Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn

June 14, 2010 – September 5, 2011

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, West Wing, SI Libraries Gallery Floor Plan

This exhibition on innovative book design highlights movable, pop-up, folding, and multiple-construction books from the year 1570 to the present day. Although today pop-up books are often found in the children's book section, the earliest movable books were tools to educate and document information, such as a calendar, the moon's movements, or the inner workings of the human heart. The show features more than 50 works arranged by construction type in four areas:

  • movables (primarily books that have movable parts that do not emerge from the surface of the page)
  • pop-ups (book that in variant ways do emerge from the page)
  • folding books (accordion forms)
  • fantastic forms (that use multiple constructions)

The exhibition also features two interactive videos (run continuously) and a cell phone audio tour.