The Bodleian Libraries is delighted to once again be hosting the Designer Bookbinders’ International Bookbinding Competition Exhibition and the Sir Paul Getty Bodleian Bookbinding Prize, as well as the inaugural Festival of Bookbinding in the Weston Library this summer.
The long-awaited revival of the Designer Bookbinders Exhibition is due to begin at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, on Thursday 7 July 2022. This year’s exhibition, titled “A Gathering of Leaves”, features 76 entries from 18 countries. The competition and accompanying exhibition celebrate innovation as well as the traditional techniques involved in bookbinding.
This year, participants were invited to bind a book of their choosing on the theme of nature, plants, botanicals and gardens. The overall winner of the Sir Paul Getty Bookbinding Prize will be announced on 6 July 2022, with all shortlisted entries on display in Blackwell Hall from 7 July to 11 September. The accompanying Festival of Bookbinding will feature lectures, demonstrations and workshops on the practical and theoretical aspects of bookbinding.
The Festival of Bookbinding, taking place on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 July at the Weston Library, includes a varied programme of events related to the craft, inviting the public to celebrate with prize entrants and learn about both the practical skills and artistic flair involved in the process of bookbinding. It includes an introduction to the decorative techniques of contemporary bookbinding, a lecture on the past, present and future of British bookbinding, talks on the implications of rebinding old books, a practical workshop and a stand selling bookbinding materials. The programme will be delivered by a group of award-winning bookbinders, Bodleian book conservators and Fellows of the Designer Bookbinders Society.
Stuart and Louise Brockman, organisers of the Designer Bookbinder’s Festival, said:
We are excited to be involved with this prestigious international event. The competition attracts entries from some of the finest craftspeople from around the world and allows them to fully express their artistic flair. The Festival of Bookbinding will provide an opportunity for anyone with an interest in books and bookbinding to attend the events in the stunning surroundings of the Weston Library, and to view the exhibition to fully appreciate the quality and variety of bindings on display.
Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, said:
The Bodleian Libraries is delighted to play host to the Designer Bookbinders Festival and Exhibition, and the Sir Paul Getty Bodleian Bookbinding Prize. Although strong advocates of digital technologies, the Bodleian is proud to host an event where traditional techniques are revived, and bookbinders of the future are inspired to continue to experiment with, design, and develop the truly unique canvas that is a bookbinding. It is part of the Bodleian’s proud guardianship of literary heritage that we make sure the incredible skill and artistry that goes into bookbinding continues for many years to come.
The Designer Bookbinder’s Exhibition, “A Gathering of Leaves”, runs from 7 July to 11 September 2022, with the festival taking place on Friday 8 July and Saturday 9 July. Prior booking is required for some events. The accompanying catalogue, published by Bodleian Library Publishing, features full colour images along with full descriptions of all 153 bindings entered. Find out more on our Visit site.