Res Ipsa Loquitur:The Thing Speaks For Itself
On November 5, 1999, the fifth annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium was held at the Dana Library, Rutgers--Newark, Newark, N.J. Res Ipsa Loquitur: The Thing Speaks For Itself, was devoted to the theme of wordless books, or books lacking the traditional determinant of a verbal text. Over 80 people attended the day-long event, some staying and mingling with the guests who arrived for the opening of a book arts exhibition in the evening. Some of the Res highlights were a papermaking session led by Kim Carr, at which symposiasts were able to pull sheets of paper decorated with the conference watermark; presentations by 5 New Jersey book artists--Anu Das, a book artist concerned with the unequal treatment of women in her native country, India, Ian Schoenherr, a painter and children's book illustrator, John Schoenherr (Ian's father), also a painter and children's book illustrator (his illustrations for Owl Moon published in 1987, won a Caldecott Medal ), Suzannah B. Troy, a book artist whose work deals with a range of contemporary social issues, including technology, feminism and human relationships, and John Ross, a distinguished print-maker, book maker, and, in conjunction with his wife, Clare Romano, author of "the bible of printmaking," The Complete Printmaker (1972) ; following lunch, the Symposiasts heard three scholarly papers on aspects of the Symposium's theme: Lynd Ward's graphic novels were treated in a paper by Barbara Henry; Dennis Cate delivered remarks on French wordless books published in fin de siecle Paris, and Constance Vidor gave an introduction, with "live" samples, to the vast field of wordless picture books for children. As usual, the Symposium concluded with our Book Artists Jam--book artists showing and discussing their work ensembleóand an opening of the Symposium exhibition, curated by the Denise Mullen.
For pictures from the Symposium, and additional information:
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Constance H. Vidor