Thursday, October 6, 2016

San Francisco Theaters in the Spotlight

This year's One City One Book selection is Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater by Carey Perloff and the San Francisco History Center is getting in on the act with a display of photos and ephemera on San Francisco's A.C.T. theater as well as two "Hands on History" events this month.

The Geary Theater, 1910.
San Francisco Historical
Photograph Collection, SFPL
The lights are now up on an exhibit highlighting the history of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Located in the lower level of the main library, it features photographs, articles, and posters from the library's San Francisco History Center and the Art, Music & Recreation department. The display will run through the end of this year.

Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels In America opened in 1994 and became the longest-running and most successful production in A.C.T. history
Carey Perloff appointed artistic
director of A.C.T. in 1992.

On Saturday, October 8, and Wednesday, October 12, archivists from the San Francisco History Center will take the stage for a close-up show-and-tell of original manuscripts, newspapers, and photographs documenting the city's performing arts. These "Hands on History" events will take place within the San Francisco History Center on the 6th floor of the Main Library. Attendance is free, but space is limited. Reserve your spot on Eventbright:

Monday, August 8, 2016

HBC 44: Tribute to Robert Rosenzweig

"About Love" bound by Robert Rosenzweig, artwork by Regina Kirschner-Rosenzweig, photo courtesy of Lisa Heer.

Tribute to Robert Rosenzweig by Signa Houghteling

This year we are also paying tribute to the work of one of our most venerable members, Robert Rosenzweig. Bob was born, raised and educated in Chicago, Illinois (University of Chicago, MS Mathematics, 1949).  As a young man, he developed a love of books and art and began collecting during his stint in the army during WWII.  Although pursuing a career in the design and implementation of computer systems for the insurance industry, Bob started lessons in the English tradition of binding at the Newberry Library during his spare time. After retiring here in the Bay Area, Bob turned to bookbinding in earnest, volunteering in 1988 at the Arion Press.  While sanding boards and paring pigskin for the Arion Press edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, he was introduced to Eleanore Ramsey who became his teacher – this time in the French tradition of fine binding. Since then, Bob has completed many full leather bindings in the French style as well as other books and boxes in a wide variety of structures and materials.

Robert Rosenzweig. Photo courtesy Signa Houghteling
Bob is a committed family man.  He is married to Regina Kirschner-Rosenzweig, who is herself a talented print-maker, painter, and art teacher; Regina, too, is a valued member of the HBC community.  Much of Bob’s work displayed here demonstrates their close collaboration either in inspiration or the materials Bob has incorporated into his books.  In several you will see Regina’s monotypes, etchings, and paintings used as decorative panels or covers.  His binding for About Love, was especially designed to open into an easel displaying a selection of Regina’s monoprints. Many of his works were made for his grandchildren and testify to his deep love for both books and family. 

These are just a few of an extraordinary body of work for a full-time computer specialist. We are so glad Bob’s persistence has kept him working on his great love, books.

About Love: Fifteen Original Monotypes
Regina Kirschner-Rosenzweig, artist/illustrator
58.4 x 43.2 cm
Photos courtesy of Lisa Heer

Sewn on tapes, tight back construction.  Bound in Harmatan goatskin and Ultra- suede; airplane linen covered in paper was used for the hinge.  Hand sewn end bands.  The prints are folded.  The Japanese paper guards on the spine edge are sewn montage sûr onglet.  Panels in front and back covers pull out and extend to form an easel for the open book.The fore-edges of the prints are hinged together to allow the viewer to see the back of the prints.

Photo Album
25.0 x 36.0 cm
Photos courtesy of Lisa Heer

The album is covered in full oatmeal linen with three of the artist's leather bookbinding plaques set into the boards. The boards were cut out and the plaques inset permitting both sides to be seen. The plaques are covered in full leather with gold, palladium and blind tooling as well as various colors of chagrin and Harmatan leathers. As part of the study of traditional French bookbinding, plaques are made to learn the process of tooling and applying colored leather mosaics onto leather.

Frank J. Piehl
The Caxton Club 1895-1995: Celebrating a Century of the Book in Chicago
Chicago: Caxton Club, 1995
18.5 x 2.8 cm
Photos courtesy of Lisa Heer

Bound in half-leather binding style with leather spine and edges around all sides. Central panels use a photo-manipulation of the architecture of the Chicago Public Library printed on marbled paper. Similar imagery printed on marbled paper is used for the endpapers.

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
London: Chatto & Windus, 1884
First English Edition
17.7 x 4.0 cm
Photos courtesy of Lisa Heer

Full leather binding covered with tie-dyed Nigerian leather goatskin used to reference the flowing waters and tangled vegetation of the Mississippi River.  Endsheets include monotypes depicting Huckleberry Finn by Regina Kirschner-Rosenzweig.

William Shakespeare
The Complete Sonnets
London: Sylvan Press, 1955
22.0 x 29.6 cm
Photos courtesy of Lisa Heer

Full leather tight-back binding covered with brown chagrin leather. Embossed decorative inlays of various leathers and printed imagery. Gold and palladium tooled design on cover symbolizes the syntactical structure of the sonnet. Gold-tooled spine. Endsheets incorporate original etchings by the binder’s wife of his granddaughter with her uncles. Book was produced as a gift for the binder’s granddaughter.

The Phaedo
Translated by Benjamin Jewett
Waltham Saint Lawrence, England: Golden Cockerel Press, 1930
19.5 x 26.6 cm
Photo courtesy of Lisa Heer

Tight-back French chagrin leather with black leather inlays. Top edge gilded in gold. Hinge and fly leaf of French chagrin; Italian marbled endpapers. Box is covered in linen, with shelf-edges in maroon French chagrin leather; lined in Ultrasuede. Design based on ancient Greek black-figure pottery. 

Nathanial Hawthorne.

Rappaccini's Daughter.

Wood engravings by John De Pol

Greenbrae, California: Allen Press, 1991.

Box: 30.4 x 28.1 x 5.2 cm.

Book: 1.0 x 19.0 x 2.4 cm.

Antidote Box: 6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0 cm.

Full leather binding in Harmaton "floriated" goat skin to suggest the poison emitted from the flowers in Rappaccini's garden.  The doublures use reproductions of Rossetti's portrait of William Morris's daughter to represent Rappaccini's daughter.  The gold-plated bottle, with its own drop-back box represents the Cellini bottle which contains the antidote for the poisons described in the Hawthorne novel.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Heer

Giacomo Leopardi
L’infinito, in tutti le lingue che l’hanno saputo pronunciare
Urbino: Edizione I.S.A., 1997
23.6 x 3.8 x 32.1 cm
Photos courtesy of Lisa Heer

Half-leather binding with leather edges on three sides with a leather spine; central panels on front and back are monoprints by Regina Kirschner-Rosenzweig. Endsheets of Japanese chiyogami paper.  

Czeslaw Milosz
The World
Dry point etching by Jim Dine
Signed by the Author
San Francisco: Arion Press, 1989
26.2 x 1.8 x 36 cm
Photo courtesy of Lisa Heer

Full leather binding of brown and green leather with onlays in ten colors picturing a view of distant hills, fields, and a river with its bordering trees and plants.  This is based on Milosz’s poem, The Porch. The board sheets, done in paper, represent the back of the hills.

The Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern Book Arts & Special Collections Center presents the Hand Bookbinders of California's Annual Members’ Exhibition, to celebrate the group’s forty-fourth year. The exhibition opens on Saturday, June 18th, at 2pm, at the San Francisco Public Library’s Skylight Gallery, Sixth Floor, Main Library. The exhibition continues through September 3rd.