The Book of Origins: A Survey of American Fine Binding has its genesis in an international set binding exhibition organized by Les Amis de la Reliure d'Art du Canada. The bilingual letterpress text tells the creation story of the Huron people in French and in English, through expressive typography and original lithographs. Le Livre des Origines/The Book of Origins opened at Bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy, Quebec City, in September of 2005 and traveled to the Grande Bibliothèque of Montreal and the National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France.

The 2007 traveling exhibition features twenty contemporary fine bindings by ten American binders. The group includes established masters as well as gifted emerging artists. Two works are presented by each binder: their binding in response to the set Book of Origins text, and an additional example of their work.

The binders represented in The Book of Origins: A Survey of American Fine Binding have noted that the majority of book arts exhibition opportunities in the United States are limited to nontraditional book forms. We are committed to presentation of, and education about, the art and craft of fine binding.

It is my hope that The Book of Origins: A Survey of American Fine Binding will increase the visibility of fine binding among the general public and within the Book Arts community, as well as encourage more binders to create their own exhibition opportunities.

Karen Hanmer, Curator

About the text

Le Livre des Origines/The Book of Origins, 2005

Huron creation myth collected in 1940s by ethnologist Marius Barbeau, this text authored by André Ricard. Text includes original the French side by side with an English translation. Graphic design by Jean Michaud and Stéphane Vallée. Five color lithographs by Carmelle Martineau, tipped in at the binders' discretion. Letterpress on Mohawk superfine, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, 144 pages, edition of 125.

A complete description of the text and original exhibition can be viewed at ARA-Canada's Website.

The binders

This exhibition would not be possible without the generous support of the following donors

Cathy and Alan Adelman
Archival Products
Eric Alstrom
Richard C. Baker
Sherry Barber
Marlyn Bonaventure
Wilfredo Geigel
Robert and Karen Hanmer
Harmatan Ltd. and Bookmarc Leathers
J. Hewit & Sons
William and Roberta Hilbrandt
Scott K. Kellar
Ed Kopinitz
Monique Lallier
Eileen Madden
P&S Engraving
Priscilla Spitler
Kaarina Tienhaara
Gerritt VanDerwerker
Peter D. Verheyen