May 26-June 8, 2000
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A new library exhibit aims to delight the child in all of us
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A new library exhibit aims to delight the child in all of us

By Melissa Norris

The University Library invites you to step into the world of pop-up and movable books. A world of rivets, spirals, flaps, folds and cut paper, a world of gifted illustrators and artists. Here jungle animals spring to life, rockets blast into space, and Columbus arrives again on the shores of the New World. All this can be viewed at the exhibition, "Pop Goes the Page: Movable and Mechanical Books from the Brenda Forman Collection," on display through Aug. 18 in the Special Collections' McGregor Room in Alderman Library.

The exhibit goes back to the 19th century, the heyday of pop-up books, and works its way forward to their renaissance in the 1980s and 1990s. There are books covering familiar themes such as nursery rhymes, fairy tales, barnyards, and the seasons of the year, as well as books about such extraordinary subjects as space travel and encounters with aliens. Four models, made exclusively for the exhibition by designer Josef Beery and craftsman William Muller, both of Charlottesville, are available for visitors to operate, to learn first-hand about the workings of these unusual books.

"From the earliest hand-colored sheets, pasted and cut entirely by hand, to the contemporary use of mechanical die-cutting tools, these works succeed because their transformative capacity moves us from the familiar to the unexpected," said curator Johanna Drucker, U.Va.'s Robertson Professor of Media Studies.

Highlights of the exhibition include The Speaking Picture Book (c. 1880s) that plays sound effects -- an impressive accomplishment considering the year in which it was made, and Tip and Top and the Moon Rocket (1964), which uses classic pop-up techniques to illustrate an adventure to the moon.

See the interactive Web site at Features include a QuickTime video that shows a 360-degree view of some books. The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call 924-4966.




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