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In Focus

Robert The's Bookbrush

Beyond the Codex: Sculptural Book Objects in the Arts of the Book Collection

September 29, 2014 - February 20, 2015

The Arts of the Book Collection strives to document the many trends in the field of the book arts.  One such trend comprises artists who challenge the traditional codex format with unexpected sculptural renderings.  This exhibition showcases sculptural bookworks as well as more traditional books made by artists with sculptural works included in two related exhibitions opening November 7: Odd Volumes at the Yale University Art Gallery and Connecticut (un)Bound at Artspace.

[Evert J. Bancker] by Henry Dawkins, circa 1754-1767, approximately 9.5 x 7.5 cm. Pearson-Lowenhaupt Collection of English and American Bookplates (BKP 30)

Evert J. Bancker (1721-1803) was a New York City merchant and later became speaker of the New York State Assembly. His Chippendale-styled armorial bookplate, engraved by Henry Dawkins (active circa 1753), includes a shield with a figure resembling the number 4. Merchants, masons, and other artisans have a long tradition of using personalized marks and seals. Variations on this figure date back hundreds of years, and multiple generations of Bancker family bookplates also bear this symbol.