The History of the Book with Kerrin Meis

The History of the Book

Friday, June 14, 2024

Corte Madera Store




In this class, we will study the development of writing in Ancient Syria to the invention of the alphabet, then learn the different surfaces on which to write - bamboo, silk, papyrus, parchment, vellum and finally paper, the technique developed in China and brought to Europe on the Silk Road. We see how the awkward scroll was replaced by the Codex, a major development in the art of the book. The most significant development was the invention of movable type in Mainz, Germany with Guttenberg. Printing houses like Caxton and the Aldine Press in Venice took great pride in their editions.

Why books? What were the subjects? Medical treatises, Histories of the World all illustrated beautifully. We will look at travel books, children's books, and as the reading public expands, the yellow paperback. The late Nineteenth Century brought a proliferation of large, beautifully illustrated art books with tipped in plates. But then, the next development is the E-Book or Kindle. All good things must come to an end? Let's hope not! A book is a work of art, and we shall enjoy looking at some outstanding examples.

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.


Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925