Vintage Children's Pop-Up Books Take Over the University of Washington

 In Museums, Washington

On Friday Dek and I headed over to the University of Washington campus to check out a special exhibit. In the basement of the Allen Library was a collection of vintage pop-up books on display for all the world to see. That is if you could find it. After a bit of meandering, two elevators and a stop at the information desk we did make our way down to this quiet corner of the campus. What greeted us was something truly amazing.

The Merry Company exhibit didn’t just have pop-ups. It also featured moveables and toy books. Examples from the 1800s through the present were on display. These were not children’s toys by any means. They were works of art.

Merry Company: Pop-ups, Moveables and Toy Books is only up until March 16, 2012. If you are live in the Seattle area make sure you stop by. Keep in mind that this is a tricky outing to do with toddlers. Dek was not interested in looking at books behind glass. Sure the pirate ship held his attention for 30 seconds, but beyond that he had better things to do. Luckily I had a friend checking out the show with me. We were able to take turns watching our kids and drooling over the display cases. There was a small table of books that you were allowed to flip through but they were all modern printings.

If you can’t make it to the show pick yourself up a copy of Christmas Alphabet by Robert Sabuda, a modern-day pop-up highlighted in the show. Enjoy my little photo tour of the exhibition as well. I tried to give you a little variety to show you the depth of this 100+ piece collection.

Put your eye up to these tunnel books for a glimpse of scene with true depth of field

Edward Gorey tunnel and pop-up books were sprinkles throughout the show

The pop-up anatomy book was a bit creepy

Modern street scenes and scary monsters were just a few of the highlights in the modern pop-up books

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Showing 5 comments
  • Cassie

    Thank you for sharing these – they’re lovely AND historic. I’m obsessed. I’m going to share them on pinterest and twitter.

  • cravesadventure

    How Cool is that! My 1st pop-up book was Alice in Wonderland – loved that book and wish I still had today:) Thanks for sharing & Happy Monday!

  • fauxfire76

    Is there anyway you can tell me the name of the book the last picture is from? I actually have it but it’s in a box somewhere across the country from me and I’m trying my darndest to find it online but with no luck so far.

    • Reply

      I’m so sorry, I don’t have the name of that books. I’m sure if you contacted special collections at UW they could help you out.

    • Jackie

      its called “Haunted House” by Jan Peinkowski

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