Conference & Fair EPHEMERA 21 March 16-18, 2001

Schedule of Speakers and Presentations

Friday March 16 10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.

Atlantic Salmon Fishing Ephemera
Charles B. Wood III

For the last ten years or so, Charles B. Wood has been collecting ephemera and books on salmon fishing. Members may recall the article that Charles did for Ephemera News about his collection that the Society published in the Winter 2000 issue, volume 18 no. 2. In it, Charles wrote about his interest in fishing in general and described his collection of manuscripts, letters, typescripts, pamphlets, advertising ephemera, travel brochures, etc. on salmon fishing. Today, we will have an opportunity to hear more about Charles' collection and to see examples of what he has.

Charles B. Wood has been an antiquarian book, manuscript, and ephemera dealer for more than 30 years, and now he works out of his shop in Cambridge, Mass. He specializes in works on architecture, landscape architecture and garden history, art conservation, book arts and printing history, trade catalogs, and 19th century photography. In addition, he has a special collection on the literature of rock 'n' roll. Charles' printed catalogs are important beyond their chief purpose, often serving as comprehensive subject bibliographies that are useful to many readers for a variety of purposes.

Henry David Thoreau and Ephemera?
Robert Dalton Harris

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) published just two books and several essays and poems during his lifetime. Most of his writings were issued posthumously, edited by his literary friends: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Franklin B. Sanborn, and William Ellery Channing, among others. Another Thoreau manuscript was discovered lately, hitherto unknown, but now available for readers. Thoreau wrote it on the backs of pieces of ephemera, and it is this piece of literature and the paper that it was written on that Robert Dalton Harris will discuss with us today.

Robert Dalton Harris is the proprietor of aGatherin' and a longtime active member of the Ephemera Society. Over the years, Rob has organized countless society exhibitions and symposiums, served as editor of Ephemera Journal, and with Diane De Blois, wrote An Atlantic Telegraph: The Transcendental Cable, which the Society published as part of its monograph series in 1994.

Friday, March 16 2:00-4:00 P.M.

Rewards of Merit and Shaker Gift Drawings
Rachel Coffey

Ephemerists are familiar with Rewards of Merit, those small pieces of paper that were given chiefly to recognize the achievements of students in school. And, many of us are undoubtedly acquainted with Shaker gift drawings, sometimes called spirit drawings, artwork produced by members of the Shaker religious sect during moments of inspiration. But, how many of us have ever tied the two together? Today, Rachel Coffey will do just that as she describes the influence that Rewards of Merit had on Shaker gift drawings.

Rachel, a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts, is a second year fellow in the Winterthur Program of Early American Culture. In 1997, she completed an internship at Hancock Shaker Village, and as an undergraduate she designed and mounted an Internet site on Shaker eldress Polly Reed.

A Paper Trail: Ephemera at Strong Museum from Past to Present
Nicolas Ricketts

Strong Museum curator Nicolas Ricketts will discuss various parts of his museum's ephemera collections, highlighting its copy of A Visit From St. Nicholas in Clement Moore�s own hand, posters, trade cards, postcards, photographs, stereographs, etc. Nic will also show how the museum has incorporated ephemeral artifacts in its exhibition program. He will conclude by showing slides of paper storage practices and with remarks about the Strong's current collecting goals, which are particularly concentrated on contemporary materials.

Nicolas Ricketts has a degree in art history from Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, and a graduate degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Program for History Museum Studies. He submitted his master�s thesis on a politically charged card game invented in 1936. Nic started his career building and later designing exhibitions at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and then moved to the Strong Museum as registrar in charge of acquisitions. Following the completion of his graduate degree, Nic became curator of the Strong's art collection and its holdings in paper. Nic currently serves as Treasurer of the Ephemera Society.

Saturday, March 17 7:30 P.M., Banquet

Arsenic and Tight Lace: Beauty Secrets of La Belle Epoque
Barbara Meyer Darlin

How far would you go to make yourself more beautiful? Would you wear a corset so tight that it was impossible to take a deep breath? Would you pin hairpieces and pads into your hair to add volume? Would you take arsenic to whiten your complexion? At the turn of the twentieth century, some ladies went to extreme measures to make the most of the "charms bestowed by the Master hand." They strapped themselves into tight-fitting corsets, augmented their hips and bosoms with assorted padding, concocted all sorts of lotions for the hair and skin, and ate and drank suspicious remedies, including arsenic, sold as beauty aides.

In this program, Barbara Darlin, a human paper doll, talks about how these women improved their attractiveness, and demonstrates the laborious task of dressing in full evening attire for a ball. She relates the advice from nineteenth century beauty manuals�such as dropping orange juice in your eyes to enhance their brilliance. Topics to be presented include care of the complexion, hairstyles and care, how the ideal body shape was achieved, the controversy over tightly laced corsets, and the use of make-up. She models a dressing sacque, all the undergarments and body shapers, ball gown, cloak, and accessories. As in Barbara's other programs, audience members volunteer to be her ladies maid, and help with the laces and hooks.

Sunday, March 18 9:00-11:00 A.M.

Miniature Golf
John Margolies

John's presentation traces the evolution of miniature golf from when it began as a "goofy fad" in the 1920s, to its spread across America as "The Madness of 1930," to the industry it is today, featuring elaborate, multi-million dollar courses. John discusses these democratic country clubs, often located by the side of the road and at resorts, as examples of landscape and recreational design, as well as sources of popular American iconography. John's illustrated talk features his own photographs of miniature golf courses and depictions of them on paper ephemera.

John Margolies is an author, photographer, and historian on American commercial architecture and design. For the past 25 years he has explored the highways and byways of America, searching for both unique and typical examples of roadside, main street, and resort architecture. John has written many books, including one entitled Miniature Golf, and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and several fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. The History Channel adapted his book, Highway Hangouts, for a television program, and he is currently involved in another History Channel production.

Ephemera Comes of Age
Michael Twyman

In 1992, the Centre for Ephemera Studies was established at the University of Reading, and Michael Twyman was called to be its first director. The Centre includes the substantial Maurice Rickards Collection, used for teaching and reference purposes, that the Foundation for Ephemera Studies transferred to the Centre in May 1993. In 2000, the British Library published the Encyclopedia of Ephemera..., written by Maurice Rickards and edited by Michael. This wonderful volume of 400+ pages contains 500 entries and 370 color and black & white illustrations. Ephemera has certainly come of age! Michael will speak to us today about both the Centre and the Encyclopedia. After his presentation, he has agreed to sign copies of the Encyclopedia of Ephemera�.

Michael Twyman recently retired as Professor of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. He lectures widely about typographical design and printing and joins us today, having driven north from Charlottesville after a week of presentations at the University of Virginia's Rare Book School.

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