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Re: [BKARTS] Cotton gloves : an alternative.


Some years ago I took one of my book classes to visit the Museum of Modern
Art Library Annex on West 45th St. in NYC. Anne Britton was the archivist
there at that time, and she was accessioning the large Franklin Furnace
Archive of artists' books that MoMA had recently purchased from Martha

She was, as usual, extremely helpful in bringing out a terrific sample of
interesting book works from the MoMA collection for my class to look at. She
allowed all the students to handle the books. This is obviously the only way
to really appreciate any artists' book.

I expected her to require all the students to don the ubiquitous white
cotton gloves which was (and is) standard procedure for viewers. Instead she
asked that all the students go into the restroom and wash their hands well
with soap and water. Anne explained that they had discovered that many of
their books were being damaged by visitors when they used cotton gloves
since it is so hard to feel and turn pages when wearing them. In many cases,
she said, pages were getting "half-moon" kinks from people trying to
separate the individual pages so that the next leaf could be turned.

Obviously having visitors all go and wash their hands may not be always be
practical, especially in a gallery setting, but I think it is worth
reconsidering always using cotton gloves. In many cases washing hands is
easily done, and not only is it better for the books, but it also makes
handling artist's books a much nicer experience for the viewer.

Philip Zimmermann

On 1/6/05 9:45 AM, you wrote:

> Where does one get cotton gloves for book handling? Are there other
> alternatives?

> thanks,
> amy
> www.autonomousbattleshipcollective.org

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