Newest Exhibit in U.Va. Librarys Special Collections Department
Aims to Delight the Child in All of Us
9, 2000 -- The University of Virginia Library invites
you to step into the world of pop-up and movable books. Into a world
of rivets, spirals, flaps, folds and cut paper, into a world of
gifted illustrators, artists, and paper engineers. Here jungle animals
spring to life, rockets blast into space, and Columbus arrives again
on the shores of the New World. All this is possible by visiting
the exhibition, "Pop
Goes the Page: Movable and Mechanical Books from the Brenda Forman
Collection," opening May 12 and running through August
18 in the McGregor Room in Alderman Library.
exhibit takes visitors back to the 19th century, the heyday of pop-up
books, and works its way forward to the renaissance of the 1980s
and 1990s. Each page of these imaginative books unfolds into a small
theater, where readers become more than mere spectators. There are
books covering familiar themes such as nursery rhymes, fairy tales,
farmyards and barnyards, the zoo, the jungle, and the seasons of
the year; and books about such extraordinary subjects as space travel
and encounters with aliens. "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
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; The Little Showman
Series (1884), a group of four pop-up books that depicts each
season with a beautifully illustrated, three-dimensional scene;
and Tip and Top and the Moon Rocket (1964), which uses classic
pop-up techniques to illustrate an adventure to the moon.
to "Pop Goes the Page" can learn first-hand about the
workings of pop-up and mechanical books by operating four models
made exclusively for the exhibition by designer Josef Beery and
craftsman William Muller, both of Charlottesville. Children and
adults are encouraged to use and handle the models, each of which
illustrates a different pop-up technique.
interactive Web site accompanies the exhibit, making it available
to people around the world. Visitors to the site, located at http://www.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/popup,
can manipulate and interact with some of the pop-ups. For example,
a Quick Time video shows a 360-degree view of some of the more spectacular
books. The site also plays sound from The Speaking Picture Book.
These interactive features of the Web site give the viewer the full
affect of some of the pop-up books in the exhibition. The Web site
will be available May 12.
items on display are part of the Brenda Forman collection. Forman,
an avid pop-up book collector who lives in Northern Virginia, began
collecting pop-ups in the late 1970s. She said that at the height
of her collecting, she "haunted bookstores, pored over mail
order catalogs, hunted down pop-up magazine ads, and grabbed pop-up
exhibition is free and open to the public and may be viewed in Special
Collections Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday
from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with some extended hours. For more information
about "Pop Goes the Page: Movable and Mechanical Books from
the Brenda Forman Collection," call (804) 924-4966 or visit
the Web site at http://www.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/popup.
Melissa Norris, (804) 924-4254