Published: March 26, 2019
Review and Photos by W.A. Demers
NEW YORK CITY – Flamingo Eventz stepped out of the shadows to celebrate Rare Book Week in New York City in a one-day show conducted on March 9 at the Church of St Vincent Ferrer on Lexington Avenue. Formally named the Manhattan Vintage Book, Ephemera and Fine Press Book Fair, this event is more familiarly known as “The Shadow Show” because it is conducted in conjunction with the larger New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, which is just a short walk away.
Established in 2009, the show has grown steadily, this year, its fifth in this location, presented 68 vintage and antiquarian book and ephemera dealers from the United States, Canada and Europe – many of whom are members of the key booksellers associations, such as ABAA, ILAB, MARIAB and other professional groups.
John and Tina Bruno, promoters at Flamingo Eventz, gathered them together for this book-heavy weekend. They included a fine press book section, as they have done since 2014, adding a new dimension to the show.
On offer throughout the day were rare and unusual old books, as well as poetry, prose, political, social, historical, children’s series, maps, postcards, scrapbooks, autographs, prints, posters, World’s Fair material and more. For those wishing to find the value of items that they may already have had in the possession, John Bruno provided verbal appraisals in the afternoon.
Gabriele Boyers, who is normally seen at the larger ABAA show, brought his Schubertiade Music & Arts offerings to the Flamingo show this year. Based in Newton, Mass., the firm offers a unique gallery of rare and interesting offerings for collectors, scholars, music lovers, museums and libraries. Its collection of autographs, printed and manuscript music, books, prints, photographs, objets d’art and ephemera is large. A couple of the highlights showcased this weekend was a 1950s guestbook from the famed Liberty Music Shop in New York City containing approximately 200 autographs and inscriptions signed by distinguished visitors. A virtual who’s who of 1950s cultural life in Manhattan, it included the signatures of Ernest Hemingway, Martha Graham, Anna Magnini, Anthony Perkins, Fred Astaire and many others.
Also offered here was a rare Decca record album of the soundtrack of The Wizard of Oz that was released before the film. It included an inscription on the inner sleeve by composer Harold Arlen, dated December 18, 1939.
The fine press contingent at the show included people like Isak Applin, director at Titan and Weald, a letterpress book and fine art prints dealer based in Queens, N.Y., who was joining forces with Wolfe Editions of Portland, Maine, to fill a table with some choice titles. One of these was Androscoggin, a book of Marsden Hartley poems, in collaboration with David Wolfe, containing Hartley’s poetry and illustrations by sculptor, painter and printmaker Charlie Hewitt of Lewiston, Maine, who, like Hartley, channels the state’s Androscoggin River.
Nearby was Thomas Parker Williams, who was presenting works from his Luminice Press editions, including Reason Belief Truth, 2017, a philosophical game board in leather, from an edition of 12. Williams lives and works in Philadelphia. His work includes handmade artist book editions, unique book works, printmaking and painting. Some of his artist book editions contain an audio element – music or sound work – composed, performed and recorded by the artist. His artist books are in numerous private and public collections.
And whimsical illustration was lively in a space manned by designer and illustrator Vladimir Zimakov from Waylan, Mass., whose design and illustrations for the forthcoming Wild Pangolin Press title Lewis Carroll’s Haddocks’ Eyes, aptly capture the zaniness of Carroll’s absurd poem that appears within his 1871 novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
For additional information, www.flamingoeventz.com or 603-509-2639.
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