When is a Book More (or less) than a Book – And What is a “book”? Visiting the Jaffe Center for Book Arts

The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is located at Florida Atlantic University’s Wimberly Library in Boca Raton, Florida.  The Rickie Report wants to thank Paula Marcus for bringing this gem to our attention. An excursion to the Center gave us a lot of food for thought:  What IS a book?  Director, John Cutrone, introduces visitors to a bevy of possibilities.  The Rickie Report shares an overview of the Center and suggests you ( individually or with a small group) take a tour or sign up for some of the fascinating classes.  Spread the word – Books are here in all shapes, sizes, materials — and beyond your imagination!
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Books As Aesthetic Objects

Together with his late wife, Mata, Arthur Jaffe donated their collection of books as aesthetic objects, built for over 50 years, to FAU in 1998. Rather than being the end of something, that donation was an inspired beginning, garnering an enthusiastic group of loyal supporters that grows with each passing year. Arthur is a graduate of Penn State University and was a partner in Jaffe Department Stores  (Ohio and Pennsylvania) before he and Mata moved to Boca Raton in the 1980s. He is at the JCBA most days (very often coming in with a new book under his arm) and loves to show books to visitors and groups. Arthur’s not so sure he has a favorite book… but the book that may have inspired all that has lead to where we are now? Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
One of the many PopUp Books in the Jaffe Collection (Photo Courtesy of Candace Kahan)

One of the many PopUp Books in the Jaffe Collection (Photo Courtesy of Candace Kahan)

There is great breadth to this collection.  It encompasses not just artists’ books and limited editions, but also books that just appealed to the collecting sensibilities of the Jaffes. As such, there is much here that would be found in traditional libraries.

 

 

"Prayer Book" from the Jaffe Collection  (Photo Courtesy of Candace Kahan)

“Prayer Book” from the Jaffe Collection (Photo Courtesy of Candace Kahan)

 

 

 

There is great focus given to the artists’ book and on all aspects of the Book Arts: artists using the book as a means of artistic expression, fine bindings, limited edition printings, hand paper making and paper decoration, and indeed any of the handcrafts that artisans use to create books.

 

 

John Cutrone shows Various Pages of "Prayer Book"  (Photo courtesy of Candace Kahan

John Cutrone shows  incised and hand written pages of Book (Photo courtesy of Candace Kahan)

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BOOK ARTS  CLASS

To Register
Click the date below, which will open an email that you can send to John Cutrone, JCBA Director. Sending the email, with your contact information, will begin the registration process:

Tuition Schedule
Self-determined (your tuition is a gift to the JCBA Education Fund).

 

September is that time of year when we here in Florida begin to get a little punch drunk on summer. The heat and humidity have been with us for so long, it’s hard to imagine life without them. Each day is very much the same as the one that came before it and the next day will probably be just like today: About 90 degrees, sunny, with a good chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. What we need is a little change of pace. What we need is a good escape.

 

John Cutrone Shows Pages of a Book, created with heat and fire  (Photo Courtesy of Rickie Leiter)

John Cutrone Shows Pages of a Book, created with heat and fire (Photo Courtesy of Rickie Leiter)

 

 

JCBA has just the ticket. We can change you into a book artist (and a cool one at that) with this three and a half hour introductory immersion in the Jaffe Center for Book Arts. We’ll begin with a screening of a 20-minute video about JCBA and the amazing collection of artists’ books that is at its core. We’ll follow this with an in-depth viewing of some of the artists’ books in the collection––books that will entertain, inspire, and astound.

 

 

John Cutrone displays small books that have been removed from medication containers  (Photo Courtesy of Candace Kahan)

John Cutrone displays small books that have been placed in clear pill containers (Photo Courtesy of Candace Kahan)

 

 

We’ll honor summer by finding some particularly summery books from the collection… and maybe even encourage summer to pack its bags by conjuring some books that bring to mind cooler, more varied days. Expect a summertime story or two, as well, from the instructor’s cache of Convivio Dispatches from Lake Worth.

 

John Cutrone demonstrates Book Pages flapping - part of the story the book tells  (Photo Courtesy Rickie Leiter)

John Cutrone Demonstrates Book Pages flapping – part of the story this book tells (Photo Courtesy Caren Hackman)

 

 

 

Afterwards, we’ll move on to the JCBA Letterpress Studio, where each participant will print a sheet of paper from type set by hand out of JCBA’s collection of historic wood type. These sheets will be the covers for the books we’ll make, a brief history of the book arts that we’ll bind by hand in the Single Signature Pamphlet stitch, a simple bookbinding technique that you can use again and again in your own book projects.

 

John Cutrone shows one end of symbol story book

John Cutrone shows one end of symbol story book

Arthur Jaffe holds end of symbol story book  (Photos courtesy of Rickie Leiter)

Arthur Jaffe holds end of symbol story book (Photos courtesy of Rickie Leiter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll go home with a book you made yourself––one that you can read as sleep calls later that night, as you reflect on the new outlook on books (and maybe even life) that you’ve found earlier that evening at JCBA. “For there is great joy in knowing how to do things.” All levels are welcome!

John Cutrone shows postcard book, personalized by the artist.  (Photo courtesy of Candace Kahan)

John Cutrone shows postcard book, personalized by the artist. (Photo courtesy of Candace Kahan)

Thank you to John Cutrone, Director and the Jaffe Center for Book Arts website for this material.

For more information about classes or tours, please contact:

John Cutrone, Director
JCBA: Jaffe Center for Book Arts
Florida Atlantic University Wimberly Library
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33431www.jaffecollection.org
www.facebook.com/jaffecenterforbookarts

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291