Upcoming Events


Upcoming Events: 

Events are held at the Thurber House at 77 Jefferson Avenue in Columbus. Doors open at 7 pm and presentations begin at 7:30 pm. There is parking in the rear and the metered parking in front is free after 6 pm.


August 11th, 2022 Program

Jeff Smith, Cartoonist
Bone, Graphic Novels and Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC)

Cartoonist Jeff Smith pictured drawing a Bone comic character

Jeff Smith is the New York Times Best-Selling author of the award-winning series, BONE, which launched Scholastic’s graphic novel imprint, Graphix, in 2005. A co-founder of the 90’s Self-Publishing Movement, and an early adopter of

the graphic novel format, Smith has written and illustrated other successful comics series: RASL, the story of a Tesla-obsessed, dimension jumping art thief, Shazam! Monster Society of Evil for DC Comics and books for beginning readers: Little Mouse Gets Ready (TOON Books) and Smiley’s Dream Book (Scholastic/Graphix).


In 2009, Smith was the subject of a documentary called ‘The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, BONE and the Changing Face of Comics’, and in 2013, he was the guest editor of The Best American Comics.


In 2015, Smith established the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) comics festival in downtown Columbus, which is now in its 5th year. He is currently working on TUKI Volume 1: Two Million Years BCE, about the first human to leave Africa, set for release in 2021.


He continues to make and promote comics around the world.


April 14, 2022 Program

Frank Mowery

A Conservator’s Journey Through History

Frank will discuss 35 years of improvements in book and paper conservation, covering a wide range of conservation issues, and finish with a presentation of some of his exquisite fine bindings. 

John Franklin Mowery trained as a fine bookbinder at the National Academy of Fine Arts, Hamburg, Germany, from 1971-75, under the instruction of Kurt Londenberg. During that time he also began training in book conservation at the National and University Library, Hamburg. In 1975, upon graduation, he was granted the title Master Bookbinder. He went on to train in Vienna, Austria for several years at the National Arts Academy in art and paper conservation, and went on to an internship at the Bibliotheca Nationale Centrale in Florence, Italy. He returned to the States and took his first job at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, but shortly thereafter was offered the position of Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, a position he held for 35 years. Upon leaving the conservation department, he spent the next couple of years as the Rare Bindings Specialist, photo documenting most of the important volumes in the collection and writing detailed aesthetic and technical descriptions as only a bookbinder could—thus establishing the Library’s historic binding’s database, Luna.Folger.edu. 

Frank served as President of the Guild of Book Workers for 10 years and participated in numerous exhibitions displaying his Fine Bindings, most notably a one man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982, and numerous international exhibitions. 

For more than 40 years, he has maintained a private practice. His clients include galleries, museums, libraries, dealers, and private collectors in the United States and abroad. He specializes in particularly difficult paper conservation problems such as stain reduction (mold stain, foxing, acid burn, adhesive stains, ink stains), severe paper loss, and distorted vellum documents. He built the first American Leafcaster (miniature paper making machine) used in filling in losses in paper using toned paper pulp. This has led him to teach his techniques in numerous countries around the world. 

He currently lives in Venice, Florida where he still maintains a busy conservation studio, working on historical documents and rare books, but mostly fine art on paper.

May 12, 2022 Program

Jeffrey Gress

The Work of Mathias Armbruster: Research and Resources Regarding the Study of Armbruster’s Theatrical Scenic Design Work in Columbus and the Midwest 

Matthias Armbruster was a pivotal figure in the growth of theater production not only in Columbus but throughout the Midwest after the Civil War through into the early 20th Century. He and his family operated a scenic studio on the bank of the Ohio Canal and German Village. After immigrating to this country in the late 1830s he served in the military, and painted stained glass before moving to Columbus from Cincinnati. The company he founded outlasted his life as his children carried on after his death. In the 1920’s the Schell family bought out the business and has run the painted background and theatrical lighting company ever since. 

Jeffrey Gress is a professor at Capital University in Columbus. For 15 years he has taught courses for theater technology while researching and publishing articles about the history of scenic design through the growth in the Midwest. 


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