Jan Bohuslav Sobota
CZ Jan Bohuslav Sobota
Master of Bookbinding
Photos of Jan Sobota's bindings are shown below.
Founder of artistic bookbinding in the Sobota family. From 1954 to 1957 he studied with Karel Silinger in Pilsen, (then) Czechoslovakia, and in 1957 finished his studies at the School for Applied Arts in Prague. In 1969 he received the title "Master of Applied Arts" and ten years later the title "Meister der Einbandkunst".
In Czechoslovakia, Jan worked in a workshop for applied arts and later in his own bookbinding studio. In 1982-4 he was working in the Papiermuehle in Basel, Switzerland, and in 1984 he moved to the United States, where his latest position was as director of the Conservation Laboratory in the Bridwell Library of S.M.U. in Dallas.
Since 1997, he has been working in the Sobota family bookbinding studio in Loket. He is one of the initiators of the Society of Czech Bookbinders and he was elected the first president of this organization in 1997.
Jan Sobota’s contribution to modern bookbinding spans a broad spectrum, from creative art form to the painstaking craft and science of conservation and restoration -work which depends upon his substantional theoretical knowledge and forty years of experience. Thousand of books have passed through his hands, from ancient (ninth century) ones to those of the Gothic, Renaissance
( the restoration of Jachymov’s entire Latin Library, consisting of 236 volumes or restoration and binding of Johan Gutenberg’s Biblia Latina, 1454-55), and Baroque periods, all the way to the bindings of the twentieth century.
Jan Sobota is well-known on the International bookbinding scene for his original and unusual book sculptures and objects. His work has been exhibited in countries on four continents (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York).Since 1969, he has participated in 137 group and 32 individual exhibits and has received some 20 prizes.
Selected Bookbindings by Jan B. Sobota
(Size of photos is not proportional to size of bindings)