Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Sample of "Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't"

Hello Readers, 

Since the New Year (2015) I've been doing all of the things necessary to raise the funds for, promote and prepare the exhibition and catalog Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't (Grolier Club [NYC], January 28-March 12, 2016).  It's taken all of my skills and pointed out the ones I don't have. Now that the illustrated catalog is at the printer, I can come up for a breath of air. I look forward to getting back to posting about interesting blook trends, but have patience. 

Both the exhibition and its catalog follow a thematic arrangement that illustrates fourteen genres of book objects. In the exhibition, there will also be a miniature exhibit with a chronological arrangement of tiny blooks, to give visitors an impression of the developmental evolution of blooks in a nutshell. The exhibition illustrates about 250 years of blook history, from the eighteenth century to the present. There are 130 objects in the show that are also illustrated and described in the catalog. The exhibition will have additional objects, including in-depth looks into two blook genres and new acquisitions, including the 18th century Catholic portable book altar shown below. Here is a peek into the themes with an example from each: 


Catholic portable book altar, European. 18th century.


Stone memorial book. In Memory. American, 19th century.


Daguerrotype case. Friendships Offerining. American or English. Nineteenth century.

Travel Souvenirs

Stone books. Souvenir of the Soldier's Home. Hot Springs, South Dakota. American. 1916.

Stimulating substances

Table lighter. Book of Smoking Knowledge. Ross Electronics Corp. American, 1960s. 

Food and Candy

Chef-an-ette.   Terry's Originettes. American. Late 1930s.

Grooming and Fashion

Anya Hindemarch clutch bag. Chelsea Husbands. English. 1990s.


Yarn box. Knitting Volumes. American. 1940s-1950s.

Household Items

Alarm clock. Lava Time. Lava Simplex. American. 1976.

Books and Writing 

Book repair kit. The Care and Feeding of Books. American. 1947.


Snake book. What I Know About Women. Japan. 1950s-1960s.


TV or theatrical prop. Manon Lescaut and Les Chinois de Paris. American. Late 20th century. 

Games and Toys

Toy spy camera. Secret Sam Camera Book. Topper Toys. American. 1960s.

Safes and Banks

Coin bank. Book Bank. English. 1970s.

Please send this post to your book-loving friends, come to the exhibition and purchase the catalog. I will be at the Grolier Club giving public tours of the exhibition, every Thursday from January 28 through March 10. To keep up with exhibition events, check in with the Grolier exhibition page, or visit the Grolier Club website. The catalog is being finished now and will be ready in early January. To order copies, contact me at ($45 plus $6 s&h). 

First page, Introduction:


  1. I would love to visit the exhibition, but as I live in California there is not much chance of it. I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed seeing the photos and reading about the blooks. I hope the exhibit is a big success!

    1. Thank you Dorothy, I'm glad you enjoy the blog and happy to report that the exhibition has been a big success. It will be featured on an upcoming CBS Sunday Morning show but I don't know the date yet, hopefully before the show closes (March 12). I'll post it on the blog when I know the date and you will be able to see a bit of the show on TV.

  2. Nice Website...
    Hey JOIN now and Increase Facebook Likes your profile and websites.
    Increase Facebook Likes and check your website worth worth my websites
    FB Likes and check your website worth Website Value Calculator
    Hot Wallpapers seo tools website
    its may be very beneficial for you also really