The Helen Warren DeGolyer Exhibition and
Award for American Bookbinding
2 June-21 July 2006
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Ficciones.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Dos Amigos, 1987. Illustrated by
Gabriela Aberastury, Julio Pagnao, Mirta Ripoll, Raúl Russo, and
Alicia Scavino. Copy number 26 of 42. 26 x 33.5 cm, 184 pp.
Bridwell Library Special Collections.
The exhibition was a juried show drawn from a
competition to design a binding for a book in Bridwell’s Special
Collections. The book for the fourth triennial competition was Jorge
Luis Borges’s Ficciones, printed in a limited edition of
forty-two at the Argentine fine press Ediciones Dos Amigos. First
published in 1944, Ficciones includes seventeen short prose
pieces designed to challenge a reader’s sense of certainty. Largely
because of this work, Borges is considered one of the greatest
writers of the twentieth century. The Ediciones Dos Amigos edition
was begun on August 9, 1984 and completed December 31, 1987. Samuel
César Palui oversaw the edition and signed each copy. The collection
of short stories by Borges includes seventeen illustrations by five
important Argentine artists: Gabriela Aberastury, Julio Pagnao,
Mirta Ripoll, Raúl Russo, and Alicia Scavino. The Bridwell copy is
number twenty-six from the private collection of the publisher of
Ediciones Dos Amigos, Ernesto Lowenstein.
The 2006 exhibition consisted of both completed
example bindings and the proposed designs for Ficciones
chosen from competition entries for inclusion by the jury. Bridwell
Library has published a full-color catalog of the exhibition.
During the last half of the twentieth century,
Helen Warren DeGolyer was a well-known supporter of education and
the arts in Dallas. She was also an artist herself, particularly
skilled at the art of bookbinding. In 1996, the brother of Mrs.
DeGolyer, Joseph Warren, and Mrs. DeGolyer’s children, Everett Lee
DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, fulfilled her testamentary wishes, and
established an endowment to support the Helen Warren DeGolyer
Triennial at Bridwell Library. They also donated Mrs. DeGolyer’s
collection of fine bindings to Bridwell Library, including over
twenty-five of her own design bindings.
The exhibition itself was free and open to
the public from June 2 through July 21, 2006.