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Grolier Club Exhibitions


Schubert Piano Company. New York, 1898.

When this trade card is opened, the woman places her hands on the piano keyboard. An image of Austrian composer Franz Schubert appears on the wall behind her. The reverse is stamped “M. P. Moller & Co., Hagerstown, MD,” one of the country’s largest manufacturers of pipe organs. The card was printed by Donaldson Brothers who were very prolific trade card and advertising lithographers.

Nick Manoloff’s Modern Accompaniment Guide for Spanish Guitar. Chicago, IL: M. & Cole Publishing, 1935.

Volvelles like this one have been called the original computers since they aggregate a great deal of information. Turning the wheel allows one to change the chords in accordance with any key. The reverse gives the minor chords, accidentals, and the definition of parallel minor chords and transpositions. Manoloff (1898-1969) was an inventor of steel tone bars for string instruments, a composer and arranger, and wrote other musical instruction books. If you buy Mr. Manoloff’s Book #1, the volvelle is free.

Už Jsme Doma [We are already home]. Prague, Czech Republic: Argo Publishing, 1996.

This is one of the most unusual and elaborate CD cases I’ve ever seen. The band, Už Jsme Doma (pronounced ooze smeh DOUGH-ma), refuse to categorize their musical genre. Every spread in the house-shaped book has pop-ups and pull tabs, each page in a different color. The text expresses the band’s philosophy. Included with the CD is a house-shaped book with the band’s discography, black and white illustrations and photos, the song lyrics, and history. The colophon is a printed flap that serves as a closure for the book.

Fleetwood Mac: The Dance. Burbank, CA: Reprise Records, 1997.

Rock band Fleetwood Mac celebrated the 20th anniversary of its album, Rumours, by producing an elaborate promotional record sleeve for their album Dance, with updated versions of Rumours songs. Open the cover’s proscenium to read a bio of the group; pull out a side-pocket card with interesting statistics relating to the group, like the year members joined and number of albums sold; pull down the center of the jacket for a pop-up of the group on stage. The back of the album lists the tracks­—some are updated old tunes—on the record.

Ditty Bops. Summer Rains. 2008.

The CD’s gatefold cardboard slipcase was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Recording Package category in 2008. After pulling the tab on the cover to expose the CD’s title, open the sleeve to have the Ditty Bops pop-up out on their ship. Turn the wheel on the back cover to display the playlist. Renee Jablow is the paper engineer. In 1972, the Sticky Fingers album (1971), designed by Andy Warhol, was also nominated for the award.