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Christmas – on a little stage

What makes pop-ups pop?

Christmas on stage : a book of words in rhyme and reason to greet the magic Christmas season. by Charlot Byj. [New York?] : Polygraphic Co. of America, c1950. Gift of Dr. Daniel J. Mason. PN6071 .C6B99 1950 Cooper-Hewitt Rare Books


The secret lies in a variety of methods of cutting and folding, and in mechanisms hidden behind and underneath the page. The construction methods are endless, but they can be divided into four categories: movable parts that lie flat, images that pop up, books that fold, and fantastic forms that use multiple mechanisms.

The Cooper-Hewitt Library’s pop-up Christmas on stage is a good example of  Floating layers or platforms: This mechanism is best understood when seen from the side. Hinged multi-tier paper supports lift an illustration off the page, creating the illusion that it is floating over the surface.


Charlot Byj (pronounced “bye”) ( 1983), author of Christmas on stage, was an artist known for her greeting card designs, posters and advertising artwork in the mid-1940s. She is most famous for the transformation of her artwork into a line of figurines created by the Goebel Porzellanfabrik company.

For more information about pop-ups, see our online exhibit, Fold, Pull, Pop, and Turn .


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