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University of Iowa News Release

April 1, 2005

UI Museum Of Art Will Show Bill Anthony's Book Bindings April 15-July31

The University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) will present "Bill Anthony: Fine Binder," an exhibition of 63 bindings by the late university conservator, April 15 through July 31 in the museum's Hoover-Paul Gallery.

Central to the exhibition are 38 "fine bindings" -- books bound with extreme artistry and craftsmanship. These bindings demonstrate Anthony's mastery of a wide range of materials, styles of binding and methods of decorating.

The exhibition also includes examples of edition bindings that Anthony completed for fine presses, as well as conservation bindings and models of historic book structures.

Two of Anthony's edition bindings, which are featured in the exhibition, were among 100 bindings selected as the most beautiful fine press books of the 20th-century.

His models of historic book structures, which were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1985, helped initiate an interest in historic structures that has grown exponentially over the past 20 years.

Anthony was a bookbinder for 45 years. He was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1926, apprenticed as a bookbinder at the age of 16 and did his journeyman work in Dublin and the London area. In 1965, he moved to Chicago and worked in the bindery at the Cuneo Press and as Cuneo's art director.

In 1984, Anthony came to the UI as the university conservator and established the Conservation Department in the Main Library. He conserved rare books from the library's Special Collections Department and the John Martin Rare Book Room of the Health Sciences Library, supervised apprentices and taught bookbinding courses.

Anthony's fine bindings are in the collections of the Newberry Library in Chicago, the British Library and many private collections.

The "Fine Book Bindings" exhibition is being held in conjunction with the Guild of Book Workers conference, which will be held in the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus in July. The exhibition was organized by Larry Yerkes, a book conservator in Iowa City.

A catalog of the exhibition will be published by University of Iowa Libraries, and will be available at the UIMA in late April.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit on the World Wide Web. Information on other UI arts events is available at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,

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