I’ll have to admit, like many other booksellers, we were a little worried about the impact that the change of venue and change of date would have on the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair (WABF). Changes of date at the New York International Book Fair caused a ripple effect down the east coast that would result in many fairs changing their dates, and some having to change their venues when new dates were not available at their usual venue. This was the case for the WABF, which had for 40 years been at Rosslyn’s Holiday Inn convention facilities, and was moved to the ballroom of the historic landmark Sphinx Club on K Street in Washington DC — a wonderful Art Deco pastiche of Islamic architecture. Although there were a few hiccups with the new venue, Beth Campbell, the show’s promoter, did a wonderful job dealing with any issues that arose, and got the show off to a smooth start. Through her efforts, I think there were more visitors this year than there was last year.
Our booth had great attendance, and I was able to discuss 19th C. and early 20th C. book arts to my heart’s content with the many collectors and librarians that stopped by.
I had a wonderful discussion with Bill Peterson, the author of The Beautiful Poster Lady: A Life of Ethel Reed, about art, Ethel Reed and the Kelmscott Chaucer:
And a delightful discussion of 19th C. pirated book art with Marianna Marstell and Amanda Zimmerman of the Library of Congress‘ Rare Book Division:
All in all, a fantastic show that I am looking forward to exhibiting at in 2018!