Sunday, February 21, 2016

Blooks on CBS Sunday Morning, the good news program

The CBS Sunday Morning news segment about my exhibition Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't is linked below for you to share or watch. Thank you for all of your letters and photos. If I haven't answered you already, I will. The outstanding response to the exhibition and the support you have given me are so much appreciated. Some of you are writing about exhibit logistics that you missed along the line. Here are some FAQs about the exhibition and catalog:

Location of exhibition: The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th St., New York, between Park and Madison Aves. Open Monday-Saturday, here's a link to their site: There is no charge to visit this exhibition.

Dates of exhibition: The last day of the show is March 12. I will give free weekly tours every Thursday from 1-2 PM. I often come in spontaneously on Saturdays (2-3 PM) for extra free tours, email or ask at the Club, I'll let them know. For additional private tours (fee may apply) contact me at

Buy the catalog: Yes, I have written, done the photography for and self-published a full-color catalog of the show. It is and may always be the only book written on the subject of blooks. I encourage you to buy it. The cost is (for US) $51 which includes postage. International buyers should contact me. You can purchase it here,  on the NEW BOOK page and at the Grolier Club through March 12. If you want to pay with a check, send $51 to Mindell Dubansky, 4-D, New York, NY 10128. Include the mailing address of the recipient please. You will see that I've also written a book about an early book cover designer, Alice C. Morse.

Donations: Many people have donated funding towards this project and even contributed wonderful blooks to my collection. You will see them acknowledged in the Donor page of this blog, in the catalog and on the exhibition labels. If you would like to help to expand the collection and support related projects, please contact me at

  • Will the show travel? There are no plans as yet to travel the collection
  • Where do I keep them? Pretty much everywhere at home
Here is the CBS segment on my exhibition, aired yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning.

When I get a chance, I'll post some of the photos you've sent and pictures of the extraordinary objects that you have donated to the collection. 

you are invited to this free public lecture about blooks on March 2 at FIT. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Judith Leiber's Book Purses

Judith Leiber
Many fabulous and not-so-fabulous designers have been creating book purses for a long time, at least since the 1890s. Judith Leiber's crystal book purses stand out as the most luxurious, numerous and varied. (Olympia Le- Tan is another book purse designer of note.) As far as I have been able to determine, Leiber designed two types of book purses, a single and a three-volume, strapped variants. I'm creating this post as a way of collecting images and information on the purses. It's a work in progress and I'll add them as I find them. Check back now and then. Here is an article on Leiber from the Jewish Women's Archive. 

This is a description from an auction sale of one of the bags:

Judith Leiber Crystal Books Minaudiere Evening Bag

5.5" Width x 3" Height x 2.5" Depth

Minaudieres by Judith Leiber are a rare blend of art and utility. Testament to the flawless craftsmanship and creativity of these minaudieres, they included in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and The Houston Museum of Fine Arts. This minaudiere shaped like a stack of books is done in a plethora of colors and accented with gold hardware. The interior is done in gold metallic leather. This bag includes a coin purse, a comb, and a small dustbag.

Little Black Book is not so little.

From Saks Fifth Avenue. Sold for $4,695 (2014)

A very elegant version with faux marbled ediges

Also seen in green. This one is the most realistic of the designs seen so far.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Unplanned tour of Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't this Saturday (2/6)

Hello blook fans, just letting know that I'll be at the Grolier Club tomorrow for an unplanned public tour from 2-3 PM. So please join me if you are in the mood!

Golier Club
47 East 60th Street
between Park and Madison Aves.

Catalogs are available at the Club and through this blog.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't opens at the Grolier Club (January 27)

"Wow" is the word I heard most often this week, since my show at the Grolier Club opened this past Wednesday. It's pretty much the most amazing week I've ever had, although I'm too dazed to appreciate it fully. At this moment my prominent emotions are gratitude to others for their support throughout the project and relief that everything worked out (next week I'll probably be walking around wearing sunglasses, giving autographs). By Saturday, the show had an astoundingly large review both in the New York Times by Jenny Schuessler and an equally impressive but different one in the Guardian by Rebecca Barry, and a charmingly written listing in the New Yorker. Tomorrow I'm being interviewed for CBS Sunday Morning on TV! I'm going to report more to you about it but I wanted to put something now on the blog to acknowledge how things are going for blog readers because you might be wondering why you haven't seen a post yet.

For those of you who can't make it to my show, exhibitions manager Jennifer Sheehan took photos and posted them on Flickr.

Cara Schlesinger (editor of my book) took this picture of me looking tired and shellshocked when I opened the NY Times and seeing the article and my photographs on the front and back pages of the Weekend arts section. This was shot after we were screaming and jumping up and down for awhile:

Here is Jenny Schuessler, the author of the NY Times article. We are at the Grolier Club last Wednesday. Both she and her editor came to the opening, which was so nice.

Here are the blook chocolates I made as party favors for the opening. Spent Martin Luther King's birthday and the blizzard Saturday perfecting my technique, it was hard to stop the white chocolate at the end of the text block:

The installation for the hallway was challenging because of all of the little things that had to be carefully mounted. Mark Tomasko led the effort, here assisted by Mary Schlosser. Both of them also mounted my Alice C. Morse show years ago. Talk about loyal Grolier Club volunteers!

The day my book arrived from Korea. It's doing well so far. Lots of individuals have ordered it, libraries are starting and it's for sale in several bookstores, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art bookstore and the Morgan Museum and Library store. 

Since the show opened, I've gotten so many emails and letters with pictures of blooks, like this amazing sewing box sent by textile conservator Kathleen Kieffer: