New York—When Ralph Baione and Anthony Giammona were looking to donate their extensive collection of book binding tools and equipment, they learned of the Center for Book Arts and sought out the space. Baione paid a visit to the Center to see what it is all about. “It is important for me that these tools stay in use. If you send them to a museum, people can look at them, but they can’t use them,” Baione shared.
He spoke with Emilie Ahern, Audience Development Coordinator at the Center for Book Arts, to learn more about the programming offered at the Center. As soon as he saw the thriving community of students, instructors, residents, and renters, he knew the Center was “the perfect fit.”
The collection includes over 900 hand tools and over 120 brass wheels used for gold tooling and embossing. A book binder who rents studio space at the Center said, “Most book binders have maybe 10 to 15 of these tools in their collection over their lifetime. To have access to over 900 is just incredible.”
The Center for Book Arts will ensure that these tools go to good use. Through their educative and studio rental programs, the Center will include these tools in their classes and will also allow renters to use the tools for their own projects. “This equipment will not sit in a corner. We have created sample books of the patterns and designs and have already had renters start using the tools in their own work. We are excited to expand our offerings with this collection,” said Ahern.
In addition to the hand tools and brass wheels, the collection includes brass type to be used for foil stamping and embossing, a Kensol heat stamping machine, board shears to cut oversized paper and book board, and a leather skiving machine. “We are incredibly humbled and grateful to receive this generous donation,” Ahern shares, “It is not every day that a collection this large and in ready-to-use condition is bequeathed with the intent to be accessible to all.”
The Center for Book Arts offers studio rental programs, residency programs, book binding and letterpress education, book arts exhibitions and much more. Anyone interested in using these tools or learning how to use these tools can come by the Center during open hours or can call for more information.