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The Libraries Announces a Series of Pop-Up and Movable Books Lectures

" Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop, Turn"  Exhibit Opening Ellen Rubin, foreground, at the Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop and Turn exhibition opening reception.

In conjunction with our ongoing exhibition in the National Museum of American History, Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn, the Libraries is hosting a series of pop-up and movable books lectures. People of all ages are welcome to attend.

Our first speaker is Ellen Rubin, also known as the “Pop-Up Lady.” She will give a talk on Wednesday, November 10, at 12:00 p.m. in the National Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium. Her lecture is titled, “A History of Pop-up and Movable Books: 700 Years of Paper Engineering.” Read her bio below, and stay tuned for more lecture announcements!

Ellen G. K. Rubin discovered pop-up and movable books when she began reading them to her sons over 25 years ago. Today, she has more than 6,500 books and thousands of uncataloged movable ephemera. While at Yale Medical School’s Physican Associate program in 1987, she attended the Sterling Library’s exhibition on the history of movable books. It was there that she learned about the scholarly dimensions of her passion.

Ellen now lectures and writes about her books, conducts workshops, and curates exhibitions. In 2000, she co-curated Brooklyn Pops Up! The History and Art of the Movable Book at the Brooklyn Public Library. In 2005, two exhibitions from her collection were mounted. The first was at the Bienes Museum in Ft. Lauderdale, FL of the work of Vojtěch Kubašta, the Czech artist and paper engineer. Its catalog, with a pop-up, won an ARLIS award. The second was the exhibition, Ideas in Motion: The History and Art of the Movable Book held at the Sojourner Truth Library at SUNY-New Paltz. In 2004, Pitspopany Press published Ellen’s The Hanukkah Puzzle Book: A Book in Eight Parts for Eight Days of Fun! Ms. Rubin has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and Japanese Public TV presenting the history of pop-up books from her collection. She is a charter member of the Movable Book Society and writes for their newsletter and is a member of the Grolier Club. Ellen hosts her website, The Pop-Up Lady. to disseminate information on the subject.

Liz O'Brien

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