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AGM + Two Talks – Morning Talk – Arthur Green: Conservation of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s First Visitors’ Book + Afternoon Talk – Martin Frost: Foredge Edge Painting: A Magic Secret Book Art

February 8 @ 10:30 am - 3:30 pm

Our first talk, of the day, is about the conservation of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s first visitor’s book. The quarto memorandum book was in use from 1812 to 1819 and contains entries from prominent 19th century figures including: The Duke of Wellington, Lord Byron and John Keats. Much is known about the eventful life of the visitors’ book: we have archival evidence of its purchase by an American businessman visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, its time at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and then its return to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1964. There are however, gaps in our knowledge of the book’s history. This presentation will focus on the detailed physical study undertaken during the book’s recent conservation; it will look at how the archaeological evidence of the binding materials and techniques add to the timeline of what is known; and will describe how the evidence uncovered influenced the decision making process and the final conservation and rebinding. 

Arthur Green is an independent Book Conservator with particular interest in the history of bookbinding. After five years working as a trade bookbinder he graduated with distinction from a Post Graduate Diploma in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts in 2008. Following internships at The Leather Conservation Centre and The British Library Arthur worked for the Oxford Conservation Consortium, he then spent over five years working at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Arthur has published on bookbinding and conservation and started teaching in 2012. In 2016 he set up as an independent conservator and teacher, and currently has a studio near Malvern in Worcestershire. 

The AGM will be held at lunchtime and is free to attend. 

Our second talk, of the day, is about Fore Edge Painting. This British book art has been practiced for centuries by a few binders and artists. These curious secret paintings are hidden under the gilded page edges in such a way that they can only be seen by fanning the book.

Martin Frost is currently the only practitioner offering workshops and, having created 3500 examples, will show the technique he has used for the last 45 years. The craft has been declared as ‘critically endangered’ by the British HERITAGE CRAFTS ASSOCIATION who awarded Martin ‘Maker of the Year’ for 2017. He has been honoured with an MBE for his work sustaining and promoting this rare book art. 

£15 members £20 non-members 





February 8
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


SoB London & South Region


Congregational Chapel, Kelly Street, Kentish Town, London
Congregational Chapel, Kelly Street, Kentish Town
London, NW1 8PH United Kingdom
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