Exhibition Opening Lecture: Artistic Bookbinding in the Twenty-First Century

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James Reid-Cunningham, bookbinder, conservator, and book historian

During the twentieth century, fine bookbinders began to create striking and unusual bindings influenced by contemporary art styles such as cubism and surrealism. These “designer bindings” are artistic responses to specific texts, images, and editions; the binding was transformed from its traditional role as merely a carrier of text and images. In this opening lecture, James Reid-Cunningham explored the complex balance of art and craft in artistic bookbinding in the twenty-first century, as illustrated in the exhibition, “The Poet of Them All”: William Shakespeare and Miniature Designer Bindings from the Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

June 15, 2016