Channeling my inner Viollet-le-Duc (the great French champion of the Gothic-revival) I designed these nice display stands modeled after medieval scrivener’s lecterns, or scriptoriums (yes, we struggle with the proper Latin scriptoria). These variations on the display case are for the Noord-Holland Archives in Haarlem, housed in the ancient Gothic Janskerk (St. John’s Church) so the choice of period furnishings for inspiration is entirely appropriate, even though the construction technique is thoroughly modern, being made solely of CNC cut sheets of black MDF. And much like gothic furniture, that fits together with flanges, holes and pegs, these cases are collapsible.
This exhibition, which is semi-permanent, displays the marvelous variety of printer’s vignettes and clichés in the archive collection. So maybe it’s even a bit ironic that a furniture piece inspired by the days before the printing press, by way of the printers case of olde, would be used to show off post-Gutenberg attributes.