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Polly Lada-Mocarski

Since there has been no the announcement on this list, I regretfully inform
you of the passing on Friday, September 5, 1997 of Polly Lada-Mocarski, who
was an inspiration to many of us.

If you have access to the January, 1990 issue of the Conservation
Administration News, I suggest George Cooke's article, _Polly Lada-Mocarski
Visionary Conservator_.

Born Laura Klots, 1902 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Polly studied with the
great binder Ignatz Wiemeler in Germany in the 30's, and later with Douglas
Cockerell at his studio in Letchworth, England.  She was married to Vallo
Lada-Mocarski, investment banker, book collector, and OSS officer during WW II.

An influential friend of Aileen Webb, founder of the American Crafts
Council, Polly was the bookbinding editor for the council's magazine _Craft
Horizons_ , under the Editorship of Rose Slivka.

During the 1950's Polly was President of the Guild of BookWorkers.

After moving to New Haven in 1971, Polly was instrumental in the
establishment of the Yale Conservation Studio in donating her bindery to
Yale University.

I first saw Polly at a demonstration she gave to a GBW meeting about 1973,
where she brought in an electric motor with a flexible cable drive connected
to a miniature sanding wheel. She demonstrated how to remove a leather spine
during rebacking by pasting a piece of paper to the spine, cutting the spine
off the book (a tight back binding) with a scalpel, paring the leather with
the sanding tool, and pasting the thinned onlay on the new spine as an onlay.

She came to my first exhibit at the Zabriskie Gallery in 1974, and we became
friends. When I started the Center for Book Arts later that year, Polly,
understanding its importance, brought in Joan Davidson, who provided many
years of support through the New York State Council on the Arts and the J.
M. Kaplan Fund.

In 1980 Polly raised funds to establish the bindery at the Creative Arts
Workshop in New Haven.

Polly invented the PolyCase (TM) in 1982, a patented demountable
polycarbonate case. I used these cases exclusively for the 1990 exhibit I
curated for the Center for Book Arts, "Book Arts in the USA." This exhibit,
with the PolyCases (TM), was circulated through Africa and South America by
the USIA. Three years ago I saw the PolyCase on exhibit at the Eli Whitney
Museum of Inventions.

Polly has provided so many introductions for bookbinders to important
situations through the years that it is impossible to list them all. She was
a wonderful person, full of life, intelligence and great perception. In
every way she was an inspiration, elegant at all times.


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