Bound to Vary: Billy Budd, Sailor

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In 1906 several students of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson, the renowned English bookbinder and colleague of William Morris, established an organization of hand-craftsmen called the Guild of Book Workers. From the time of the first Guild publication, printed by Fredrik Goudy at his Village Press the guild has served as a national forum for the book arts. This traveling exhibit, mounted by the Guild of Book Workers, showcases the work of seventeen Guild members. Each item is a uniquely bound copy of the same limited edition of Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor, hand printed at Married Mettle Press, Papermill, and Bindery. The binders chosen to participate in the exhibition represent several national traditions and historical periods, and the items on display richly demonstrate the depth and breadth of contemporary bookbinding in America. The exhibit commenced at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on December 8, 1987.