The St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

- by RBH Staff

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The St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair Celebrates its 10th Anniversary. The St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book and Paper Arts Fair, presented by the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, celebrates a milestone this year with its 10th annual event. From its first Fair held within the Library to its current expanded location at the J.C. Penney Conference Center adjacent to the Library on the UMSL campus, the Fair has grown steadily in size and attendance.

 

 “When we established the St. Louis Print Fair after the long hiatus that followed the closing of the St. Louis Print Market we had no idea how quickly the Fair would grow into a new national print event, one now anticipated each spring” said John Hoover, executive director of the Mercantile Library. “It was logical, considering the Library’s vast fine print and rare book collections, to broaden the format of the Fair to include dealers in all these historic objects.”

 

Over its ten year history the Fair has built a roster of exemplary national and local dealers, while always welcoming new participants to broaden the array of offerings presented to the St. Louis audience. “We are fortunate to have had the long-term support of premier dealers both locally and from across the country who have contributed to building the Fair’s audience and reputation, and we’re delighted to have five new dealers who were inspired by our past success to request a booth this year” said Julie Dunn-Morton, curator of fine art collections at the Mercantile Library. “The changing roster of dealers insures that each year’s Fair is new and exciting for all our visitors.”

 

Among the returning national dealers this year are New York’s Susan Teller Gallery featuring American art of the 1930s and 40s, and The Old Print Shop specializing in 19th and 20th century prints and maps. Aaron Galleries from Chicago features works by renowned American Regionalists, Modernists and Abstract artists; Stevens Fine Art from Arizona offers 19th and 20th century American art; while the Philadelphia Print Shop’s two locations in Pennsylvania and Colorado include 18th – 19th century prints and maps among their offerings.

 

Prominent local dealers are regulars at the Fair, including Anthony Garnett with his antiquarian, first edition and international book titles; Judith Haudrich Antique Prints specializing in 17th – 19th century botanical and historical subjects; Kodner Gallery featuring 19th and 20th century paintings and prints; and McCaughen & Burr specializing in paintings and prints by regional and Missouri artists.

 

Barbara Martin Smith Watercolors and Juliette Travous Pastels, both of St. Louis, are returning artists, while Firecracker Press of St. Louis and Murray Hudson Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Globes from Halls, Tennessee will also be returning. New art dealers include William P. Carl Fine Prints of Durham, North Carolina and William Talbot Fine Art from Santa Fe, New Mexico, while new book dealers include Kronologë from Texas and First Folio from Tennessee.

 

The Fair is held annually on the first weekend in May, beginning with a preview party on Friday evening, May 6, and continuing from 10 – 6 on Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. Proceeds from the preview event and fair will benefit the Mercantile Library collections acquisition and conservation funds. Visit printfair.umsl.edu or call 314-516-6740 for more information.

 

The St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri St. Louis is the oldest cultural institution in Missouri and the oldest library in continuous existence west of the Mississippi River. Founded by philanthropic businessmen in the 1840s as a subscription library, the Mercantile is a library of American history and culture whose collections include manuscripts, books, maps, and art. It contains the largest research collection in North America on railroad history and inland waterways heritage, as well as one of the largest collections of rare and documentary photographs, historic newspapers and archives in the state of Missouri.