Saturday, August 29, 2015

Alice in Bookland

Last Monday morning I visited the Book Club of California on the last day of their exhibit of fine art editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The books come from a much bigger Lewis Carroll collection belonging to one of the club's members. The oldest edition in the exhibit dates from 1907, which is when the copyright for Alice expired, allowing new artists to illustrate the story. I never find these subsequent illustrations preferable to the originals by Tenniel, but it was fun seeing the variety of formats & styles on display.

I liked this edition by George Walker & Eleanore Ramsey, with what look like woodblock prints on handmade paper. It was frustrating not to be able to handle it.

I was also intrigued to see that Mervyn Peake had illustrated the Alice books. His thin-lined, sinister picture of the Cheshire Cat looks like it was drawn by an evil Dr. Seuss. I wanted to see the rest of the pages in this book as well.

There was also an eclectic array of Alice translations, in languages ranging from Turkish to Icelandic.

The exhibit was in what appears to be the club's meeting space, a quiet library-like room overlooking Sutter Street & invitingly equipped with a wet bar.

My favorite thing, though, was this sturdy card catalog, still packed with cards indexing the club's holdings

§ Alice in Bookland
Fine Press Editions from the Collection of Mark and Sandor Burstein
May 18-August 24, 2015
Book Club of California

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