Many of the artists’ books in the Smithsonian American Art & Portrait Gallery Library’s collection tell stories—from personal struggles with addiction, to pictorial descriptions of how to create a human salad, to universal stories of historical conflicts, such as Kara Walker’s book “Freedom: A Fable.”
Save the date!
Behind the Paper Curtain: The Magic and Math of Harry Potter, The Pop-Up Book
Bruce Foster, Paper Engineer
Tuesday May 10, 2011
National Museum of American History
Who doesn’t love the magic of pop-ups? As the paper engineer/designer of nearly 40 pop-up books, most recently Harry Potter, The Pop-Up Book, Bruce gives an entertaining and informative presentation, utilizing movie clips, PowerPoint, show-and-tell and hands-on demonstrations to introduce audiences — young and young-at-heart alike, to the mysteries and science of movable books.
Bruce’s work has been selected three times by The Today Show as a Top Ten Gift Book, and in 2010 USA Today chose to feature Harry Potter, the Pop-Up Book, along with A Christmas Carol in a nationally recommended holiday gift article. He has produced pop-up books for publishing houses Sterling Publishing, Insight Editions, Simon and Schuster, Random House, Disney Hyperion, Candlewick Press, Little, Brown and Company and Time, Inc., among others. Perhaps his work’s biggest exposure to date, however, was not in an actual book, but in the hit Disney movie Enchanted, where his pop-up magic is seen throughout the film. Bruce and his family reside in Houston, Texas.
Some other books designed by Bruce include: Wow! The Sports Illustrated Kid's Pop-Up Book of Sports, Architectural Wonders, In the Beginning, Angels, and coming in 2011, Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Bruce will be signing copies of Harry Potter, The Pop-Up Book and Wow! The Pop-Up Book of Sports after the lecture.
The Libraries exhibition, Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn is still on display in the National Museum of American History. Stop by and see some fabulous examples of pop-up and movable books, from the 1600s to today.
—Elizabeth Periale, photo by Liz O'Brien
Featuring a title from the Libraries’ pop-up book collection and current exhibition, Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn.
The first Noël, like many pop-up and movable books, was created to celebrate the holiday season. Jan Pieńkowski, Polish born illustrator and paper engineer working in England, designed this carousel book (book that unfolds to 360 degrees) containing five stage-like scenes depicting the nativity story. The white cut-paper figures are silhouetted and layered in snowflake-like patterns atop bright red backdrops.—Stephen Van Dyk
The first Noël: a Christmas carousel. Jan Pieńkowski; assistant illustrator, David Walser. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2004.
In the 1950s-1960s, Vojtěch Kubašta, an Austrian-born paper engineer and illustrator working in
Czechoslovakia, created a series of pop-up adventure and fantasy stories combining bold folk art style imagery, distinctive colors, and innovative cut and folded paper styles. Some of his large-scale constructions of this period include Marco Polo (1962), The tournament (1950s), and Ricky the Rabbit (1961).
The Libraries’ current exhibition highlighting innovative book design, Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn, is on display in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery, National Museum of American History, first floor west, through September 1, 2011.
This exciting paper engineer is also included in the exhibition brochure (page 15), which is also available as a downloadable PDF.
Pop-up enthusiasts can also keep track of the show and the Libraries' extensive movable book collections on its Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn blog.