bookbinding | popup books
July 29, 2004 4:58 AM   Subscribe

Three nice book links from the University of North Texas Libraries: 1. Victorian Bookbinding - Innovation and Extravagance has some gorgeous examples of bookcovers from the Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Arts and Crafts periods. 2. The Great Menagerie is an animated tour of 19th and 20th century pop-up books. 3. Pop-Up and Movable Books - A Tour, showcases pop-up book artists through the centuries, and includes the master of the genre, Lothar Meggendorfer. More about Meggendorfer inside ---->
posted by iconomy (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A very good short bio about Meggendorfer here, and more here, here. If you're lucky enough to get hold of a copy of the now out of print The Genius of Lothar Meggendorfer, every beautifully illustrated and intricate pop-up page has a clear plastic back, so that you can flip the page over and watch the machinations at work. The construction of the pop-ups in his own books included brass brads, rivets, levers, hinges, copper wires, and thick, sturdy paper, all needed for the complexity of his designs.

In one of his books, Meggendorfer penned this caution to children:

With this book, my own dear child,
Are various pictures gay,
Their limbs they move with gestures wild,
As with them you do play.
But still they are of paper made,
And therefore, I advise,
That care and caution should be paid,
Lest woe and grief arise;
Both you and pictures then would cry
To see what harm is done,
And sigh would follow after sigh
Because you've spoilt your fun.
posted by iconomy at 4:59 AM on July 29, 2004

Excellent links, iconomy. More on similar subjects at the British Library.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:18 AM on July 29, 2004

Great link. I've got the Voitech Kubasta Christopher Columbus book in the attic somewhere, and have many fond memories of trying to make my own when young (with 100% failure).
posted by ciderwoman at 7:34 AM on July 29, 2004

Terrific links as always, iconomy! I like #3 the best, and I've only gotten through a couple publishers so far.

Meggendorfer's poem is great, putting me in mind not just of the many ruined pop-up pages of books our own children loved too dearly, but the Life in Hell cartoon that made me laugh hysterically long after I'd given up on the strip for its descent into phoned-in formula: "The Return of the Dinosaur Pop-Up Book," which I can't find online, but which involves Matt having to read such a book to his toddler son, who keeps saying "whazzat?" as Matt replies along the lines of "That's a brontosaur with its head ripped off" and "That's dried glue where a dinosaur used to be" and "Again, dried glue."
posted by soyjoy at 10:01 AM on July 29, 2004

Great links, indeed. Thanks!
posted by scody at 12:52 PM on July 29, 2004

great links, iconomy - I love the pop-up books, the Raphael Tuck stuff is cool too. These were fun links to explore.

Here's a few I'll throw into the mix - a site with some resources for the contemporary pop-up book aficionado...and Colophon is a jewel for book collectors...this exhibit on coptic and collage is particularly neat.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:00 PM on July 29, 2004

Thanks for this ico. I once had a folder of links on just this subject, but somewhere along the line it was lost. *Weeps*.

But, guess what!!! Thanks to ciderwoman's mention of Voitech Kubasta, I found the motherlode of popup books -, which came up in a search for Kubasta. Oddly, in all my earlier searches on the subject, I never came across this site. It has over 2,000 books indexed, with multiple images for each (usually 2-3). But it's also hypertext cross-indexed so you can look up books alphabetically by name or author, and when you are on the description page, the author, illustrator, and "popup engineers" are linked, so you can find more by the same. There is also publisher and value information. If the images were a little larger and better quality, this would be the end-all Popup Nirvana.

It's all the work (and mostly the collection) of one woman (god bless her crazy, compulsive, obsessive, wonderful heart) who has commented on most of the listings, and included a "top 100" list (and a good page of links, though some of them are outdated).

I so want the Pop Up Book of Phobias.
posted by taz at 12:43 AM on July 30, 2004

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