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Center for Book Arts Announcement

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nina Schneider
(212) 460-9768

                  Center for Book Arts
        is pleased to announce the appointment of
                     Peter Smith
        Executive Director of Center for Book Arts

On October 1, 1997,  Mr. Peter Smith joined the Center for Book Arts in New
York City as Executive Director.  In announcing the appointment, John Ross,
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center, said, "We are thrilled to
have Peter Smith as our director. He comes from the prestigious School of
the Arts at Columbia University and should prove an inspiration to all of us
here at the Center for Book Arts."

In accepting the position of Executive Director of Center for Book Arts,
Smith observed, "Having appreciated since undergraduate days spent studying
literature the extent to which books can themselves be works of art, I am
delighted to have been given this opportunity to help in consolidating the
remarkable work which has been carried on at the Center in its 23 year
history. I look forward to playing a role in expanding recognition of the
book as a work of art."

"There will be a wide range of developments in the Center's work in the
coming years. We look forward to expanding our facilities into a new and
permanent environment, providing additional studio space for artists,
classes and workshops for students, and an exhibition program with increased

Peter Smith was born and educated in England, graduating from the
universities of Birmingham and Durham, but has spent his entire working life
in North America in university administration. After nine years at McMaster
University in Hamilton Ontario, and three years as a member of the founding
administration of the University of California campus at Santa Cruz, he was
appointed in 1969 to the directorship of the Hopkins Center for the Arts at
Dartmouth College, a post he held for thirteen years. He continued in the
Dartmouth administration until his appointment in 1987 to the deanship of
the School of the Arts at Columbia University, succeeding Schuyler Chapin in
that post.

During his eight years as Dean, Smith was responsible for almost doubling
the number of full- time faculty in the School (including recruiting such
senior professors as Gregory Amenoff and Allan Hackin in visual arts,
Maureen Howard and Michael Scammell in writing, Janet Roach and James
Schamus in film, and Anne Bogart and Andrei Serban in theater arts), the
incorporation of the School of the Arts into the Faculty of Arts and
Sciences, the expansion of physical facilities, and the establishment of an
alumnae/i association for the School.  He was also the founding director of
the Miller Theater.  Probably the most influential development in which he
played a crucial role was the creation of undergraduate majors in the
practice of the arts within Columbia College, in part based upon a
now-flourishing collaboration with the theater and dance programs at Barnard
College.  He stepped down from the deanship in June of 1995, and was
succeeded by Robert Fitzpatrick:  he has recently completed two years of
leave, which he has spent in England working on a book about the mid-century
decades in British theater.

Photograph available upon request.

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