance works of the fifteenth century, to Baroque and Rococo drawings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The Italian Renaissance is represented by early-sixteenth-century studies of eagles ($4,000-6,000); Christ’s Charge to Peter from the circle of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, based on one of Raphael’s cartoons painted as designs for tapesties ($5,000-8,000); and Ludovico Carracci’s St. Luke, red chalk, circa 1585-88 ($8,000-12,000).

Baroque works of note include The Holy Spirit Appearing to St. Gregory, red chalk, late 1640s, by Il Guercino, offered at $8,000 to $12,000; and Scenes from the Battle of Vienna: A Pair, pen and wash, circa 1685, by Francesco Monti, Il Brescianino—expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. Pietro Antonio Novelli’s A Young Woman Washing Linen, pen and ink, is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.

A collection of nineteenth-century French works on paper from the estate of the esteemed New York art dealer Eric Carlson, who specialized in French academic and realist drawings, complements the offerings of earlier works. Highlights from the selection are Théodore Géricault’s preparatory drawing for the same-titled lithograph La Giaour, pen, ink and pencil, 1820 ($7,000-10,000); Notre Dame and the Île de la Cité, Paris, watercolor, 1864, by Louis-Adolphe Hervier ($2,000-3,000); and an 1859 color pastel work A Landscape at Dusk with Rolling Hills by Joseph Alfred Belelt du Poisat ($1,000-1,500). Of particular note is an 1833 ink, wash and pencil study by Eugène Delacroix ($3,000-5,000). The preparatory work was created for the allegorical decorations of the Salon du Roi in the Palais Bourbon in Paris—his first large-scale government commission.

Additional French works include two circa-1820 pencil drawings by Delacroix, apparently loosely based on figures in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes, offered at $7,000 to $10,000. Laurent de la Hyre’s black chalk and pencil preparatory drawing St. Peter Healing the Sick, for his 1635 painting May de Notre Dame, is available at $15,000 to $20,000. Henri-Edmond Cross’s pointalist watercolor The Sower, circa 1890, is expected to bring $15,000 to $20,000. Dutch, Flemish, German and English draughtsmen round out the stellar offering.

Exhibition opening in New York City October 25. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.


Rare Jesse James Letter Highlights Bonhams Sale

Courtesy of Bonhams

Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James") denying accusations of being a horse thief. Estimate: $200,000-300,000

New York – An extremely rare, documented letter of outlaw Jesse James highlights Bonhams sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts on October 23. This letter is one of only three known to exist outside the family. It has an estimate of $200,000-300,000.
Darren Sutherland, Bonhams Specialist of Books & Manuscripts, comments: “This is everything you'd want in a Jesse James letter - the protest of innocence and the simmering threat. James letters are very rare in the market with all but a few examples with the family.”
Jesse W. James, one of America’s most notorious outlaws, writes a heated letter to Mr. Flood, who accuses Jesse and his brother Frank had stolen a horse from Dr. William J. Yates. “...Do you suppose if we were thieves we would Steal a horse from one that has been so kind to Mother as Dr Yates has no far from it ... and they are no men in Mo. who scurn horse thieves more than we do & if we were free men we would do all in our power to put it down Clint Allen of Liberty made Similar remarks about us to Sam Wardin a few days ago but he will probily regret it ... if you value your life you had better retrace your Slander. Jesse W. James.”
On January 25, 1875, the James's farm in Kearney, Missouri, was raided, and James’s 9-year old half-brother Archie was killed and his mother Zerelda Samuel lost her right arm. One of the first doctors to arrive was William G. Yates. James's debt to Dr. Yates is on display in the letter, and it is significant that he employs Yates, whose stolen horse is in question, to deliver the letter to Flood.



Booker Prize Shortlisted Novels in Unique Bindings on Show at Bonhams

Courtesy of The Booker Prize

Winner Margaret Atwood with her specially bound edition of The Testaments, bound by Stephen Conway.

London — The six shortlisted novels for the Booker Prize 2019 will be on public display at Bonhams Knightsbridge this October, in unique bindings designed for them by Fellows of Designer Bookbinders. The bound books, which were presented to the finalists at the Awards ceremony on 14 October, will be on show in the foyer of Bonhams, Montpelier Street from Wednesday 16 October – Friday 1 November (9.00 – 17.30 weekdays; 11.00–15.00 Sundays. Closed Saturdays).

The joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize were, Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo (binding by Sue Doggett), and The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (binding by Stephen Conway). The Booker Prize has been jointly awarded twice before, to Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton in 1974 and to Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth in 1992. In 1993, the rules were changed so that only one author could win the prize. This is the first time since then that two authors have been announced as joint-winners. The 2019 winners will share the £50,000 prize money.

The four other novels on the sort list, with the name of the Designer Bookbinders Fellows in bold, were:

    •    Quichotte by Salman Rushdie: Mark Cockram
    •    10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak: Angela James
    •    Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann: Tom McEwan
    •    An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma: Nicky Oliver

Hand-bound fine bindings can take many months to complete, but with the Booker Prize the Fellows must execute the twenty-five stages involved in the four to five weeks between the announcement of the shortlist and the Awards ceremony.

Also on display, will be some bindings by Philip Smith (1928-2018), including an enormous “book wall” tower of Dante’s Inferno, and a number of bindings for Booker Prize shortlisted novels from previous years.


The Morgan Library Receives Collection of 18th-Century French Manuscripts and Bindings

Photography by Janny Chiu, 2019.

Binding by Jacques-Antoine Derome for Marie Leczinska, with the queen's arms under mica. Le Pseautier de David, traduit en francois, avec des notes courtes, tirées de S. Augustin, & des autres Peres. Nouvelle edition, Paris: Chez Louis Josse et Charles Robustel, 1725. W 1028.

New York — The Morgan Library & Museum announced today the acquisition of an unparalleled collection of eighteenth-century French manuscripts and bindings bequeathed earlier this year by Mrs. Jayne Wrightsman in honor of her dear friend and longtime Morgan board member Mrs. Annette de la Renta. This gift builds on J. Pierpont Morgan’s original holdings and complements other important collections, such as the French illustrated books bequeathed to the Morgan by Gordon N. Ray and the French literary classics donated by the Heineman Foundation.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Jayne Wrightsman assembled one of the greatest collections of eighteenth-century French bindings in private hands, perhaps second only to the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor. Her achievements as a book collector were recognized by the Roxburghe Club, which elected her to be one of its forty members. J. Pierpont Morgan was the first American to receive that honor, and he too acquired important bindings of that era.

Mrs. Wrightsman recognized the important role bookbinding played in the decorative arts and the cultural life of the ancien régime. Elaborately embellished bindings with armorial bearings signaled the rank, wealth, taste, and learning of titled bibliophiles. Many of the Wrightsman bindings are works of art in their own right and were displayed in her stately apartment in conjunction with complementary decorative arts and furniture, often from the same period. Some of the bindings have been attributed to Luc-Antoine Boyet, Antoine-Michel Padeloup, Nicolas-Denis Derome, and other proprietors of workshops active in the eighteenth century.

“It is a great honor to receive such an extensive gift of eighteenth-century French manuscripts and bindings from a long time supporter of the Morgan, Mrs. Jayne Wrightsman,” states Colin B. Baily, Director of the Morgan Library and Museum. “Mrs. Wrightsman’s bequest is an incomparable addition to the Morgan’s collections. We look forward to displaying these treasures in the near future.”

Among the illustrated books are the two great editions of La Fontaine: the four-volume folio with plates after Jean-Baptiste Oudry and the “Fermiers Généraux” two-volume octavo with plates after Charles Eisen, both bound in gilt-tooled dentelle morocco. Also included are books on politics, religion, court entertainments, music, and military strategy. Altogether, the collection contains 19 manuscripts, 149 printed books in 177 volumes, and 10 watercolors of botanical subjects.


Rembrandt Etchings from the John Villarino Collection Coming up at Swann

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Rembrandt van Rijn's A Beggar Seated on a Bank, 1630. From the John Villarino Collection. Estimate $20,000-30,000.

New York — Old Master Through Modern Prints at Swann Galleries on Tuesday, October 29 will offer an important selection of prints by Rembrandt van Rijn. Also on offer are works from European and American virtuosos.

Rembrandt etchings from the John Villarino Collection form the cornerstone of the Old Master offering. In 1995 Villarino turned his collecting tastes toward Rembrandt as he recognized the profound influence the Dutch artist had on the works of later artists. Villarino was captivated by a small etching saying, “I saw his eyes, and the look was, ‘I’m going to conquer the world.’” Highlights from the collection include A Beggar Seated on a Bank, 1630, likely an early self-portrait in the guise of a beggar ($20,000-30,000); Sheet of Studies, with a Woman Lying Ill in Bed, etc., circa 1641-42 ($25,000-35,000); and The Rat Catcher, 1632 ($12,000-18,000). Additional etchings by the Dutch master include some of the earliest dated landscapes by the artist: Landscape with a Cottage and Haybarn: Oblong, 1641 ($60,000-90,000)—one of his most sought-after landscape etchings—and Landscape with a Cottage and a Large Tree, 1641 ($40,000-60,000).

Further Old Master printmakers include Albrecht Dürer, who leads the sale with a 1504 engraving Adam and Eve at $80,000 to $120,000, and Lucas Cranach with The Judgement of Paris, woodcut, 1508, at $15,000 to $20,000.

European prints include Paul Klee’s etchings Der Held mit dem Flügel—Inv. 2, 1905, an early etching (of which only three impressions have been found at auction in the past 30 years) ($70,000-100,000), and Höhe!, 1928 ($60,000-90,000). Career-spanning works from Pablo Picasso are on offer with Taureau ailé conteplé par Quatre Enfants, a 1934 etching from the Vollard Suite, at $25,000 to $35,000, and a 1962 color linoleum cut Portrait de Jacqueline en Carmen (L’Espagnole), at $35,000 to $50,000. Edvard Munch’s lithograph based on the 1895 painting of the same name, Der Tod im Krankenzimmer, 1896, is available at $40,000 to $60,000.

Exemplary works from the nineteenth century feature Mary Cassatt’s In the Opera Box (No. 3), etching, 1880, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s Aux Ambassadeurs—Chanteuse au Café-Concert, color lithograph, 1894, which is expected to bring $15,000 to $20,000.

American printmakers are led by a run of drypoints by Martin Lewis that offer a study in chiaroscuro. Of note is Shadow Dance, 1930 ($30,000-50,000); Spring Night, Greenwich Village, 1930 ($15,000-20,000); and Chance Meeting, 1940-41 ($7,000-10,000). Color woodcuts by Edna Boies Hopkins and Gustave Baumann also feature.

Exhibition opening in New York City October 24. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.


MCBA Announces Jerome Book Arts Fellows

Courtesy of the MCBA

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to announce the recipients of our fifteenth series of the MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowships:

    •    Austin Nash, printmaking
    •    Shun Jie Yong, photography
    •    Collaborative team Sarah Evenson and Jade Herrick, illustration and printmaking

Three jurors, reflecting diverse perspectives and expertise, reviewed the 29 applications received to select the winning fellows. They were: Tricia Heuring, Director and Curator of Public Functionary and Studio 400 in Minneapolis; Aki Shibata, artist and past MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship recipient; and Keith Taylor, photographer and past MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Mentorship recipient.

With generous funding from the Jerome Foundation and technical guidance from MCBA, the Fellowship recipients will develop new independent projects throughout the coming year. The program culminates in a group exhibition at MCBA opening in November 2020.

“It was an amazing experience to have a large-scale, long-term project to work on, and the resources to do it," said Eric Gjerde, recipient of an MCBA/Jerome Fellowship in 2015-16. "Nothing helps motivate artistic focus and inspiration more than a deadline, the appeal of a public exhibition, and finances to make the work come into being. This was my first time with such a large undertaking and I learned a great deal from the process—about myself as an artist, about streamlining workflows for larger-scale projects, and about refining concepts for large endeavors. I value the experience I had and I am tremendously grateful for it.”

Since 1985, MCBA has partnered with the Jerome Foundation to help early career artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new work. Under the previous fourteen series of fellowships and seven series of mentorships, this program has served Minnesota artists of diverse disciplines, including printers, papermakers, bookbinders, painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, choreographers, filmmakers and others. With projects ranging from exquisitely-crafted fine press volumes and documented performances to one-of-a-kind installations, Minnesota early career artists have created work that breaks the bindings and redefines conventional notions of book form and content.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.