Thursday, June 30, 2011

Printing Arts Fair in North Andover, MA

Bright and early this past Father’s day morning, this daughter set out for North Andover, MA. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant about my destination, given that it was directly across an area known as First Burying Ground that hosted all sorts of tales. Most luckily, I met neither witch nor foe. Instead, a hot sun, clear skies, and the fresh cut lawns of North Andover bid me welcome.

Fellow intern, John, met me at the annual Printing Arts Fair at The Museum of Printing. We set up our table on the second floor of the museum and watched book arts enthusiasts filter in and out, enjoying the numerous interesting exhibitors. Our exhibit featured several different books that we had a feeling might be of interest to the guests of the Printing Arts Fair. Many families stopped to chat about how they were quite familiar with a few of our books and perused some of our more recent titles. A lucky raffle winner won a copy of Personal Impressions: The Small Printing Press in Nineteenth-Century America by Elizabeth M. Harris.

Some guest favorites at our table included Lettered Creatures by Brad Leithauser, The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, Anatomy of a Typeface by Alexander Lawson, and Bibliotopia: Or Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts and Curiosities by Steven Gilbar.

Unfortunately our exhibit being on the second floor meant we were missing out on all the fun outside, so John and I took turns exploring other parts of the building and checking out the booths outside the front of the museum. I was initially surprised by the number of young children in tow at the fair but soon discovered there were demonstration tables set up for all ages to enjoy, giving many visitors the opportunity to print. This was very exciting to see, as many conversations that occurred at our table seemed to include the phrases “a dying art,” “kids these days,” and “I remember when.” One of the main goals of the fair appeared to be engaging young children, which is certainly of key importance when considering educating all ages on the history of printing and introducing the refined beauty of book arts.

We’re pleased to have attended the fair and been given the opportunity to share our books with true printing aficionados!

To visit The Museum of Printing, visit their website for hours and admission information.

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