Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts

EXHIBITION - Bookbinding and the Pursuit of the Human Touch: The Work of Gray Parrot, curated by Britta Konau

Image of Gray Parrot binding a book

Exhibition: January 30– April 30, 2017

UNUM Great Reading Room, 7th Floor, Glickman Family Library


Gray Parrot began learning the ancient craft of bookbinding in 1971, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, under Master Bookbinder Arno Werner (1899–1995), who trained several generations of U.S. binders. While there, Mr. Parrot absorbed Mr. Werner’s work ethic and his appreciation and knowledge of time-honored materials and techniques, which to this day have directed the course of his career. After studying fine finishing techniques at the Legatoria Artistica in Ascona, Switzerland, he opened his own bindery in 1973. Except for an 8-year interlude in Massachusetts, Mr. Parrot has worked from his home in Hancock, Maine.

During the past 43 years, Mr. Parrot has been commissioned to create edition bindings for numerous private presses, including Leonard Baskin's Gehenna Press, Dard Hunter's Mountain House Press, Henry Morris' Bird & Bull press, and the Khelcom/New York press of Peter Bogardus. In addition, he has produced many fine bindings and housings for rare books, as well as modern rebindings. His work may be found worldwide in major libraries and museums, as well as in many private collections.


Exhibition Curator, Britta Konau, is a lecturer, critic and curator of contemporary art. She has contributed articles to regional and national art magazines, including Art New England, and is a contributor to Art in Maine: Contemporary Perspectives (Orono: University of Maine Press, forthcoming). She was curator at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. She has a particular interest in anything related to books.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittamattesonkonau


Image of Gray Parrot's book, "Odyssey"

  Image: Odyssey, Gray Parrot