Pamela Spitzmuelle, a distinguished conservator and book artist, will give a lecture, "Books as Physical Objects or How Conserving Damaged Rare Books and Manuscripts Inspired Me to Create New Book Objects" at Shambaugh Auditorium in Iowa City.
In her 35 year career, Spitzmueller has served as the James W. Needham Chief Conservator for Special Collections, Harvard University and Harvard College. She also has headed the rare book conservation program at the University of Iowa, and served as a conservator for the Library of Congress and the Newberry Library. Recognized for the technical excellence and historical sensitivity of her conservation treatments, her replicas of historical book structures and her artists' books have been widely exhibited at libraries and art galleries including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York Center for Book Arts, the Boston Athenaeum, Grolier Club, Art Institute of Chicago, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, and the Barbican Centre in London.
She has presented many lectures on historical book structures and created workshops on long and link stitch sewing; girdle books; a multi-quire, wooden-boarded codex from Egypt and most recently a model of a 17th c. printed Almanac for tradesmen with erasable pages. Pamela is also a retired Paper and Book Intensive Co-director where she has taught many classes.
While at the University of Iowa in the Libraries Conservation Department, she secured a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to direct two, four-year apprenticeships in rare book conservation and taught a series of advanced conservation workshops that attracted conservators from throughout the United States.
In the School of Art and Art History at Iowa, Spitzmueller taught semester-long courses in historical book structure and other subjects. She also served as guest lecturer for the University of Iowa Center for the Book, School of Library and Information Science, and Museum Studies program.
She has lectured on a broad range of topics having to do with book history and conservation, ranging from theoretical (the aesthetics, ethics, and mechanics of book conservation) to historical and technical (book- and paper-making and conservation).