1939: The Lost World of the Fair by David Gerlernter
Unique Exhibition Binding by Scott Kellar
First Edition, First Printing
Published by Free Press, New York in 1993
Binding Details: 1939: The Lost World of the Fair is a unique fine binding designed and executed by Scott Kellar in 2009. The binding is laced into boards and bound in full black goatskin leather with leather onlays, gold tooling, and metal die embossing. There are Maziarcyzk paste paper endpapers with hand sewn red silk endbands and black edges. The book is housed in a custom made cloth covered clamshell box with a leather label containing the title and authors name in gilt.
The binding was selected for inclusion in the 2010-2011 Exhibition of the Midwest Bookbinders Association held at the University of Illinois, Michigan State University, Iowa State University, and Illinois State University.
A copy of the catalogue for the exhibition will accompany the book along with Scott Kellar’s signed artist statement for “1939: The Lost World of the Fair”.
The book measures 8” x 5.5” x 2”
Book Details: Published in 1995 by Free Press, New York, 1939: The Lost World of the Fair received glowing reviews upon its release. A typical review is the one by L.S. Kelp of Entertainment Weekly who wrote, “David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale, became one of the victims of the terrorist known as the Unabomber in 1993. He barely survived the package bomb he was sent. Who better to ponder the changes wrought by the age of technology? At the New York World's Fair of 1939-40 (''Building the World of Tomorrow'') visitors tried to imagine us, the rosy late-20th-century future. The ingenious exhibits conjured up a wonderful world of superhighways, suburbs, televisions, fax machines, and sleek appliances. Most of the fair's promises have been kept, short of household robots and crops under weatherproof glass. But in case you haven't noticed, there's trouble in paradise. 1939: The Lost World of the Fair tells us what there was in the city and the nation of 56 years ago that we have managed to lose. The 1995 America reflected in Gelernter's 1939 mirror may not even be more sophisticated than that of those fairgoing optimists — only more cynical. Using recollections from dozens of actual fairgoers to create a typical, composite character, his book offers not only a remembrance of futures past but a more personal past of fragile, locked-up secrets worthy of a Henry James novel.”
Artist Statement: David Gerlenter is a favorite non-fiction writer of mine. Although he was victimized by the ‘Unabomber’ he overcame physical problems to continue writing excellent books. This book is a fascinating humanized look at American culture in 1939, through the lens of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. It was the height of the American art deco period that exhibited a wedding of art and technology never since equaled. The creative energies fired with national hope and enthusiasm gave birth to a remarkable World’ Fair which he describes against a back drop of New York City and variety of actual people. I’ve emulated the style and boldness of the period, including the amazing Trylon and Perisphere, in my design.
About the Artist: A master of traditional fine bookbinding, Scott Kellar has been working intimately with books for over 40 years. Introduced to bookbinding as a hobby in 1972, his commitment to the craft was immediate. While pursuing a career in book conservation, Scott’s love of books expanded into the realm of design binding, where the art of the binder becomes integral to the book, adding yet another layer of imagery and interpretation to the work of the author. As a result, his artistic works have been featured in book art exhibition venues local, national and international. Awards won include the ‘Coup De Coeur’ award at the Biennale Mondiale de la Reliure D’Art, The Society of Bookbinders Award for Forwarding and the Fine Binding J. Hewit & Sons Ltd. Award. His studio in located in Chicago where he also teaches to share both his skills and vision.
Condition Report: The binding and clamshell box are in FINE condition.
Photographs of the binding and the clamshell box appear in the photo section of the listing.