Acclaimed Book Artist Stephen Pittelkow to Lecture at Wells College

October 3, 2018
Pittelkow will deliver the 46th Susan Garretson Swartzburg ’60 Memorial Book Arts Lecture and conduct a demonstration of his method of the art of paper marbling.

The Wells College Book Arts Center is pleased to welcome renowned book artist Stephen Pittelkow to campus, where he will present the 46th Susan Garretson Swartzburg '60 Memorial Book Arts Lecture, titled "Taming a Riot of Color: Contemporary Paper Marbling." The lecture will be held on Friday, Oct. 19, at 3:00 p.m. in Stratton Hall 209, and will be accompanied by a real-time demonstration of Pittelkow's paper marbling techniques.

Admission is free and all are welcome. The event is tied in with the College's 150th anniversary celebration weekend, which runs Oct. 18 through Oct. 21. More info at

Pittelkow is a modern master of the art of paper marbling, a method of producing lively patterns similar to marble or other types of polished stone, and often employed as a decorative solution for book covers and endpapers in bookbinding and stationary. Marbling dates back to the 10th century in China, but the art form reached a high-water mark in Turkey in the 18th and 19th centuries, followed by more recent European and American adaptations which have raised the bar in terms of technique and color interaction.

Pittelkow has made several previous visits to Wells College as part of the Wells Book Arts Summer Institute, where he has provided hands-on marbling demsonstrations to students. Additonally, he has taught and exhibited his works at many colleges, universities, museums and book art centers throughout the United States and around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Center for Book Arts and the Morgan Conservatory.

This lecture is the 46th in a series named for Susan Garettson Swartzburg. Working closely with Wells faculty and staff, Swartzburg helped to organize the press, bindery and other components that became Wells College's Book Arts Center, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. She served on the Book Arts Center's advisory board and, in memory of her father, established a biannual book arts lecture series for which she raised funds and organized events.

About the Wells College Book Arts Center

Since its founding, the Wells Book Arts Center has become a unique center of production and study in the book arts, with highly-sought-after facilities and vibrant year-round programming. In addition to integrating into the academic curriculum of the Visiting Writers Series, the center operates the Wells College Press, hosts a lecture series and draws accomplished book arts artists to campus every summer for the Summer Book Arts Insititute. For more information please visit

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