Nature of the Book

  • through September 1, 2024
  • Smithsonian, Washington D.C.
Nature of the Book explores books of the hand-press era (from the use of movable type in Europe in about 1450 to the rise of mechanization in the 19th century) through the myriad natural materials--animal, vegetable and mineral-that went into their making. From essential ingredients like flax, leather, copper and lead, to the unexpected, like wasps and seaweed, the exhibition shows what the use of these materials can tell us about the book, touching on questions of use, process, global trade and economy. 
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