Ex Libris – art for bibliophiles features in UC exhibition

08 June 2017

A bibliophile art-lover’s dream, an exhibition of artful bookplates and provenance is currently on display in the University of Canterbury’s Matariki gallery.

  • ExLibris_ART_block

    A selection of unique, personal decorative bookplates feature in the exhibition Ex Libris.

A bibliophile art-lover’s dream, an exhibition of artful bookplates and provenance is currently on display in the University of Canterbury’s Matariki gallery.

Ex Libris (meaning ‘from the books’) showcases some visually stunning samples found among the collections of UC’s extensive Macmillan Brown Library collection.

The exhibition includes an array of book-related material of exquisite artistry ranging from a 1531 edition of the Magna Carta to a 1923 association copy of New Hampshire by American poet Robert Frost, all of which have a connection with Canterbury institutions and personalities.

Inscriptions, labels, stamps, association books, marginalia, bookplates and personal items bring to life the journey of a book, UC Special Collections Librarian and curator Damian Cairns explains.

“These possessive marks can show the love of as well as the possession of books, the owner’s social position and personality, insight into the socio-political landscape of a period and artistic movements such as Canterbury’s ‘The Group’,” he says.

“The graphic quality of this possessive mark making enriches books beyond their original intent. They open a point of connection to a person or period and provide us with an understanding of the social-life of the object.”

Have you ever wanted your very own bookplate? A bookplate design competition open to UC students and staff coincides with the exhibition. Visit the exhibition or any UC campus library for entry details.

Ex Libris - exhibition runs until 5 July 2017 in the Matariki Gallery (opposite Puaka-James Hight building), University of Canterbury, Ilam campus.

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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