Bridwell Library Summer-Fall 2018 Events

Helen Warren DeGolyer Bookbinding Competition and Exhibition

June 8 – July 13

Every three years, Bridwell Library hosts a bookbinding competition named in honor of the late Helen Warren DeGolyer, an esteemed patron of the Dallas arts and education. The triennial event is made possible through an endowment established by her family in 1996.

American bookbinders seeking to enter the competition must submit their proposals for rebinding a specific book from the Bridwell collection, as well as a recent example of their work.

The person who submits the winning entry receives the 2018 DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding, which carries a commission to bind the book according to the terms of the winner’s proposal. In addition, the competition judges select award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design.

This year’s panel of judges includes Tish Brewer of the Center for Art Conservation; Bexx Caswell-Olson, special collections conservator for the libraries of Michigan State University; R. Arvid Nelsen, rare books and manuscripts librarian at Bridwell Library; Ellen Buie Niewyk, a special collections curator at SMU’s Hamon Arts Library; and Priscilla Spitler, the owner of Hands On Bookbinding of Truth or Consequences, N.M., and the recipient of the 2015 DeGolyer Award.

The Bridwell book to be bound in this year’s competition is Volume 4 (The Apocrypha) of The English Bible: containing the Old Testament & the New, published by the Doves Press of Hammersmith, London, between 1903 and 1905.

On display in conjunction with the competition will be the contestants’ submitted designs, as well as other examples of fine bookbinding, including winners of past DeGolyer competitions. The Doves Press Apocrypha, bound as issued, will also be displayed.

Bridwell Library Special Collections houses two complete sets (and one incomplete set) of the Doves Press Bible printed on paper — and one of only two sets printed on vellum. The vellum set belonged to Emery Walker, one of the founders of the Doves Press.

The Pietists

Aug. 20 – Dec. 14

Pietism was a reform movement in 17th and 18th century Dutch and German Protestantism which eventually spread to Great Britain, North America, and around the world. The rise of Pietism can be traced to a war of words between theologians, and to a real war, one of the most devastating in European history.

After the deaths of Martin Luther (in 1546) and Jean Calvin (in 1564), the focus of Protestantism began to shift from fomenting change to consolidating gains. The early Protestant reformers had championed a belief in salvation by faith through grace. The next generation, however, undertook a heavy-handed effort to define the limits of acceptable belief – to establish a Protestant Orthodoxy. By the early 1600s, critics of this effort complained that Christianity was being reduced to little more than competing sets of exclusive, rigid intellectual propositions. Others countered, however, that while the Reformation had succeeded in reformulating church doctrine and polity, it had done little to improve the spirituality and morality of society.

Concurrent with this scholarly wrangling, the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) left Europe decimated and demoralized. An era of religious disillusionment followed. Within Protestantism some who yearned for a more vital, experiential and ethical approach to faith began looking back to the teachings of Christ, the early church and later mystics for guidance. The result was Pietism, a new “religion of the heart” based on faith in transformative inner experience, expressed in a life of Christian commitment.

Pietism stressed love of God and neighbor over doctrinal purity. It viewed evangelism and good works as the tools through which God would transform society. While Pietists valued Bible study for spiritual guidance, they also believed inspiration and empowerment could come through the Holy Spirit.

“The Pietists” features works from Bridwell Library Special Collections written by precursors to and leaders of the Pietist movement in Holland, Germany, Great Britain and the United States. These writings illustrate the theological and geographic diversity of the movement during its period of greatest influence, from the late 17th century to the early 19th century.

Mandalas: Joseph Quillian

May 4 – Aug. 19

Joseph D. Quillian, Jr. (1917-1992) served as dean of the Perkins School of Theology from 1960 until his retirement in 1981.

He was a pastor, a professor, an administrator — and a talented amateur artist.

As a youngster, he would doodle in notebooks and on scraps of paper. Many of his drawings featured geometric shapes, sometimes enclosed in circles. As he got older and honed his artistic skills, the designs became more intricate.

Many years later, through the writings of Carl Jung, Quillian learned that his “circles by a square” had a name: They were mandalas, an ancient Hindu and Buddhist graphic art form representing the cosmos.

In Jung’s view, the mandala was a symbol of order brought forth from universal chaos. But for Quillian, drawing meticulous geometric shapes over and over was a just way to relax, to burn off excess energy while at his desk or in meetings.

The Bridwell exhibition features drawings by the dean dating back to the 1940s, along with other items from his papers, which are preserved in the library’s archives.

The Uniting Conference of 1968 and the Birth of The United Methodist Church

Aug. 24 – Dec. 7

The United Methodist Church was created in 1968 through two unions, one internal and one external. The internal union was the joining together of black and white Methodists into a racially integrated denomination. The external union was the merging of two Wesleyan bodies: The Methodist Church and the much smaller Evangelical United Brethren Church.

Negotiating the mergers took years. The effort culminated with a Uniting Conference that took place in Dallas in April and May of 1968.

This exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Methodist Church. It includes documents and images that chronicle the union of black and white Methodist churches, the merger with the Evangelical United Brethren and the Uniting Conference that produced the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States.