Well, I had a great time at the pop-up exhibit at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Everything went so well – the weather was a perfect sunny 75 degrees; there was a great turn out for the events, and the people were so nice (not to mention the Baldwin Library has some world class books on display). It was a packed day, starting off with a morning workshop with chipper undergraduates in the College of Education. We had fun learning some of the fundamentals of paper engineering and learning about the pop-up process. I was able to get a tour of the library archives which houses hundreds of thousands of treasures. My favorites were some of the 19th century children’s moralistic tales and the comic book collection. Then I toured the exhibit, which consists of about 50 titles from the 1780’s to today, all housed in display cases. The staff went one step beyond and created color copies of some of the transforming pull-tab pictures so viewers could get a better idea of the wonderful mechanics. They even developed a video that shows the Meggendorfer and Dean in action. The staff was kind enough to post segments on the Web and you can find the various links here:
Dean & Son
Following a dedication ceremony for the Baldwin Library I gave a presentation about the history of movable books paired with my own experiences creating “Castle”. After an hour of telling the attendees that the slides don’t do justice to the real thing, many visitors joined me in a reception at the exhibition and enjoyed some food and drink will hovering over these delightful examples. As soon as all the cheese and fruit disappeared, I was back downstairs leading another workshop for 40 excited adults. Everyone did an excellent job creating a knight pop-up (and they proved to be a little faster than the 3rd graders I worked with last time, so we learned a few more tricks!) and the attendees were all smiles.
But I wasn’t done yet. After a delightful dinner, I held my final workshop of the day at the beautiful Harn Museum of Art. It is no surprise that the folks here love their school mascot, so I came to Gator Nation with a brand new pop-up of the U of F Gator. Everyone was excited to make there own chomping gator and I was busy buzzing from table to table making sure the students and residents were having a good time. And a real treat for me was seeing some family friends show up to the event. (I had not seen them for 20 years!)
Finally, my day was done and I packed up to return to chilly New York wishing I had more time to explore the Baldwin Library and Gainesville – maybe someday soon. And if you are in the area, I recommend you check out “Pop-up, Spin, Pull, Fold: Toy Books from the Baldwin Library” which is up until Oct. 31st. Click here for more information on the Baldwin Library exhibit.