This past Thursday large groups of persons attending the International Women’s Forum in Miami visited the Wolfsonian and received guided tours through the galleries led by museum director Cathy Leff and curators Marianne Lamonaca and Sarah Schleuning. Sixty-seven of the visitors stopped off in the third floor foyer of our rare books library and became the first visitors to view the newly-installed library exhibit, Advertising American Automobiles Abroad. Stepping inside the main reading room, the visitors were treated to an additional display of materials dealing specifically with women and gender issues including century-old books designed by European women graphic designers and American arts and crafts artisans. The presentation also featured all manner of ephemeral items and promotional materials featuring women in a variety of formats, including vintage postcards, advertisements, brochures, and display cards. Our guests appear to have been taken with one item in particular which I will now share with those of you following this blog. The object that caught their interest was Catalogus van de Tentoonstelling “De Vrouw, 1813-1913,” a catalog produced for an exhibition highlighting the work and achievements of Dutch women in the early twentieth century. The hardcover book features a beautiful art nouveau cover design by Wilhelmina Cornelia Drupsteen, but what made it especially unusual was that it included in its binding two silk straps that allowed the attendees of that earlier women’s conference to carry it away like a purse.

~ by "The Chief" on October 12, 2009.

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