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Gérard Charrière papers


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Painter and book artist Gérard Charrière's (1935- ) productive and multifaceted career spans over six decades, beginning in the 1950s. Born in Fribourg, Switzerland, Charrière studied bookbinding, design, drawing, and tooling at the École des Arts et Métiers in Basel. Later, he pursued advanced studies in the art of bookbinding with Raymond Mondange at the Lycée Technique Estienne in Paris. In 1964, Charrière moved to Chicago, where he worked at the Newberry Library as a rare book and manuscript restorer. Four years later, in 1968, he moved to New York to study painting at the Art Students League. Charrière remained in New York until 2001, when he relocated to Berlin.

Over the course of his career, Charrière has created custom bindings for limited edition artists' books. Charrière's book covers are traditional in technique yet untraditional in composition and material. Charrière is known for incorporating modern, unconventional materials in his covers, including plexiglass, bubble wrap, nails, found objects, and painting. Charrière is also a prolific painter, and his works are held in many collections throughout the world.

Charrière, Gérard. "Philosophy." Gerard Charriere Portfolio. Accessed October 29, 2019. Art Projects. "Gérard Charrière." Accessed October 29, 2019. Fine Art. "Gérard Charrière." Accessed October 29, 2019.

The Gérard Charrière papers consist of correspondence, artists' books, catalogs, brochures, periodicals, postcards, artworks, sketches, and printed ephemera created and collected by Charrière (bulk 1980-2000). The majority of the collection comprises correspondence and materials from Charrière's artist friends and colleagues. Included in the collection are drafts, mock-ups, and other materials associated with Charrière's bookbinding practice.

The collection is arranged in three series. Series I. Artist files contains correspondence, greeting cards, and artist books. Material in this series is arranged by individual. While the bulk of the correspondence is addressed to Charrière, some letters are addressed to Ted Cronin, an artist and gallery owner who was also Charrière's partner. Charrière corresponded with book artists and publishers including Norma Rubovits, Brenda Miller, Warja Lavater, Lois Morrison, Ed Hutchins, Ted Cronin, Béatrice Coron, Ira Joel Haber, Louis Pelosi, Sally Agee, Ric Haynes, Douglass Howell, and Ron Keller. Many of the greeting cards and postcards are original works of art.

Series II. Ephemera consists of printed material collected by Charrière. This series contains materials relating to Charrière's career and other materials collected by the artist. The former includes photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, and exhibition brochures. Other materials he collected include playbills, brochures, exhibition announcements, postcards, exhibition catalogs, and magazines, including multiple publications on the artist Jacob Lawrence.

Series III. Artwork primarily consists of works on paper created by Charrière, most of which are likely drafts. There are approximately 115 works on paper, including 35 binding designs, as well as 3 woodblocks (1990-1999). This series also contains artwork (1989-1992) by Ted Cronin, including two photo collages, two mixed-material collages, and a letter from Barbara Bush in response to a collage.

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons

Box 2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Box 3: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (24 inches)

Oversize folder 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize mapcases

Further additions to this collection are expected.

Gifts of Gérard Charrière, 2001-2019

Processed and encoded by Kristen Nassif, November, 2019.

Certain books in the collection from the library of of Gerard Charrìère have been removed and cataloged in DELCAT.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2019 November 12
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Abrams, Elaine and Gordon, Joel, 1900.
Box 1 Folder F1
Agee, Sally, circa 1992-1994.
Box 1 Folder F2
Bart, Harriet, 2001.
Box 1 Folder F3
Bauer, George and Ellen, circa 1967-1988.
Box 1 Folder F4
Bente, Doug, 1992.
Box 1 Folder F5
Carothers, Martha, 1992-1996.
Box 1 Folder F6
Coron, Béatrice, 1975-2007.
Box 1 Folder F7
Cronin, Ted, circa 1992.
Box 1 Folder F8
Davidson, Laura, circa 1991-1992.
Box 1 Folder F9
Flanagan, Bob, 1987.
Box 1 Folder F10
Golden, Rory and Alisa, circa 1992.
Box 1 Folder F11
Haber, Ira Joel, 1978-2001.
Box 1 Folder F12
Haynes, Ric, 1986-1989.
Box 1 Folder F13
Howell, Douglass, circa 1978.
Box 1 Folder F14
Hutchins, Edward, 1982-2002.
Box 1 Folder F15
Jung, Roland, 1985.
Box 1 Folder F16
Keller, Ronald, 1977-1992.
Box 1 Folder F17
Lavater, Warja, 1976-1996.
Box 1 Folder F18
Merrill, James, 1964.
Box 1 Folder F19
Miller, Brenda, 1979-1995.
Box 1 Folder F20
Miura, Tini, 1987.
Box 1 Folder F21
Morrison, Lois, 1990-2007.
Box 1 Folder F22
Nees, Susan, 1990.
Box 1 Folder F23
Pelosi, Louis and Koczy, Rosemarie, 1982-1995.
Box 1 Folder F24
Purgatory Pie Press, 1990.
Box 1 Folder F25
Scope and Contents

Contains prints by Patrick Brill and Pamela Hobbs, and an envelope sent by Sarah Peter addressed to Ted Cronin.

Ross, Claire and John, undated.
Box 1 Folder F26
Box 1 Folder F27
Christmas cards.
Box 2 Folder F1
Physical Description

Contains two Christmas cards and an envelope with confetti.

Scheer, Mimi, undated.
Box 1 Folder F28
Share, Susan, circa 1992.
Box 1 Folder F29
Shaw, Joyce Cutler, 1987.
Box 1 Folder F30
Siegel, Adam, 1994.
Box 1 Folder F31
Sramek, Peter, 1992.
Box 1 Folder F32
Treadwell, Helen, circa 1960.
Box 1 Folder F33
Vigil, Lonnie, 1980s-2001.
Box 1 Folder F34
Weil, Hope, 1985.
Box 1 Folder F35
Unknown, undated.
Box 1 Folder F36

Publicity and promotional materials about Charrière, 1989-2016.
Box 1 Folder F37
Brochures, exhibition announcements, catalogs, postcards, 1971-2014.
Box 1 Folder F38
Playbills, magazines, newspaper clippings, 1970-2014.
Box 1 Folder F39
Issues of La Reliure, 1962-1967.
Box 1 Folder F40
Jacob Lawrence material, 1960-2004.
Box 1 Folder F41-42
Scope and Contents

These materials comprise clippings, a brochure for the exhibition Two Centuries of Black American Art, the exhibition catalog

Jacob Lawrence: Drawings, 1945-1996, and the catalog for a Lawrence exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in May 1974.
Postcards, undated.
Box 1 Folder F43-44

Woodblocks, 1990-1999.
Box 2
Physical Description

Three woodblocks.

Works on paper, undated.
Box 1 Folder F45-46
Works on paper, undated.
Box 3 Folder F1-3
Works on paper, undated.
Oversize Folder 1
Cronin, Ted, 1989-1992.
Box 3 Folder F4
Unknown artists, undated.
Box 1 Folder F47

Print, Suggest