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Bookbinding opens new page for ex-curator

Bookbinding opens new page for ex-curator
By Joy Hakanson Colby / Detroit News Art Critic

Throughout his career as an internationally respected curator of
20th-century art, Jan van der Marck has indulged a secret passion --
contemporary bookbinding. The Detroit Institute of Arts' former
chief curator, he was dismissed in 1995 on grounds that he violated
the city's residency rule. He took the time to complete a book titled
The Art of Contemporary Bookbinding. It was published this year in
Dutch and English with the aid of Gerrit Jan Thieme, a Dutch
foundation. Although a Wayne County judge ordered him reinstated with
back pay at the DIA, the city is appealing the ruling. To van der
Marck, 68, that means more tie-ups in court. Meanwhile, he is
organizing exhibits from the material in his collection. He loaned 69
bindings for a European tour. The show opened in Brussels, moved on
to the Royal Library in the Hague and will go on view Nov. 14 at the
Historic Library of the City of Paris. Metro Detroiters can get a
taste of his collection with 42 bindings he loaned to a local show
that's up through Oct. 27 at the Slusser Gallery in the University of
Michigan's Art and Architecture Building. The exhibit honors the
Guild of Book Workers, which is meeting at U-M Oct. 23-25. "I'm
gaining more contacts and more credibility among bibliophiles," van
der Marck says. "It's a whole new world for me." Contemporary
Bookbindings: Jan van der Marck Collection, Slusser Gallery,
University of Michigan Art and Architecture Building, 2000 Bonisteel,
North Campus, Ann Arbor through Oct. 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
through Saturday. (313) 764-1315.
Ton Cremers
(Book History Chronology)
(Cultural Property Protection)

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