Thursday, November 25, 2010

Used Book Sale to Support Book Arts Studio

The University of Tampa Press and its Tampa Book Arts Studio will hold their first-ever used book sale on Saturday, December 4, from 9 am until 3 pm at the Music Room of Plant Hall. All proceeds will support the handcraft and antique letterpress printing activities of the Tampa Book Arts Studio on the University of Tampa campus.

Over a thousand books of all kinds have been donated for the sale by Friends of Tampa Book Arts Studio and other interested supporters. They range from classic and popular novels and nonfiction titles, to more unusual books issued in attractive illustrated editions or books about books and book collecting.
Most books will sell for $1, paperbacks for 25 cents, and there will some better books at higher prices.

The Music Room is located just off the main lobby of the historic Plant Hall, the former H. B. Plant Hotel, on the University of Tampa campus.

Donations of books for the sale are still being accepted. Phone 813-257-3099 for information on dropping off books, or for other questions.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Annual TBAS Letterpress Excellence Awards

New awards from the Tampa Book Arts Studio will recognize excellence and achievement in contemporary letterpress printing and design.

Letterpress publishers and book artists are invited to submit work published during the 2009 and 2010 calendar years, to the First Annual TBAS Letterpress Excellence Awards.

Private presses, independent publishers, and individual artists as well as trade and university presses are eligible to enter the competition. All entries must have been printed letterpress and completed during the designated calendar years.

Winners will be named in five general categories:

• hardback book
• paperback book
• artist’s book
• broadside
• ephemera.

Judges have the right to create special categories for entries that transcend conventions and merit special distinction.

There is no entry fee.

Judges for the competition are the Associates of the Tampa Book Arts Studio. Awards will be made on the basis of design, typography, materials, craftsmanship, creativity, and overall achievement. Content is considered only in relation to the manner in which the design and execution complement, enhance, and convey the spirit of the verbal or visual text to the reader.

Publishers of winning entries will receive a certificate of recognition. Their work will be featured in a letterpress exhibit opening at the University of Tampa and available for tour to libraries, book arts studios, and other venues for one year following the award. Profiles of winners will also be featured on the Tampa Book Arts Studio blog and in printed press releases.

Winners will be asked to provide additional technical information and returnable materials for preparation of the exhibit, including a separate display copy if available, samples of unbound pages, sketches of preliminary designs, copies of rejected trials or correspondence, photographs of the work during production or preparation, and representative supplementary letterpress work.

To enter the competition, a publisher, author, or artist should simply submit one copy of the book, along with the completed entry information. Any number of books may be entered. Books entered in the competition will not be returned and will become part of the Tampa Book Arts Studio Library Collections.

The deadline for submitting books is June 1, 2011.

Mail entries to:

TBAS Letterpress Awards
Tampa Book Arts Studio
The University of Tampa Press
401 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606


The following information must accompany each entry, though it does not need to be provided on this form. Please type or print clearly.


Author of the Entry:

Category of the Entry:

Complete Title of the Entry:

Year of Publication:

Notable features of this submission:

Number of copies produced:

Retail price:

Brief Description of Press, Publisher, or Artist:

Contact Person:

Contact Information (including address, phone, and email):

Saturday, October 9, 2010

In Memoriam: Harold E. Sterne

The Tampa Book Arts Studio and the entire Florida letterpress community feel a deep sense of loss at the passing of Hal Sterne on October 2, 2010. We at the TBAS had appreciated his books and contributions to the field for decades when we finally met him in 2008, with a visit to his printshop in Sarasota. Hal welcomed us with warmth and wit and we all enjoyed the many treasures and anecdotes we found in every corner of his shop.

Hal’s enthusiasm was infectious, and it was nowhere more in evidence than when he talked about Vandercooks, whether it was the favorite model SP15 in his shop that had gone wandering for years before it found its way back to Hal to roost or offering tips about making adjustments or improvements to another model. He was proud of having helped save the stock and records of the Vandercook Press/Vandersons Company and of his role in owning Vandercook for a time; he enjoyed telling how he had bought the Kelsey Company, which fit in the back of his car by the time he purchased it. And he enjoyed discovering and sharing details of printing history and equipment of all kinds.

Hal encouraged us to participate in celebrating the Vandercook Centennial, and it led us to invite Paul Moxon as well as Hal to the Tampa Book Arts Studio for talks and a workshop to observe the landmark occasion. Though of course he didn't need an introductory course himself, Hal was the first to enroll in Paul's Vandercook Workshop, and he helped make the weekend delightful and memorable.

We mourn the loss and celebrate the contributions of our friend and “neighbor” Hal Sterne. You can find more details of his life and accomplishments at this link:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Alice C. Morse exhibit was a popular success

This past spring, the Macdonald-Kelce Library at the University of Tampa played host to an exhibit of trade book bindings designed by Alice C. Morse between 1890 and 1903. The exhibit was curated by Mindell Dubansky of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and first shown at the Grolier Club. She based the exhibit in large part upon an archive donated to the Metropolitan by Morse, who had an active career designing bindings for major trade publishers like Dodd, Mead and the Century Co.

On the first floor of the library visitors found displays of books from two broad periods of the Golden Age of decorated trade bindings: 1830-1890 and 1890-1920. Upstairs were the handsome panels lent by Dubansky, as well as complementary displays of books by Alice Morse and her contemporaries.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A New, Vintage Vandercook Arrives

With the help of longtime letterpress printer Gene Hancock and Hancock Printing Equipment Co., and through the generosity of Henry and Gerry Wehle, the Tampa Book Arts Studio welcomed the addition of a Model 219AB Vandercook this summer.

This model, serial number 18565, was manufactured in 1957. For many years it was part of the shop equipment at Tampa Thermogravers, the Wehles's shop at 1506 West Kennedy Boulevard. It offers a larger print area (18¾" × 28") than our Vandercook 4, and features an adjustable bed, especially useful when printing non-standard blocks or cuts. The press will also provide the chance for a few more students to gain hands-on experience with printing.

Thanks also to Carl Mario Nudi and Jim Anderson for helping the move go smoothly. With a little cleaning and pampering, we hope the Vandy 219 will be producing pages sometime this fall.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In Memoriam: J. B. Lankes

J.B. Lankes, a supporter and donor to the Tampa Book Arts Studio, passed away in Hampton, Virginia, on March 11, 2010, at the age of 94. Son of the woodcut artist J. J. Lankes, J.B. devoted great energy and talent toward the preservation and recognition of his father's artistic work.

Among his many contributions, J.B. facilitated the relocation of J. J. Lankes's 1848 Washington Press, on which his father had printed his woodcut illustrations for the books of Robert Frost, Sherwood Anderson, and other major literary figures, to the Tampa Book Arts Studio. (J.B. is shown in the photo above holding one his father's blocks at the press in his own studio, before the press was moved here to Tampa and restored.) J.B. actively encouraged our use of the press, supported our work on J.J. Lankes: His Woodcut Miniatures printed on it last year, and donated original prints made by his father and by himself from the original blocks, to the TBAS Library Collections.

J.B. was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on Aug. 30, 1915, to Julius John and Edee Bartlett Lankes. He attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and graduated from the Bliss Electrical School in Takoma Park, Md., now Montgomery College, in 1938. After serving in the U.S. Army, 41st Infantry Division, during World War II, he became a professional engineer, retiring from Virginia Electric Power Company in 1975, after many years of service. Mr. Lankes was a member of the Tidewater Virginia chapter of Mensa, and he frequently wrote articles for its publication.

Memorial donations may be made to Peninsula Rescue Mission, 3700 Huntington Ave., Newport News, VA 23607.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Join Us March 13 for a Special Talk

by Mark Samuels Lasner

Noted collector and scholar Mark Samuels Lasner will present a talk about his experiences while “COLLECTING THE LATE VICTORIANS” on Saturday, March 13, 2010, noon-12:45 at the MacDonald Kelce Library, University of Tampa. (At right is a portrait of James McNeill Whistler from his collection.)

This illustrated talk by Lasner, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Delaware Library, will complement an exhibit of items from his collections presented in "Facing the Late Victorians" at the H. B. Plant Museum. The show opens in March and will remain on view during the national conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, hosted this year at the University of Tampa. This special talk, with an opportunity for questions, is sponsored by the Friends of the Tampa Book Arts Studio and the Friends of the University of Tampa Library. It is free and open to the public.

In addition to Mark's talk, those attending could also visit the full exhibit of “Facing the Late Victorians” at the H. B. Plant Museum. Also, in the Macdonald Kelce Library, we will have two free exhibits for booklovers to see before or after Mark’s talk: the touring exhibit of “The Bookbindings of Alice C. Morse,” prepared by Mindell Dubansky of the Thomas Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and originally exhibited at the Grolier Club, plus a display of Victorian Publisher's Bindings from the Tampa Book Arts Studio Library Collections.

We hope you will be able to join us for this special talk with a fascinating collector. And you may even want to pick up a copy of the handsome original catalog published by the University of Delaware Press.

Learn more about "Facing the Late VIctorians" at this link:

Have a look at the Metopolitan Museum link below for more about Alice C. Morse: