Spitzmueller, distinguished conservator and book artist, to give Mann Lecture

Pamela Spitzmueller will give The Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts, at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library on the University Park campus of Penn State. Her talk is titled, "Books as Physical Objects or How Conserving Damaged Rare Books Inspired Me to Create New Book Objects." A reception will follow in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library.

Spitzmueller, a distinguished conservator and book artist, served as the James W. Needham Chief Conservator for Special Collections, Harvard University and Harvard College. She also has headed the rare book conservation program at the University of Iowa, and served as a conservator for the Library of Congress and the Newberry Library. Recognized for the technical excellence and historical sensitivity of her conservation treatments, her replicas of historical book structures and her artists' books have been widely exhibited at libraries and art galleries including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York Center for Book Arts, the Boston Athenaeum, Grolier Club, Art Institute of Chicago, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, and the Barbican Centre in London.

After earning a degree with distinction and highest honors at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Spitzmueller began studying bookbinding in 1976 with renowned book conservator Gary Frost. During the course of her career Spitzmueller also trained with Anthony Cains, director of conservation at Trinity College, Dublin; Tom Albro and Barbara Meier-Husby at the Library of Congress; Chicago book conservator William Anthony; and Paul Banks, architect and first director of the only degree-granting graduate program in library preservation and conservation in the U.S. In 1979, she received a National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored fellowship in preservation and conservation hosted by Yale University. She also has received grants from the Kress Foundation and the National Museum Act to support studies in the U.S. and in England.

While at the University of Iowa in the Libraries Conservation Department, she secured a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to direct two, four-year apprenticeships in rare book conservation and taught a series of advanced conservation workshops that attracted conservators from throughout the United States.

In the School of Art and Art History at Iowa, Spitzmueller taught semester-long courses in historical book structure and other subjects. She also served as guest lecturer for the University of Iowa Center for the Book, School of Library and Information Science, and Museum Studies program.

She has lectured on a broad range of topics having to do with book history and conservation, ranging from theoretical (the aesthetics, ethics, and mechanics of book conservation) to historical and technical (book- and paper-making and conservation).

For more information or if you have questions about physical access or special accommodations needed, contact Sandra Stelts sks5@psu.edu or 814-865-1793.

Last Updated March 04, 2013