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Utrecht, Netherlands,

XXI. International Ex-libris Congress, Utrecht, Netherlands,
6-9 August, 1986

Many participants came to the meeting organized by Wim Bruin. There were lectures by P. W. Frederiks on photographic ex-libris, by Dr. R. E. O. Ekkart, Director of the Rijksmuseum (where the Verster and Schwencke collections are kept) on the history of ex-libris in the Netherlands, and by Prof. van Praag on "Jewish symbols in Dutch ex-libris". There was also a good bookshop, and exhibitions of early Dutch bookplates as well as on bookplates with numismatic themes. But it was the talk by the artist Pam Rueter, "What is a Bookplate?", which aroused greatest interest – as it is still of interest today. In brief, Rueter listed five points which remain at the heart of the nature of bookplates today:
1. Unlike a free engraving, a bookplate is a form of applied art. Accordingly, it has to serve the purpose of marking the ownership of a book.
2. The size of the bookplate and the technique used to make it should be in harmony with the book.
3. A bookplate should adorn a book, the way a piece of jewelry enhances the beauty of a woman.
4. The lettering has to be clear and form part of the composition, so that the design and lettering are in perfect unity.
5. A bookplate may have a mere decorative or ornamental function, or it can have rich, meaningful significance in relation either to the owner of the book, to books in general, to a particular book or to a particular author.
Though some collectors consider these elements of definition too restrictive, they still correspond to the most widely held view.

L to R: Hannu Paalasma, Pieter Wetselaar, Lou Strik

Demonstration of stencil printing By Genshichi Tsukagoshi. Behind, standing, Ichigoro Uchida, Wim De Bruyn

Artist and collector: Yvonne de Vries (L) and …?

Collector and artist: Jef Arras (L) and Hedwig Pauwels (R)

Joke van der Brant between John and Zelma Gardner (Australia)

André Gastmans (L) and Akiko Uchida (R)

Utrecht, 1986. Jeanne Rasdolsky, Germaine Meyer-Noirel, Jacques Rasdolsky, Jan Meeus.

Utrecht 1986. Excursion…
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