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Hubbard image
Caricature of Elbert Hubbard of "The Roycrofters"
from a 1910 advertisement for The Fra Magazine.

[full page image -- 1,400 kb]

The Press of the Text:
Rare Books and Artists' Books
of the 20th Century

An Exhibit in Honor of Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde

Miller Nichols Library
23 January - 7 May 1999

The Special Collections Department is pleased to showcase selected 20th century fine press books and artists' books from its collections. Most of the examples are from American presses, but a few are British fine printings. Books from the Abbatoir, Ashendene Press, Golden Cockerel, Mosher, and Roycroft will be among those exhibited. A separate case featuring fine press books published in Iowa (from Windhover Press, Cummington, Yellow Barn and other presses) is included, as are selected issues of periodicals noted for their design and typography, such as Verve and Matrix.

The Press of the Text is being presented in conjunction with a number of related activities on the UMKC campus during the Winter 1999 semester, including: Turning Up the Page: Artist Books of the Nineties, an exhibition of artists' books being presented at the UMKC Gallery of Art from 22 January - 10 March 1999; a lecture by Helen Frederick, Assistant Director of Pyramid Atlantic, to be presented on 7 March 1999 in Room 303 of the Miller Nichols Library; and, a "children's workshop." The Frederick lecture and the children's workshop are co-sponsored by the UMKC Friends of the Library, the UMKC Libraries Philobiblon Society, and the UMKC Gallery of Art.

Fine Press books are usually noted for the quality of the total design combining the elements of content, text, typography, illustrations, paper, and the binding into a single, cohesive unit - a harmonious whole. The miniature book by Mark Katzman is one example. Fine press artists' books, such as those by Linda Samson-Talleur and her La Ginestra Press, represent the work of a group of people: the author, the artist, the printer, the paper maker, the designer, and the binder -- occasionally all work is done by a single person. An artist's book uses the book as a medium of design and can stretch the definition of "book." Artists' books on exhibition include works by Michael Kidner, Dieter Roth, and Emmett Williams.

Almost all of the fine press books and the small collection of artists' books in the Miller Nichols Library were selected and acquired for the library's collections by Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde, retired Director of the UMKC University Libraries and Professor Emeritus of History. We therefore dedicate this exhibit to Dr. LaBudde, a connoisseur of the printer's craft and art.

In this exhibit, the library's collections are supplemented by books loaned by several local collectors to whom we are most grateful.

Many people created this exhibition in the library and its online counterpart. The Miller Nichols Library Exhibition Committee, a volunteer group of librarians and staff, installed the exhibition. Marilyn Carbonell planned and curated the exhibition. Scott Walter, committee chair, designed the online exhibition, and selected theWeb links. Rebecca Schreiner-Robles compiled the list of books on display; Lauren Whitlock edited the list. Debbie Keeton, assisted by Laura Bundy, Aggie Callison, Peggy Slagle, and Christine Angolia, prepared the installation. Thanks also to: Keivan Moghadem for technical assistance with image scanning, and Teresa Gipson and Moses Ong for bibliographic assistance.

Unless otherwise noted, all images found on this exhibition Website are taken from materials held in the Special Collections Department of the Miller Nichols Library. The original materials will be available for viewing from January 23 - May 7, 1999 on the first floor of the library during our regular hours of operation. Any questions regarding Special Collections materials may be directed either to Teresa Gipson, Special Collections Library Assistant, or to Brenda Dingley, Assistant Director of Technical Services. Any questions regarding this online exhibition site may be directed to the reference department.

* * *

The Miller Nichols Library Exhibition Committee, 1998/1999

Christine Angolia Laura Bundy Aggie Callison
Debbie Keeton Rebecca Schreiner-Robles Peggy Slagle
Scott Walter (Chair)
Marilyn Carbonell (ex-officio)

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September 8, 2006