Rumor has it that the future of the hand-held, hard or soft-covered book will be less appealing as the progress of internet technology continues to surprise and challenge the user of the latest technology gadgets. But, one cannot deny the appeal of the one-of-a-kind, traditionally and/or innovative bound books displayed in an annual exhibit now on view. The Skylight Gallery in the Main San Francisco Library (100 Larkin Street at Grove) is hosting this Hand Bookbinders of California exhibition from June 18 - September 6, 2013.
To see sample images for hand bookmakers, take a look at this website. The images include photos of ingeniously bound books, tools, artists at work and community members.
The Hand Bookbinders of California (HBC) gathered for the first time in 1972. HBC membership is open to everyone and includes students, book designers and makers, collectors, conservators, paper artists, printers and printmakers, writers, book sales people and all lovers of the book arts.
Membership in HBC includes invitations to lectures, social activities, exhibitions, field trips and workshops which are held at either the San Francisco Center for the Book or in an artist's studio.
The Skylight Gallery in the S.F. library is devoted to displaying book arts. As one enters the 6th floor gallery one sees paper reproductions of decorative Japanese papers hung on dowels along the walls. The books on display are unique artworks and are presented under transparent cases. This is a bit frustrating for book lovers; this person likes to hold the book, turn the pages and feel the fabric of the covers and pages. But, after a moment it is easy to ignore the cases and enjoy, by sight alone, the varieties of bound books exhibited. Books on display range from works completed in the early 1900's to the present. Bindings and pages shown include traditional materials and styles to inspired, original tooled and illustrated books.
This gallery show intensely exposes the beauty of the printed book. Anyone who appreciates visual art and the joy of getting lost in a book should go see this exhibit.