Upcoming Events

*Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Book Club of California and are free and open to the public. Please refer to the description under each event.

Email programs@bccbooks.org for any questions, or call (415) 781-7532 ext. 3

An Evening in the Library: Pulp Nonfiction: Papermaking Around the World
Monday, September 9, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 5:30 PM

From its beginnings in Ancient China through its slow spread westward, paper has been an agent of transformation. In this hands-on library event, we will look at the plants used by different cultures to make paper and how the manufacturing process adapted to these raw materials. We will handle a variety of papers from around the world and discuss how the types of fibers and the production processes affect the character of the resulting sheets. Your favorite book will never feel the same!

A members-only talk by Elizabeth Newsom, librarian, Book Club of California.

Reservations required. Limited seating available.

Please RSVP here.

Woody Guthrie L.A. 1937 – 1941
Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 5:30-7:30 PM
*A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 5:30 PM

Woody Guthrie L.A.: 1937 to 1941, edited by historians Darryl Holter and William Deverell, argues that the famed folk singer’s brief residence in Los Angeles in the later years of the Great Depression forever changed his music, his politics, and his legacy. Those changes became the basis of his incredible influence on the world’s music.

The book is the product of many years’ work and close cooperation with members of Woody Guthrie’s family and estate. Lyrics Guthrie wrote about Los Angeles, many of which he never set to music, are published here for the first time. The book also features more than a dozen of Guthrie’s brilliant cartoons—his quickly drawn satires on politics, the wealthy, and the future of Los Angeles.

Because Woody Guthrie came to Los Angeles when he did, his music stridently addresses inequities and inequalities amplified by the Depression. In Los Angeles, the ever-observant Dust Bowl troubadour became the urban folksinger. His time in L.A. created the Woody that—eighty years later—bears witness to America’s promise and its problems.

An illustrated talk with music by Darryl Holter, musician, singer-songwriter, and author, and William Deverell, professor of history and director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West at the University of Southern California.

At the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Vance Gerry: An Overview of a Life in the Arts
Monday, September 16, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Vance Gerry was an artist who applied his creative talents to many different interests and pursuits. Perhaps best known for his successful career at Walt Disney Productions, Vance also operated various presses during his lifetime. Although he produced stunningly beautiful books and ephemera, Vance remains largely unknown and undervalued as a fine printer. Please join us for a glimpse into the private life of Vance Gerry, one of Southern California’s premier fine press printers.

An illustrated talk by Robert Bothamley, author and collector.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

A Co-presentation with the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America: Collecting the uncollectible: An introduction to the Situationist International through its cultural artifacts
Monday, September 23, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

This talk will provide an introduction to the Situationist International (S.I.) through the prism of book collecting. Active from 1957 to 1972, the S.I. was a revolutionary alliance of artists, intellectuals, architects and political theorists that is hailed as the “last avant garde” of the 20th century. The organization is perhaps best known for its role in shaping the ideas behind the May 1968 riots in France. This talk will also address some of the joys and challenges of collecting a movement that rejects the very notion of collection – e.g., by encouraging endless reprints, using low-quality “stolen” paper, donating (instead of selling) their work, and more.

A talk by Mehdi El Hajoui, private collector.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Junipero Serra: The Man Behind the Myths
Monday, September 30, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Pope Francis’s decision in 2015 to canonize Junípero Serra sparked a storm of controversy, especially in California. There were serious disagreements between those who believed Serra should be canonized as an intrepid and even heroic evangelizer of the New World and those who believed that Serra was a central figure in the destruction of the Native American way of life and thus is unworthy of the honor of sainthood.

In this presentation we attempt to get behind the controversy and look at Serra the man. In our judgment, the two major forces in Serra’s life were a) his personal identity as an 18th century Catholic missionary, and b) his relationship with the native peoples he encountered in central Mexico, Baja California, and Alta California. We believe that approaching Serra in this fashion throws considerable light upon the early history of Spanish and Mexican California.

An illustrated talk by Rose Marie Beebe, professor of Spanish literature, and Robert Senkewicz, professor of history, emeritus, both at Santa Clara University.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

2019 Litquake Literary Festival at the Book Club of California: Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad
Monday, October 14, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

From across the sea, they came by the thousands, escaping war and poverty in southern China to seek their fortunes in America. Converging on the enormous western worksite of the Transcontinental Railroad, the migrants spent years dynamiting tunnels through the snow-packed cliffs of the Sierra Nevada and laying tracks across the burning Utah desert. Their sweat and blood fueled the ascent of an interlinked, industrial United States. But those of them who survived this perilous effort would suffer a different kind of death—a historical one, as they were pushed first to the margins of American life and then to the fringes of public memory.

In this groundbreaking account, award-winning scholar Gordon H. Chang draws on unprecedented research to recover the Chinese railroad workers’ stories and celebrate their role in remaking America. An invaluable correction of a great historical injustice, The Ghosts of Gold Mountain returns these “silent spikes” to their rightful place in our national saga.

A talk by Gordon H. Chang, professor of history at Stanford University.

Reservations not available at this time.

The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 5:30-7:30 PM
*A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

The Missing Pages is the biography of a manuscript that is at once art, sacred object, and cultural heritage. Its tale mirrors the story of its scattered community as Armenians have struggled to redefine themselves after genocide and in the absence of a homeland. Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh follows in the manuscript’s footsteps through seven centuries, from medieval Armenia to the killing fields of 1915 Anatolia, the refugee camps of Aleppo, Ellis Island, and Soviet Armenia, and ultimately to a Los Angeles courtroom.

Reconstructing the path of the pages, Watenpaugh uncovers the rich tapestry of an extraordinary artwork and the people touched by it. At once a story of genocide and survival, of unimaginable loss and resilience, The Missing Pages captures the human costs of war and persuasively makes the case for a human right to art.

An illustrated talk by Heghnar Watenpaugh, Ph.D., author and professor of art history at the University of California, Davis .

To RSVP, please complete this form.

At the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

Field Trip: California State Library
Friday, October 18, 2019, 10 AM – 2 PM

A field trip to the oldest continuously operated public library in the American West. Located in Sacramento, the State Library has an extensive collection of documents from and about the state’s rich history and is one of the major genealogical reference libraries on the West Coast.

Ticketed event. More information to come.

At the California State Library
900 N. Street Sacramento, CA 95814-4869

Books and Biography: A Case Study Based on Iliazd (Ilia Zdanevich)
Monday, October 21, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Ilia Zdanevich, known as Iliazd, was a Russian Futurist writer, typographer, and book designer who moved to Paris in 1921, published the first anthology of experimental visual and sound poetry in the late 1940s, and became a producer of livres d’artistes until his death in 1975. His books included collaborations with many celebrated modern artists—Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and others—and are much sought after by bibliophiles and collectors. But does appreciation of the books depend upon information about his life? And what are the practical and critical challenges in constructing a biography? What is the relationship between archival evidence and narrative? How do we read an individual life in relation to enormous forces and events of history (Revolution, world wars)? What taboos and lines of privacy need to be respected and when? What relation does the constructed persona of a biographical subject have to their work? The recently completed, Encountering Iliazd: Memoir of a Biographical Project, addresses these and other issues and forms the case study for considering these questions more broadly.

Johanna Drucker is a writer, scholar, and artist who began making books in the 1970s. Her work is represented in major collections and archives. She has published widely on topics related to the history of the book, visual poetry, digital humanities, and graphical forms of knowledge production. Titles include: The Century of Artists’ Books (Granary, 1994), The Alphabetic Labyrinth (Thames and Hudson, 1994), SpecLab (Chicago, 2009), Graphesis (Harvard, 2014), and Downdrift (Three Rooms Press, 2018).

A talk by Johanna Drucker, writer, scholar, and artist.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The Bookseller as Amenity: Experiences in running downtown San Francisco’s last used bookstore in Trinity Place alley
Monday, October 28, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

A talk by Natalia Kresich, writer and owner of 34 Trinity Arts & News, and Rick Wilkinson, owner of G.F. Wilkinson Books.

Details to come.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Lecture on the History of the Book Trade in California and the West:
The Lore & Lure of Literature on Early Yosemite Tourism

Monday, November 4, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Following the first tourist party visit to Yosemite in 1855, literature–whether pictorial, photographic, or printed–enticed sightseers to visit the sublime Valley. Tracing the evolution of this relationship provides an insight into early Yosemite ephemera, books, and lithographs. The literary lure of tourists to the Valley has worked so well, that today Yosemite is painfully loved to death.

An illustrated talk by Dennis Kruska, author of Bibliography of Yosemite, the Central and the Southern High Sierra, and the Big Trees, 1839-1900 (1992) and James Mason Hutchings of Yosemite: a Biography and Bibliography, 2009.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Lecture on the History of the Book Trade in California and the West:
The Lore & Lure of Literature on Early Yosemite Tourism

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 7:30 – 9:30 PM
*A Southern California Program

Following the first tourist party visit to Yosemite in 1855, literature–whether pictorial, photographic, or printed–enticed sightseers to visit the sublime Valley. Tracing the evolution of this relationship provides an insight into early Yosemite ephemera, books, and lithographs. The literary lure of tourists to the Valley has worked so well, that today Yosemite is painfully loved to death.

An illustrated talk by Dennis Kruska, author of Bibliography of Yosemite, the Central and the Southern High Sierra, and the Big Trees, 1839-1900 (1992) and James Mason Hutchings of Yosemite: a Biography and Bibliography, 2009.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

*At Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108

Pasadena Printmaker Frances Gearhart Celebrates California
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
*A Southern California Program

6:00 PM refreshments | 7:00 PM lecture | 8:15 PM book signing

An exhibition of Gearhart’s work and a talk by Susan Futterman, author.

Details to come.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

*At Pasadena Central Library, Donald R. Wright Auditorium
285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101

The Artist and the Printer: The Book Club of California’s Quarterly and Two Lifetimes of Image Making
Monday, November 18, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

A discussion with Michael Schwab, graphic artist, and Richard Seibert, letterpress printer

Details to come.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Paul Robertson Endowed Lecture on the History, Art, and Literature of California:
A Fair View of Progress: The Evolution of Innovations from the 1915 San Francisco Exposition

Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 5:30-7:30 PM
*A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

An illustrated talk by Laura A. Ackley, author of the award-winning book San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Details to come.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

At the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

Paul Robertson Endowed Lecture on the History, Art, and Literature of California:
A Fair View of Progress: The Evolution of Innovations from the 1915 San Francisco Exposition

Monday, December 16, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6PM

An illustrated talk by Laura A. Ackley, author of the award-winning book San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Details to come.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

 

Details to come. Please check back for updates or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest information on events, exhibitions, and publications.

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