GBWCA begins 2017 with Private Curator-led Tour of The Art of Alchemy, Getty Center

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Shrouded in secrecy, alchemy was a mysterious mix of science and spirituality and the ancestor of modern chemistry. Its practice was historically considered to be an art. In medieval Europe, it was called “The Great Art.” In Islam, it was simply “The Art.” With shifting interpretations that straddle art, science, and natural philosophy, and drawing primarily from the collections of the Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, “The Art of Alchemy” will display the critical impact of this arcane subject on artistic practice and expression from Greco-Egyptian antiquity through medieval Central Asia and the Islamic world, to European art from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond.

This curator-led tour by David Brafman will be offered only to GBW California Chapter members to kick off our schedule of events and workshops for 2017.

David Brafman is Associate Curator of Rare Books at the Getty Research Institute. Before joining the Getty in 2002, he was a visiting professor at NYU in Classics, and resident-expert at H.P. Kraus, Rare Books and Manuscripts in NYC. His PhD is in classics and Arabic from Duke University.

This exclusive tour will be limited to 15 GBW members and will begin at 2:30 PM sharp at the Getty Research Institute on the grounds of the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049.

Although admission to the Getty is free, parking is $15. Members who would like to meet for lunch in the self-service Cafe prior to the tour, will meet at the head of the stairs going down to the Cafe at 1:00 PM.

RSVP by January 3, 2017 to: california@guildofbookworkers. org. Please indicate if you will join us for the pay-your-own lunch.

Learn more at

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Abundant, Bountiful and Beautiful

Long Beach Museum of Art

Opens November 11, 2016

Over a dozen artist books will be on display including books by such artists as William Wiley, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Johnson.

Visit for

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Call for Entries: BUILT at 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon

April 7 – May 27, 2017

23 Sandy Gallery is calling for submissions for BUILT: Book art as a context to explore architecture, design, the built world, the built book. This international juried exhibition of book and paper art aims to examine the relationship between contemporary book art practices and architecture, engineering, landscape and construction as form, function and structure. Let’s re-image the ways we as designers, of either books or buildings can inhabit and shape the world around us. Our disciplines have a natural synergy. After all, books and buildings are both kinetic, sequential, structural and time based. Taken a step further, book art can provide a framework for topics like urbanism, town planning, buildings and space.

Let’s examine the relationship between the built and the book. This exhibit is open to handmade book and paper arts related works created as either edition or one-of-a- kind. Artist books, sculptural books, book objects, altered books, zines, and broadsides are all encouraged.

The gallery will award $500 in purchase prizes, plus three best of show awards. 23 Sandy Gallery is a fine art gallery located in Portland, Oregon. Open since 2007, we present local and national artists working in contemporary book and paper arts.

A full prospectus and call for entries for BUILT can be found at

Deadline for submissions is January 7, 2017.

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The Crucible Page: A Workshop with Timothy C. Ely

Day 1: Wednesday, October 26, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Day 2: Thursday, October 27, 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Museum Studios, Getty Center

Join book artist Timothy C. Ely for a special, two-day workshop investigating creative materials and methods for producing a contemporary manuscript page. Inspired by alchemical laboratories, cathedral architecture and medieval manuscripts, participants explore notions of illumination and concealment while employing traditional and invented symbols and codes for a modern take on a historical practice.  Course fee $155 (includes materials and Day 1 lunch). Complimentary parking.

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Artist-at-Work: All That Glitters is Gold (or Is It?)

Friday, October 28, from 1:00–3:00 p.m.

Museum Studios, Getty Center

Join book artist Daniel Kelm in an exploration of the use of gold in Medieval manuscripts. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of chemistry and alchemy, Kelm investigates the philosophical underpinnings of alchemy and how gold relates to the Humors and other alchemical concepts as he demonstrates techniques for working with gold, including gold leaf on paper and leather and making powdered gold for paint.  Free, drop-in program.

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The Alchemy of the Handmade Book

Thursday, October 27, at 7:00 p.m.

Museum Lecture Hall, Getty Center

Artists Daniel Kelm and Timothy Ely, who engage with themes of alchemy, chemistry, and the hermetic tradition in their handmade books, discuss the relevance of alchemy for contemporary artistic practice.  Free; advance reservation suggested.

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The Art of Alchemy at the Getty

The Art of Alchemy at the Los Angeles Getty. GBW member Nancy Turner is conservator of manuscripts and curator of the exhibit Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts. She will give a talk on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM. Daniel Kelm and Timothy Ely will speak on the themes of alchemy, chemistry and hermatic tradition on Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 PM. Both presentations are free, but tickets are required. On Friday, October 28, Daniel Kelm will demonstrate techniques for working with gold leaf on paper and leather and making powdered gold for paint. Free. !:00 to 3:00 PM, drop in.

To learn more and plan a visit, go to http://www. Choose the Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts and go to the “Learn more about the exhibition” link.

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American Printing History Association Conference



The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
San Marino, California ♠ October 7-9, 2016


We will be on hand at the Book Fair on Friday October, 7.


For centuries, the ancient traditions of craft guilds and trade secrets made the discovery and study of printing, papermaking, and the allied arts illusive, even quasi-mystical, inviting evocative terms into the lexicon like the black art, blackletter, printer’s devil, printing chappel, hell box, and coffin. These associations were with us from the start. In the opening preface to the 1677 edition of Mechanick Exercises: or, The Doctrine of Handy-works, author and printer Joseph Moxon noted, “handy-craft signifies cunning or sleight, or craft of the hand, which cannot be taught by Words, but is only gain’d by Practice and exercise.” Moxon is referring to all the handy-crafts, but devotes a full volume to the history and practice of printing because there is so much to learn. APHA invites you to join us as we explore printing history through the lens of magic, mysticism, secrecy, alchemy, curiosity, and wonder.

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