Carol Lewis West
FAU’s Jaffe Center for Book Arts Celebrates Opening of Hand Papermaking Lab in World War II Building
BOCA RATON, FL (November 16, 2012) ─ Florida Atlantic University’s Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts recently entertained approximately 500 guests during two days of 1940s-themed parties to celebrate the opening of the center’s hand papermaking lab in a World War II training building on the former Boca Raton Army Air Field site, which is now FAU’s Boca Raton campus.
The Jaffe Center, one of the nation’s most prominent sites for books handmade by artists, began offering printing and bookbinding when it opened in 2007 at FAU’s Wimberly Library, but always sought a hand papermaking lab to complete its education component. Although classes are not scheduled to begin until January 2013, the center’s director, John Cutrone, began making paper as he prepared to open the lab in the historic building, which was named T-6 during World War II because it was intended to be a temporary structure.
“When I held the first dry sheet of paper with its beautiful deckled edge in my hands, I literally had a shiver run up and down my spine,” said Cutrone. “Making that sheet of paper by yourself is a pretty amazing feeling.”
Cutrone’s aunt, Anne Dennis, an accordion player whose world tour with the USO during the war included the Boca Raton Army Air Field, was the celebration’s featured guest. Dennis traveled from her home in Palos Park, Ill., with her daughter, Suzanne Tinaglia. Other distinguished guests included FAU President Mary Jane Saunders and her husband, George Newkome, Ph.D.; Brenda Claiborne, FAU provost; Rod Faulds, director of university galleries at FAU; Sandi-Jo Gordon of Miami; Maggie Delp of Hillsboro Beach; and Don and Pat Cortese of Lake Worth.
FAU benefactor Arthur Jaffe, who, with his wife, Mata, donated their private collection of 2,800 artists’ books to the Wimberly Library in 1998, retired from the center he founded last year, but continues to work there daily. Jaffe, also a World War II veteran, attended the opening celebration and greeted guests at the center’s first expansion outside of the library.
The lab is located near the FAU Stadium, across from the entrance of Palm Beach State College at the northeast corner of campus. The T-6 is one of the few remnants of the U.S. Army Air Field, which was a radar training facility.
“It is wonderful that we can repurpose this building, which served such an important purpose during World War II, and give it an entirely new life helping to create books and paper for artists who see the book as more than just a utilitarian object,” said William Miller, Ph.D., dean of university libraries at FAU. “The building was temporary, in terms of the war effort, but not so temporary in serving an educational purpose.”
During the opening celebrations, guests made paper, used a letterpress printing press to produce souvenir posters, sipped apple cider and snacked on doughnuts and apples. Dennis, accompanied by singer Jonas McCaffery, a student assistant at the Jaffe Center, led sing-alongs. Members of the South Florida Lindy Collective danced and also led songs.
For more information, call the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at 561-297-0455 or visit www.jaffecollection.org.
-FAU-About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.