March 8–15, 2001
The Art of the Bookplate
Amber Dorko Stopper’s not the only person in the world who thinks a bookplate is a beautiful thing — it’s just that nobody really thinks about them at all anymore. Bookplates are those sometimes artfully-designed labels pasted inside a book’s front cover, telling who owns it. Stopper, with help from J.E. Caldwell and Co., has assembled a collection of examples of the mostly forgotten art, each an intriguing window into the book’s history. The exhibit coincides with a bookplate pictorial in the most recent issue of Night Rally, Stopper’s impressive little literary journal. (It’s issue #2, look for it in local bookstores or go to nightrally.org for ordering info.) For most people, an individual copy of a book is indestructible — something sacred that stays in circulation long after the owner is finished with it, or just plain finished. The Art Of The Bookplate helps bring part of what makes books sacred to the surface, telling us who read what and how she or he wanted to be represented to the inevitable next person to pick it up.
Runs through May 30, reception Sat., May 12, 3-5 p.m. Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St., www.nightrally.org.