Ephemera 20 Annual Conference and Fair
to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, March
3-5, 2000 and help the Ephemera Society celebrate its 20th birthday.
Ephemera 20 marks the end of our first two decades, and we are planning
a special conference and
fair to mark the occasion.
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
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
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
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.]