Now in its sixth year, the St. Louis Mercantile Library's annual Fine Print, Rare Book and Paper Arts Fair attracts a throng of enthusiastic patrons and customers interested in viewing and buying an Audubon print, an antique map or historic photo. But fair organizers have added a few surprises this year to appeal to an even wider audience.
"We've broadened the range of materials even more," said Julie Dunn-Morton, Curator of Fine Art Collections at the Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "Some of our returning dealers are bringing works by more contemporary and modern artists, and we've added dealers who offer vintage rock and roll posters and 19th century greeting and trade cards. Three of our dealers are offering free demonstrations at the booths, which is also new this year."
"The St. Louis Fine Print and Paper Arts Fair provides area collectors the opportunity to view and purchase exemplary prints and rare books offered by regional and national dealers, all in one convenient location," said John Hoover, director of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at UMSL.
Twenty-three local and national dealers will offer rare first editions, manuscripts, unique works by fine art presses and other rare books. Several new dealers have been added to a distinguished list including the Worthington Gallery in Chicago, known for its German Expressionist art and Rob's Coins and Currency in Chesterfield, nationally known for its vintage paper currency and Civil War era coins.
Also new to the fair are demonstrations by three St. Louis artists: The Firecracker Press, a graphic design studio and letterpress print shop; Daven Anderson Watercolors; and Paper Birds, a book design, binding and artwork studio and gallery.
Expected exhibitors include: Platt Fine Arts, Chicago; Kodner Gallery, St. Louis; Susan Teller Gallery, New York; The Old Print Shop, New York; and Green Gate Farm Antiquarian Books, Richmond, Mo.
Proceeds from the preview and fair will benefit the Mercantile Library collections acquisition and conservation funds. For more information call 314-516-6740 or visit printfair.umsl.edu.