May 22, 2012 by Ephemera Society
Nearly 100 dealers will be on hand to display their wares, a variety of ephemeral materials ranging from poster stamps to Valentines, from reward of merit cards to historical photographs, from watchpapers to newspapers. John Dann, director of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan and an inveterate ephemera collector, once wrote that “the show has become a widely anticipated fixture of the collecting world,” and other observers have remarked that the event is the Cadillac of ephemera fairs.
In addition to the fair, the society has scheduled seven speakers over the course of three days.
Beginning at 10:00 A.M. on Friday, March 3, 2000 is Ben Crane, a collector of trade cards who operates an Internet site called The Trade Card Place. The title of Ben’s talk is “e-Phemera in the New Century,” a presentation focusing on where we are with respect to ephemera on the Web and what might develop as the new millennium unfolds.
Following Ben is Ron Becker, head of Special Collections and Archives at Alexander Library, Rutgers University. Ron will give us a tour through the collections of ephemera that he oversees at Rutgers, focusing on the most significant, as well as some little known pieces of New Jerseyana.
Our last speaker for the morning is Tom Beckman, registrar at the Historical Society of Delaware. His talk is “The Great North American Cameo Stamp Project: A Report from the Field.” Tom will offer a five-part definition of cameos and suggest several sources from which they were derived. Further, he will explain how they were simultaneously color-printed and embossed from brass and gutta-percha dies, examine their major design subsets, comment on the careers of some of the diesinkers who made them, and speculate on the causes of their demise.
Lois Price, library conservator at Winterthur Museum, leads off Friday’s afternoon session at 2:00 with her presentation, “Papers Used by Architects.” American architectural drawings have progressed from carefully rendered images on the best papers to hasty pencil sketches on tracing paper and characterless CAD images printed in fugitive inks. While buildings remain fairly constant over time, the physical nature of drawings of them have not. This presentation will explore the ephemeral nature of architectural drawings and their physical progression from permanence to ephemera.
The second talk of the afternoon will be given by Geo. Gregory Smart. Greg will speak about “Images of George Washington” and show us selections from his collection of ephemera featuring George Washington’s portrait. As the twentieth century draws to a close, we will find out just how many times his countenance has been co-opted during the past 200 years.
On Saturday, March 4th, 2000 after a full day at the fair, members who have reserved a seat at the society’s banquet will be transported to London, England, by Peter Jackson, the president of the Ephemera Society of the U.K. Peter is acknowledged to have the finest and most comprehensive collection of ephemera on London, and we all look forward to traveling there with him as our guide through his slide presentation.
In addition, at the banquet the society will present the Maurice Rickards Award to Marcus A. McCorison, former director of the American Antiquarian Society, in recognition of his achievements in the field of ephemera.
Sunday includes a talk and another opportunity to attend the fair. Sunday’s presentation, beginning at 9:00 A.M., “The Catskills Revisited,” is by John Margolies. John will draw upon his own photographs of a lost world and escort us through a bygone era of hotels and mountain houses via vintage postcards, brochures, correspondence, and travel narratives. John is an author, photographer, and historian on American commercial architecture and design.
We look forward to seeing you in Old Greenwich! For more information on Ephemera 20, please contact the Ephemera Society.
E. Richard McKinstry
[This article originally appeared in the Northeast Journal of Antiques & Art.]
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