News 2007-2008

Matt Brown wins NEH fellowship for 2009
February 2008
CBAA members

The Director of the UICB will study at the Library Company of Philadelphia in the spring of 2009, with the support of a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship will support research for his current book, The Novel and the Blank, an investigation of how the constraints of the print shop affected the literary culture and reading habits of colonial and early national America.

Julie Leonard joins the CBAA Board of Directors
January 2008

The UICB’s Bookbinding Specialist has been named to the College Book Art Association Board of Directors, joining sixteen other leading figures in the field. This new professional organization will serve the book arts community in academic and other institutional settings, providing networks for graduate students, faculty, curators, and independent artists and scholars. For more information about the CBAA, go to their website here.

The UICB helps present Iowa City’s UNESCO City of Literature application
December 2007

Center faculty Julie Leonard, Tim Barrett, and Cheryl Jacobsen created the box, paper, and lettering that is the artistic platform for Iowa City’s application to become the world’s second UNESCO “City of Literature,” along with Edinburgh, Scotland. Iowa City would join a range of other urban centers--Aswan, Egypt; Sante Fe, N.M.; Berlin, Germany; Montreal, Canada; Popayan, Colombia; Bologna, Italy; and Seville, Spain—in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. For more information and pictures of the UICB art, click here.

Gary Frost advises Peru archivists
November - December 2007
imag of a peruvian church

Conservator of the UI Libraries and UICB faculty member Frost has completed a two week consultancy in Arequipa, Peru where an exciting project is underway to conserve historical church libraries in this highland Colonial city. These libraries house collections spanning five centuries including materials produced in Peru where printing was introduced in the 16th century.

A rich educational agenda will integrate the libraries into a public educational role for the first time with a special focus on Peruvian book history and book crafts. On a parallel track, conservation and security measures will assure the long-term survival of the collections and their historical library furnishings. Earthquakes are routine, including one during Frost's visit. Pervasive volcanic dust also complicates long-term preservation. Frost assessed preservation risks, advising on protective exhibit and storage and conservation actions.

Cheryl Jacobsen commissioned for Iowa Arts Council grant at the University Hospitals
December 2007
color illuminated

Project Art of the University Hospitals will receive a $4800 grant to fund an art display by calligrapher Cheryl Jacobsen that will incorporate the phrases, thoughts and poems of patients, visitors and staff that describe the experience of healing. “Illuminated Voices” will consist of four paintings that will be displayed in a public space. The Iowa City Arts Council awards were two of 16 major project grants, totaling $105,000 across the state, to help fund arts projects that serve Iowans.

Certificate graduate Michael Chasar earns nations's best dissertation award
December 6, 2007
scrapbook frontispience
Frontispiece for radio host Tony Wons' scrapbook, 1930
University of Iowa English Ph.D. and UICB Certificate student Mike Chasar was presented with the 2007 “Distinguished Dissertation” award sponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools and Proquest/UMI Dissertation Publishing. Mike won first place for "Everyday Reading: U.S. Poetry and Popular Culture, 1880-1945,” a study of the material forms through which ordinary readers read and consumed verse. Selected above all other arts and humanities dissertations completed nationally over a two-year stretch (2005-07), his study of poetry scrapbooking, poetry radio broadcasts, and advertising poetry was honored at a CGS luncheon in Seattle. Mike is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the English department at the UI. Congratulations Mike!
Matt Brown gives talk at Harvard’s Book History Seminar
November 7, 2007
Mr. Pocket
A 17th-century “pocket” or purse, akin to what carried Mary Rowlandson’s Bible

The UICB Director presented the lecture “Books, Things, Mary Rowlandson, Us” at the Harvard Humanities Center’s history of the book seminar. Directed by Harvard faculty from the departments of history, religion, and literary studies, this interdisciplinary colloquium invites book scholars to present work in progress. Matt’s talk juxtaposed two contexts where the book is revered as an object, revered as much for what it is as what it says: the Bible within an English woman’s captivity during Metacom’s War of 1675-76 and the humanities monograph within contemporary academic cultures.

Certificate grads McCoy and Running land tenure-track jobs
November 2007
Blackout by Sarah McCoy
Sarah McCoy and Lee Running, recent graduates of the UICB, have combined their book art skills with Studio Art MFAs from the University of Iowa to pursue careers in higher ed. McCoy specializes in graphic design and typography and is an assistant professor at Drake University. Running is a paper artist and sculptor, teaching as an assistant professor at Grinnell College. Congratulations to Sarah and Lee!
Julie Leonard lectures at Arkansas Art Center
October 14

Arkansas Art Center

UICB faculty Julie Leonard will give the first lecture in the Friends of Contemporary Craft 2007-08 lecture series to be held at the Arkansas Art Center on October 14. She will give a slide presentation and participate in a conversation discussing her work as an artist and book binder. For more information click here.
Matt Brown publishes separate essays on disorderly reading and book arts theory
October 2007

Common-place has published the UICB Director’s essay “Undisciplined Reading” in the October 2007 issue, available on-line here. Forthcoming is another essay, “Book Arts and the Desire for Theory,” a response to the Action/Interaction conference held in Chicago (June 2007) and to be published in the Journal of Artists Books 22 (Fall 2007).

UICB’s Sara Langworthy wins co-first prize at Bright Hill
October 7 – 26

Morpho Terrestre by Sara Langworthy

UICB Printer-in-Residence Sara Langworthy is featured in and honored at the Sixth Annual North American Juried Book Arts Exhibit October 7 – 26 at Bright Hill Center’s Word and Image Gallery in Treadwell, New York. She has been awarded co-first prize for her work Morpho Terrestre along with Ohio artist Ben Blount's B is for Black: An Abecadarium of Black Culture. Click here for more information on Bright Hill Center.

Emily Martin exhibits in Kentucky and New York
Fine Arts Center, September 27 – October 26
Bright Hill Center, October 7 - 26

Sleepers, Dreamers and Screamers
by Emily Martin

UICB faculty member Emily Martin is featured in On Its Feet: Contemporary Letterpress Book Arts, one of two exhibitions to take place at the Fine Arts Center at Northern Kentucky University. The collaborative show, A Celebration of Letterpress: Two Exhibitions, includes the aforementioned On Its Feet as well as a second exhibition entitled Hatch Show Print: Work from the Great American Poster Shop. Emily Martin is also featured along wth the UICB's Sara Langworthy in the Sixth Annual North American Juried Book Arts Exhibit to take place October 7 – 26 at Bright Hill Center’s Word and Image Gallery in Treadwell, New York. Congratulations Emily!

UICB faculty and students feature at Oak Knoll Fest

October 6 - 7

Printing faculty Sara Langworthy and Sara Sauers, along with UICB Certificate students Pamela Olson, Lucy Brank, and Jessica White, attended the 14th annual Oak Knoll Book Fest in Newcastle, Delaware, October 6 – 7. They presented recent and classic work from the UICB studios and participated in the conference and exhibit. For more information on Oak Knoll, please click here.

Center helps turn UIMA’s “From Monks to Masters” into rousing success
July-October 2007

UICB faculty were featured speakers on the lecture program for the UIMA’s summer and fall exhibit, “From Monks to Masters: The Medieval Manuscript and the Early Printed Book.” Looking at a spectrum of ideas and practices, from early modern typography to manuscript culture in colonial America, the lectures displayed the wide-ranging, interdisciplinary inquiry typical of the Center. Talks on calligraphy by Cheryl Jacobsen and papermaking by Timothy Barrett drew crowds of between 70-80 people. Congrats to all involved!
Gary Frost to be guest speaker at international conservation conference

October 2007

University of Iowa Conservator, Gary Frost is an invited speaker at an international conference “Intervention Criteria in Book and Document Restoration” to be held in Pamplona, Spain, 18-19 October, 2007. He will speak on “Mobility and Function in Codex Bindings”.

Timothy Barrett pursues Newberry-funded research on historical papers
September 2007
Newberry Library
Newberry Library

Tim Barrett spent part of his fall at the Newberry Library, which provided him with a short term fellowship to conduct paper research. The Newberry work is part of Tim’s larger $186,000 IMLS-based research into the history of paper production and composition. While at the Newberry, Tim gave a talk titled “Portal to the Past- Non-destructive analysis of 15th-19th century papers” to a full house at the Newberry on September 26th.

Sara Langworthy and Julie Leonard exhibit at Apex Gallery

August 28 - September 28

Corruption by Julie Leonard

UICB faculty Sara Langworthy and Julie Leonard are featured in Pages: Artists Books and Prints, an exhibition at Apex Gallery in conjunction with the South Dakota Humanities Council Fifth Annual Festival of the Book. You can read more about the exhibition here.

Recent grad Mike Chasar wins prestigious dissertation prize
August 2007
Frontispiece to Tony Won's scrapbook
Frontispiece for radio host Tony Wons' scrapbook, 1930

Just minted with a Ph.D. in English and a Certificate from the Center for the Book, Mike Chasar has won the UI’s prestigious Spriestersbach award for the best dissertation in the humanities over the last two years. Entitled "Everyday Reading: U.S. Poetry and Popular Culture, 1880-1945,” the dissertation is splendidly aware of the material forms through which ordinary consumers enjoyed verse. Mike is especially alert to the phenomenon of scrapbooking, and he has collected a relevant archive of early 20th-century scrapbooks to augment his research. Currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the English department, Mike will see his dissertation go on as the nominee from the UI for the national Council of Graduate Schools Distinguished Dissertation Award. Congratulations Mike!

Cheryl Jacobsen earns award
August 2007
Caligraphy work by Cheryl Jacobsen
Only Echoes by Cheryl Jacobsen

Cheryl Jacobsen, adjunct assistant professor in the Center for the Book, has received second prize in an exhibition exploring the unique power of calligraphic artists to express personality and provoke thought through written forms. Calligraphy as Art: A Juried Show, sponsored by the Connecticut Valley Calligraphers & J. Vallee Brunelle Fine Art & Framing, runs August 10th through Sept 22nd, 2007 in Granby, CT . The Juror for the show was Gottfried Pott, formerly Professor of Calligraphy and Lettering Design at the University of Applied Science and Art at Hildesheim in Germany (1988-2003) and author of Schrift - Klang - Bild: The Music of Lettering, Workshop Impressions and Concerto, and Kalligrafie - Intensive Training.

Matt Brown’s book published
June 2007
The Pilgrim and the Bee by Matthew Brown

UICB Director Matthew P. Brown’s book, The Pilgrim and the Bee: Reading Rituals and Book Culture in Early New England, is now available. Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, The Pilgrim and the Bee describes the reading habits and mental world of English settlers in colonial New England. Illuminating a neglected canon of New England literature, Brown discusses devotional “steady sellers” within the rituals of church, home, fast, funeral, and mission. Based on archival research, he argues that seventeenth-century readers are both pilgrims—treating texts as continuous narratives of redemptive journeying—and bees—treating texts as flowers or hives, as spatial objects where information is extracted and deposited discontinuously. The book format nurtures the promise of growth and the pain of stasis that is the spiritual plight of the devout. Read more about Brown’s work here.