Book Fairs

The 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair

The 2016 edition of the world’s largest antiquarian book fair will be held in Pasadena, February 12-14, and will include a special exhibit marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Sponsored by Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the fair will feature more than 200 booksellers from around the world, offering a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps, and other printed materials. Location: Pasadena Convention Center. Admission: Three-day ticket is $25; Saturday/Sunday combination ticket is $15.

Courtesy of the CIABF.

LA Art Book Fair

If art books and zines are more your style, check out the LA Art Book Fair, February 12-14. This fair, organized by Printed Matter, is the West Coast edition of New York’s Art Book Fair, which has been gaining speed for a decade. More than 250 exhibitors turned up at last year’s LA fair, led by a strong contingent of local printers. There are talks and signings too. Location: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. Admission: $10 for the preview on February 11; otherwise, free.

LA Art Book Fair



On Sunday, February 14, Bonhams Los Angeles will offer Fine Books and Manuscripts headlined by a first edition, first issue of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. This copy was owned by Darwin’s exact contemporary, John Gwyn Jeffreys, a conchologist in charge of several marine expeditions from the 1850s-1870s. The estimate is $70,000-90,000. Another highlight of this auction: Dr. Kary Mullis’ 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, estimated at $450,000-550,000.

Courteys of Bonhams.

PBA Galleries

The San Francisco-based auction house will hold a special rare books & manuscripts auction in Pasadena on February 14 at 8 a.m. One of the highlights is an archive of twenty-six manuscript letters signed by King Philip IV of Spain, to Luis Enríquez de Guzmán, 9th Count of Alba de Liste, his Viceroy in New Spain, written from February 1651 to February 1653. The estimate is $80,000-120,000.

Courtesy of PBA Galleries.

Exhibits & Events

The Getty Center

The Getty Center in Los Angeles offers several exhibits of interest to book and fine art collectors, beginning with a display of daguerreotypes from the Getty’s collection on view through March 30. (One is pictured above: Portrait of a Daguerreotypist Displaying Daguerreotypes and Cases, 1845, maker unknown, hand-colored daguerreotype). Another exhibit, Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts, showcases medieval manuscripts collections across LA, and will be up through June 26. Noir: The Romance of Black in 19th-Century French Drawings and Prints, may also appeal. It is up through May 15.

Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

One of several exhibits on view at the Huntington* during Rare Book Week West is titled Friends and Family. It focuses on British portraiture from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. These small-scale portraits, however, are special in that the subjects were well-known to the artists. Seen here is artist Samuel Palmer’s 1827 portrait, George Richmond Engraving “The Shepherd.” *Free admission if you purchase a $25 CA International Antiquarian Book Fair ticket.

Courtesy of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Through May 1, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art features Living for the Moment: Japanese Prints from the Barbara S. Bowman Collection. This display of over one hundred prints includes early prints of the genre known as ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world); superior works from the golden age of that art form at the end of the eighteenth century; and nineteenth-century prints by such great masters as Utagawa Hiroshige, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Seen here is a color woodblock print, Lucky Dream for the New Year: Mt. Fuji, Falcon and Eggplants by Suzuki Harunobu, circa 1768-1769.

Promised Gift of Barbara S. Bowman. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Bookish Browsing

International Printing Museum

The International Printing Museum of Carson, California (seventeen miles south of LA), is a public non-profit organization devoted to the history of books and printing. There are book arts classes and scheduled special events, or you can just go and check out the Lindner Collection of antique printing machinery—one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of historic graphic arts equipment in the world. The museum is open on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday-Friday by appointment, and closed Sunday-Monday. Tours are available, and admission is $10/adult; $8/students and seniors.

International Printing Museum