The Sixth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2012

Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Roberta Schaafsma, J. S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian, Director of Bridwell Library for nearly five years. She has graduate degrees from The University of Michigan and Chicago Theological Seminary.

Eric White, PhD, has been the Curator of Special Collections at Bridwell Library since 1997. His research on Bridwell’s holdings includes an article on an inscribed copy of the Imitatio Christi donated to Basel’s Carthusian monastery in 1487, and the exhibition catalogue Six Centuries of Master Bookbinding at Bridwell Library. He has been involved in all six DeGolyer bookbinding competitions since its beginning in 1997.

Priscilla Spitler was winner of the Fifth Triennial Helen Warren DeGolyer Exhibition and Bookbinding Competition. She studied bookbinding with Alfred Brazer and John Mitchell at the London College of Printing, and design binding with James Brockman at the University of Texas at Austin. She was edition binder at Booklab for eight years before establishing in 1995 Hands On Bookbinding, now located in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Russell Martin has been the Director of the DeGolyer Library at SMU since 2001. Previously he was a curator at the American Antiquarian Society. He holds a BA and MA from SMU, an MS from Illinois, and a PhD in English from Virginia. He has published numerous essays and reviews in the fields of American literature, folklore, history, and bibliography.

Jace Graf worked in commercial printing, typesetting, and design in Austin before attending the Graduate Book Arts Program at Mills College in Oakland, California. After earning a masters degree at Mills in 1990, he worked for five years at Booklab in Austin. In 1996 he established his own book arts business in Austin, Cloverleaf Studio, where he specializes in edition binding, boxes and portfolios of all kinds, and book design.

The Imitation of Christ

Libri quatuor De imitatione Christi, praecipuo regni administro, dicati. Paris: Ex typographia Fratris Regis natu proximi (Pierre-François Didot), 1788.

The Imitation of Christ is the most widely read Christian text after the Bible. Its spirit of personal devotion patterned on the life of Christ has been embraced by Catholics and Protestants alike and has profoundly influenced the spiritual reflections of readers from its first appearance through the present day.


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