Mindell Dubansky

Bio

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1954, Mindell Dubansky received a BFA in Drawing and Printmaking in 1976 from the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. She also took bookbinding classes at the Hunt Botanical Library (1976-77) in Pittsburgh; graphic design at the Graduate School of Pratt Institute (1977) in Brooklyn, NY; bookbinding, letterpress printing, and other classes at the Center for Book Arts (1977-79); and private bookbinding classes with Laura S. Young (1979-80) in New York City.

Mindell Dubansky is the head of the Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation, Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She writes on the book arts, particularly in the areas of 19th century publisher’s bindings, hand papermaking and bookbinding. Having had the fortune to be helplessly and irreversibly drawn to a life among books, Ms. Dubansky has utilized her knowledge and love of the physical book to gather and describe an extensive group of international book-shaped objects from the Medieval Era to today. As a group, these objects illustrate the abiding human need to reflect values and emotions through creating and associating with books. Currently, she is writing a survey of book-shaped objects and is planning a small exhibition at Vassar College Art Library in 2015 and a member’s exhibition at the Grolier Club upon completion of her book. If you are interested in 19th century decorated bookbindings, or women’s, book or design history, please have a look at my blog on Alice C. Morse (http://alicemorse.blogspot.com).

In 2016, Mindell had the first exhibition of her collection of 250 book-shaped objects at the Grolier Club in New York. A segment of this exhibition, Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren’t, was presented at Bard College from August through October, 2016.

Mindell holds an MLS and Certificate in Library Preservation from Columbia University, and has studied bookbinding and restoration at the Camberwell College of Arts, London. She is currently a Preservation Librarian at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Reminiscences of a Bookbinder

A portion of this bio was taken from The Book exhibition catalogue.

Mindell Dubansky organized the exhibition:

Western Bookbinding 1491-1929
curated by Mindell Dubansky

Mindell Dubansky’s work was exhibited in:

30 Years of Innovation: A Survey of Exhibition History at The Center for Book Arts, 1974-2004
Organized by Jae Jennifer Rossman, Special Collections Librarian, Arts Library, Yale University.

Crown Jewels, The
(1981) 23.5 X 18.4 X 5.1 cm. Photobook necklace and earrings of gold tooled Nigerian goatskin and beads in hand decorated paper box lined with crepe de Chine.

Fall Forward
an exhibition featuring current faculty

Candy Button Book & Box, The
(1997) 3 1/2 x 13 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches. Candy buttons, mousetraps, handwriting on mylar. Edition of 20.

Book Arts in the USA
an exhibition of work by 51 artists; a cultural presentation of the United States of America

Crown Jewels, The
(1981) Photobook necklace and earrings of gold tooled Nigerian goatskin and beads in hand decorated paper box lined with crepe de Chine.

Book Artchitecture
an exhibition in which the structure of the book supports the metaphor of the content or is the content

Bookini
(1985) One size fits all. Mixed media.

Center for Book Arts: The First Decade
an exhibition at The New York Public Library

Crown Jewels, The
(1982) 9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 2 inches. Nigerian goatskin, decorative papers, photographs, collage.

The Book
seven artists/different visions

Elvis Book and Blue Suede Shoe Box
(1978) 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 x 1 1/2 inches. Book–cotton embroidery cover with black and white photographs. 5 x 4 3/4 x 2 inches. Box–blue suede, mother-of-pearl buttons and golden thread. Unique.

Iris Album
(1978) 11 7/8 x 9 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches. Canson Mi-Tienes paper inside, John Koller paper. Cover watercolor by MD on Roma, Oasis goat skin spine. Unique.

Skull of Adam by Stanley Moss
(1979) 8 3/8 x 5 5/8 x 9/16 inches. Silver and gold thread, woven strips of handmade paper by Douglas Howell, Strathmore charcoal paper. Unique.

Water Lily Book (and box)
(1978) book 8 x 6 x 1/2 inches; box 9 x 7 x 1 inches. Handmade linen paper by Antonia Weil, made from the same cloth as cover, linen binding with cotton embroidery. Unique.

Wood engravings — a portfolio
(1978) 9 1/8 x 6 1/4 x 1/2 inches. Richard de Bas handmade paper cover, Stonehenge inside paper, engravings by MD. Unique.

Your Ideal Love Mate – a TV scroll
(1980) 15 5/8 x 10 3/4 x 4 inches. Bookcloth and linen box, decorative paper handles, mylar, mixed media scroll. Unique.

Book Makers
Center for Book Arts first five years

Binding for Stanley Moss’ “Skull of Adam”
(1979) 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches. Sewn case binding with linen spine, hand made paper cover with stitching.

Elvis Book
(1977) 5 x 4 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches. Embroidered book of photographs in a blue suede shoe box.

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