In addition to teaching courses at the Center for Book Arts, School of Visual Arts and SUNY Purchase, Richard Minsky has conducted Lectures and Workshops for over 40 years at Universities, Libraries, Art Centers, and other venues in the USA and abroad.

If you are interested in having your venue on the upcoming schedule, here are some of the current offerings:

Material Meets Metaphor (currently the most popular lecture) is an illustrated talk about his life in book art and the evolution of his work, for a general audience. The presentation incorporates elements of "Practical Theory" (see below) as they apply to the creative process. It's been a "named" lecture several times (e.g., the Mitchell Lecture at U. Iowa). This developed into the book published by George Braziller in 2011, The Book Art of Richard Minsky: My Life in Book Art.

The Art of American Book Covers 1872-1930
shows how Modernism came into American homes on book covers. It bridges book art history and material culture, and was first presented at The Grolier Club in 2008. It became the book published by Braziller in 2010, The Art of American Book Covers 1875-1930. This lecture was presented at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia December 2, 2011 in the symposium
The Decorated Book and to The Aldus Society in Columbus, OH in March 2012, combined with a Critique Workshop at Ohio State University. A variant was presented in 2016 at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and in a symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Practical Theory is about the manipulation of emotion, intellect, and consciousness through visual and haptic stimuli. Originally developed under the title The Theory of Museum Finish for a class at The School of Visual Arts in the late 70s, it eventually became part of the course material at The Wizard Academy in Austin, TX, with the title Advanced Thought Particles. It provides the methodology used in The Critique Workshop.

The Critique Workshop
(currently the most popular workshop) usually has 14 participants. This presents a methodology for self critique, curatorial selection and criticism based on the balance of material, image and metaphor. Several other critical methodologies are explored. Each participant brings a work for discussion. Artists bring their own works, curators, critics, and collectors bring whatever. This workshop has been conducted at all levels, from Postgraduate (artists in all media with MFAs, at Southampton College in the 80's) to Book Art undergraduate classes (such as Washington University in St. Louis), for groups of mature book artists who exhibit their work (like San Diego Book Arts) and mixed groups of faculty, students and local artists (e.g., the University of Iowa, which has a Book Arts program and a community of book artists).

The Book Art Movement is about the individual and institutional developments in Book Art in the USA from 1974-1999. It was first presented at the 2001 SHARP [Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing] conference at the College of William & Mary in VA.

Innovation from Tradition is about book artists whose backgrounds are in conservation, preservation and restoration. Originally published in American Craft in 1993, this was adapted to include conservators in other media
for presentation at the 2003 joint conference session of the CAA (College Arts Association) and AIC (American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works).

The Bill of Rights exhibition includes rental of the artworks for up to ten weeks, a gallery talk, the Material Meets Metaphor lecture, Practical Theory and The Critique Workshop. It can involve local school groups, and has a set of assignments suitable for different grades, elementary through college.

Saved by the Cover: Rediscovering Amelia E. Barr was first presented as a Keynote at Smith College in December, 2015. Although she is now widely forgotten, at the beginning of the 20th century Amelia E. Barr [1831-1919] was one of the most popular female authors in America. An ardent promoter of equal rights for women, she wrote 70 books between 1882 and 1918. Publishers assigned some of the best cover artists to her works, representing the transition from Eastlake post-Victorian styling to Arts and Crafts, Japonisme, Art Nouveau and Poster style. Other formats change our perception of the texts. We see her novel Thyra Varrick in the original manuscript, and as a 1903 illustrated magazine serialization among advertisements for corsets and household supplies. This takes a romance set in 18th century Scotland and, for us, places it in the material culture of turn-of-the-century America.

Richard Minsky at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC,
 conducting a workshop for 190 winners of the
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Click the photo for more information.



Custom programs are available on a particular technique, concept, or methodology. The University of Iowa Center for the Book scheduled a workshop on the hardcover Yapp edge binding. The Oregon College of Art and Craft ordered a workshop where the participants produced an artist book in one day. We can work together to design a program tailored to your constituency.

Several nearby organizations often schedule events to share costs. There can be a lecture and a workshop the same day, in the same place, or adjacent days, or multiple locations. In San Diego, for example, Minsky presented a lecture at the La Jolla Athenaeum and did a workshop with San Diego Book Arts.

Different departments of a college may sponsor relevant programs for the same visit. At Oberlin, the Library hosted an exhibition of The Bill of Rights, the Friends of the Library sponsored a gallery tour and reception, and the Art department sponsored a lecture. Sometimes the library sponsors a lecture and the art department sponsors a workshop. At some institutions, the Development Office or Community Outreach is a sponsor.

Special workshops for larger groups can also be arranged. See the photo above. Please inquire.