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A Potpourri of Pop Art Posters and Prints,
Plus Pop-Ups and Movable Books

The Newark Public Library: Third Floor Gallery
September 15 - December 31, 1997

This colorful exhibition features two highly popular art concepts, which have wide appeal to many, many people. The larger works in the gallery feature original prints and historic posters by major Pop Art artisits whose striking images and revolutionary iconography created a sensation when they appeared on the worldwide scene nearly forty years ago. Other areas of the show display fifty books that pop up or have movable parts. Several of these ingenious publications have lift flaps, revolving wheels, and pull tab mechanics. Many of the books were created for young people, but they also have great appeal for adult readers. Some of the them are highly sophisticated in concept and content, but they are highly attractive to readers of all ages.

Interest in pop-up publications has grown tremendously over the past few years, and a Society for Movable Book Enthusiasts has been formed. The Newark Public Library has collected several hundred of these visually appealing books as representative of considerable public interest in this area of contemporary publication which requires the expertise of a paper engineer in addition to an author, an illustrator and a publisher. This quartet of people is a reminder of the methods used for centuries to create Japanese prints and printed books with images. The engineering factor is essential, as nobody wants to purchase or look at a movable book that breaks down or, worse still, does not function at all. Some of the major topics of the pop-ups in The Library are animals, legendary and mythical creatures, exploration of space, traditional stories for young people, Christmas holidays, miniature books and those books which have highly imaginative shapes and sizes.

Original prints and historic posters by legendary Pop Art artisits, such as Lichtenstein, Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Indiana, and Jim Dine present a survey of the works of some of the leading figures in this now historic art movement. The prints and posters were acquired by purchased by and gift to the Library in the 1960's, when the revolutionary art of a realistic style was in full flower and highly controversial. The realistic images were in sharp contrast to the work of the Abstract Expressionists who had dominated the world art scene during the previous decade. The combination of pop-up books and highly colorful Pop Art prints and posters makes for a lively visual scene with humor, art history, high creativity, and individual expression clearly evident in the materials carefully selected for this show. All the items on view are part of the Special Collections of The Newark Public Library and are open free to all visitors during the hours when The Library is open during the autumn season.

William J. Dane
Supervising Librarian
Special Collections
The Newark Public Library
(973) 733-7745

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