Traditional European bookbinding was primarily handmade bindings*1 with a cover design used simply for ornamentation. The Czech artist Josef Čapek changed that in the early 20th century with his pronouncement that the binding should not simply be decoration, but rather should be a work of art that reflects the contents of the book.
Using linocut*2, books with warm, aesthetic bindings designed by Čapek were well received by readers just as book publishing entered an age of mass production and books entertained mass appeal.
Following Čapek, the critic and designer Karel Teige proclaimed that the door to a book must be like a poster advertisement. Book design became a new art field that drew in other artists and designers and helped propel the Czech avant-garde movement.
*1 Handmade Binding
Readers of soft-cover books commissioned craftsmen to add a hard binding for decoration and protection. In the modern book industry, publishers bind their books. Soft-cover books were simple collections of folded paper with a cover page.
A linocut is a print made using a linoleum base. The method of manufacture is similar to woodcut printing.
||Jul. 26, 2003 (Sat) - Sep. 28, 2003 (Sun)
||10:00 - 18:00 (final admission 17:30)
||Adults: 800 (750) yen
High school students: 500 (450) yen
Elementary school and junior high school students: 200 (150) yen
*Fee in parentheses applies to groups of 20 or more
Printing Museum, Tokyo, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.
Embassy of the Czech Republic in Japan
Japan Czech Association
Osaka City Museum of Modern Art, Construction Planning Office
Prague Municipal House