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Bill of Rights Update: Exhibitions

The Grolier Club (47 East 60th Street, New York City) has opened an
exhibition from the collection of Larry E. Sullivan titled "Inside Editions:
A Literature of Punishment." It will remain on view until January 9, 1998.
Dr. Sullivan will be giving a Curator's Chat on Thursday, December 4, 1997
at 5:30 p.m.

It's one of the most fascinating shows I've seen, and includes books and
ephemera about prison life by sociologists, inmates, novelists and poets as
well as examples of prisoner art. There are rare books and tawdry
sexploitation paperbacks. I was honored that my binding of Dr. Sullivan's
book, _Forlorn Hope_, was selected as the invitation image.

This binding became the second in a series I began in 1993 on "The Bill of
Rights" of The United States Constitution. It represents The Eighth
Amendment. The first work in this series, representing The First Amendment,
was the "Reliquary for the Ashes of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses." There
are photos of both these works at Minsky Online.

At the opening reception last week, one collector said he has visited Minsky
Online, but complained that none of the works had prices. Another collector
thought my bindings were limited editions. With the exception of the
"Printed Books" (editions) section, all of the bindings on my website are
unique, are sold, and are in public or private collections. I realize now
that I must correct the presentation on every page, and as soon as I have
time I will add the provenance of each work to its page.

Within the next year I intend to complete "The Bill of Rights" -- Ten works
based on the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and to organize
a travelling exhibition of them. If you would like to schedule this
exhibition in a venue in your region, please e-mail me off-list
(minsky@xxxxxxxxxx). I would like to identify all the locations for this
show by May, 1998, so a proper catalogue can be produced. The travelling
dates are expected to be Fall-1999 through Fall-2002.

Purchasers of the individual works are expected to lend them for the
duration of the exhibition. The two completed works have been sold, but if
you are interested in acquiring or commissioning any of the other eight
works, please contact me off-list. Generally my work is commissioned in
advance or sold upon completion. There are no completed unique bindings
currently available. (The catalog of available printed books is at

Within the next two weeks I expect to finish "The Second Amendment," which
is "The Right to Bear Arms." It's been in progress for over a year, and
includes seven leather bindings on books related to the American Militia
movement and gun culture, in a glass cabinet with a Chinese MAC-90
semi-automatic rifle (the type banned by Clinton last week), with high
capacity magazines and plenty of Russian 7.62 x 39 ammunition.

Among the books are Richard Abanes _American Militias: Racism, Rebellion and
Religion_; John Ross _Unintended Consequences_; a book on the Militias by
Morris Dees (head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who prosecuted KKK
Grand Dragon and Militia activist Louis Beam); along with books on the
consitutional status of militias and the rights of gun owners. Each book is
rebound in a Nigerian Goatskin binding (different colors) with quotes from
that volume in 22k gold on the front and back covers. Endpapers of each
volume are targets made of images representing that book's content, which I
make on my computer and print inkjet, then take to the range and shoot at
various distances (50 feet to 100 yards). The books are displayed in the
cabinet standing with their covers open, so all the cover text quotes are
visible, and the endpapers can be seen.

As soon as that work is finished I begin "The Ninth Amendment", which states
that rights not enumerated in the constitution are not denied to the people.
That will most likely be Caroline Kennedy's recent book _The Right to
Privacy_. At this moment I'm intending to do a binding featuring Princess
Diana on the cover, with the crashed Mercedes as endpapers.

Titles haven't yet been selected for the other six amendments, though I have
written up a general plan of subject matter with binding concepts.


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