Conference & Fair EPHEMERA
21 March 16-18, 2001
Schedule of Speakers and Presentations
Friday March 16 10:00 A.M.-12:00
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
Rewards of Merit and Shaker Gift Drawings
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
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.,
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
Sunday, March 18 9:00-11:00
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
Ephemera Comes of Age
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
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.