Jaffe Center hosts event honoring National Letterpress Appreciation Day

Students used a 19th century iron print press to make their own posters.

Yongliang+Huang%2C+a+graduate+student+studying+computer+science%2C+poses+with+his+print.+Benjamin+Paley+%7C+Contributing+Writer
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Jaffe Center hosts event honoring National Letterpress Appreciation Day

Yongliang Huang, a graduate student studying computer science, poses with his print. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Yongliang Huang, a graduate student studying computer science, poses with his print. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Yongliang Huang, a graduate student studying computer science, poses with his print. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Yongliang Huang, a graduate student studying computer science, poses with his print. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Benjamin Paley, Contributing Writer

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Florida Atlantic’s Jaffe Center for Book Arts hosted a printing press event in honor of National Letterpress Appreciation Day from Sept. 18-19.

According to its website, the center is “a hybrid of a library and an art gallery.” It hosts films, gallery talks, exhibitions and university classes.

Taking place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday and 3-5 p.m. on Monday on the third floor of the S.E. Wimberly Library, the event featured an iron book press made in the 1890s.

Guests were able to get their hands dirty and use the press to make their own poster featuring a quote from silent comic actor Charlie Chaplin. The choice to use Chaplin’s work was in honor of the center’s current exhibition on silent movies.

Students used this iron hand press, made in 1890 by the Wesel Company, to make movie posters. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Students used this iron hand press, made in 1890 by the Wesel Company, to make movie posters. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Senior economics major Kareme Shorter said he came upstairs to see what was going on after an announcement was made on the library’s intercom system.

“I think it is cool that they are hosting this,” said Shorter.  “You don’t see this everyday.”

Since Sept. 18 — the official date for National Letterpress Appreciation Day — falls during the weekend this year, the Jaffe Center hosted the event twice, once on Sunday and then again on Monday.

John Cutrone, the director of the center, wanted to ensure that students who weren’t on campus Sunday could have a chance to enjoy the event the following day.

According to Cutrone, the press was donated to the Jaffe Center by Brian and Beverly Varnado of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Brian Varnado previously acquired the iron book press as part of his collection.

Dayle Labrada and Keinelys Maldonado, both sophomores majoring in biological sciences, pose with their prints. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Dayle Labrada and Keinelys Maldonado, both sophomores majoring in biological sciences, pose with their prints. Benjamin Paley | Contributing Writer

Cutrone said he was “happy that students and guests came to the event” and was glad “they had the event a second time on Monday.”

Sophomore biological sciences major Dayle Labrada said she first came over for the free coffee and food, but shortly after found herself participating in the event.

“It was really cool,” Labrada said. “It’s old style, but it works.”

Benjamin Paley is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @benpaley92.