MINDELL DUBANSKY | HAND-BOOKBINDING / BOOK CONSERVATION / FELT-MAKER

 

Mindell Dubansky Hand Bookbinding and Conservation Studio: 19 Broadway, Tivoli 12583 | 212-348-1674 | Handicap accessible

mindelldubansky@gmail.com /  alicemorse.blogspot.com /

aboutblooks.blogspot.com

Mindell Dubansky is deeply immersed in diverse aspects of the book arts, book conservation and book history. Dubansky, is also an artist who studied drawing and printmaking at Carnegie-Mellon University, previous to embarking on her book-related education at the Center for Book Art (New York), at the Camberwell School of Art (London) and at Columbia University. Since 1982, Dubansky has been a Preservation Librarian and book conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is responsible for the care of a collection of the rare book and general collections. In Reminiscenses of a Bookbinder, a recent blog, Dubansky relates her experiences working for the Thomas J. Watson Library.  In addition to being a hands-on practitioner, Dubansky writes, teaches and lectures on bookish subjects and is herself a collector and member of the Grolier Club. For a quarter of a century, she has been researching the history of book-shaped objects (she calls these blooks) as well as writing about them and making historic prototypes in order to get a better understanding of their structure. In 2016, the Grolier Club hosted an exhibition of her blookcollection to great acclaim (see NY Times and CBS Sunday Morning links below) and this was followed by an abbreviated exhibit at the Stevenson Library at Bard College.

Parallel to Dubansky’s love of books, is a lifelong relationship with the textile arts. While she has practiced many traditional textile crafts, her feltmaking has reached professional success. She is primarily a wet-felter who uses needle felting for detailing and connecting elements of her work. The subject of her felting is the natural world, semi-realistic flowers and foliage formed into practical, sometimes wearable objects. The orange garland pictured on this site is featured in the book How We Felt: Designs and Techniques from Contemporary Felt Artists, by Carol Huber Cypher (2007).

Wet-felted wool nasturtium garland

Dubansky has lived as a part-time resident in Tivoli for seventeen years. She recently built a teaching/working studio in Tivoli where she gives workshops for small groups or individuals in book, paper and textile subjects and performs freelance bookbinding, boxmaking and book repair work. Her clients have included FDR Presidential Library and Museum, Bard College, the Jewish Museum and other institutions and individuals. No project is too humble, as Dubansky appreciates and enjoys conserving treasured heirlooms as much as the rarest of books. Estimates are always available in person or by email photos.

Conservation of two 19th c. Italian scrapbooks and custom box:

Relevant links:

 Reminiscenses of a Bookbinder. Dubansky’s memoir of working at the Met from In Circulation, the blog of the Thomas J. Watson Library. (March 2020)

https://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/in-circulation/2020/history-of-book-conservation

A tour of Dubansky’s blook exhibition, Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren’t from CBS Sunday Morning (February 2016)

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/a-celebration-of-fake-books/

A review of Grolier Club exhibition Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren’tfrom the New York Times (January 2016).

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/books/a-secret-in-every-tome-no-text-required.html

 About Blooks. Dubansky’s blog about the nature and history of book-shaped objects, with a link to order her book Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren’t.

http://aboutblooks.blogspot.com

Alice C. Morse, Designer (1863-1861). Dubansky’s blog about one of America’s first women book cover designers and art educators with a link to order her book The Proper Decoration of Book Covers: The Life and Work of Alice C. Morse

http://alicemorse.blogspot.com/p/overview-2.html

Dubansky’s books: Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren’t  and The Proper Decoration of Book Covers: The Life and Work of Alice C. Morse

Facsimile chemise and girdle book

 

Photograph Album