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domenica, aprile 26, 2009

Plowden Medal awarded to Nicholas Pickwoad

Professor Nicholas Pickwoad has been awarded the Royal Warrant
Holder Association's 2009 Plowden Medal. The award has been made in
recognition of his unceasing dedication to the study and
conservation of historic libraries and rare books. The medal will
be presented to him by HRH The Princess Royal at the Royal Warrant
Holders Association Lunch in London on 2 June 2009.

Pickwoad is unusual in that he is both a practical conservator and
an academic who has an innate ability to produce solutions for a
wide range of problems. He invented the concept of the "bookshoe",
nearly thirty years ago, designed to support and protect books on
open shelves in architectural settings and, later, invented and
marketed a portable board-creasing machine to facilitate on-site
phase-boxing programmes. This is in addition to his work for the
National Trust and the monastery of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai,
where as leader of the library conservation project his extensive
skills have been comprehensively utilised.

The gold medal, inaugurated in 1999, is awarded by the Royal Warrant
Holders Association in memory of the late Hon. Anna Plowden CBE, the
leading conservator who was Vice-President of the Association at the
time of her death in 1997. The Medal is presented annually to the
individual who has made the most significant recent contribution to
the advancement of the conservation profession. It can also be
awarded to recognise a lifetime of commitment and achievement.

This award recognises Pickwoad's craftsmanship, scholarship,
innovation and work as a teacher in the field of book conservation.
He has been a formative influence on book conservation and
conservators for more than thirty years and has recently established
the "Ligatus" project in conjunction with the University of the Arts
to provide a research unit into the study of historic bookbinding
through the development of digital tools and resources.

Whilst studying at Oxford University, Pickwoad attended bookbinding
evening classes at Oxford Polytechnic. Those early lessons led him
to two years of formal training with Roger Powell OBE and set him on
his chosen path.

Pickwoad's teaching career commenced in 1976 at the Camberwell
School of Art and Crafts where he taught bookbinding one day a week,
which later led to an annual seminar on the history and preservation
of bindings. As his passion for the subject grew, he established a
commercial rare book and manuscript conservation workshop in Norfolk
and soon he was an advisor for the National Trust and NADFAS as well
as working on the conservation of some of Britain's most revered
libraries. During his career he has received many invitations to
speak in the United States of America and has completed research
fellowships in Italy and Germany. Under the British Council's
auspices he surveyed the library of the National College of Arts,
Lahore (founded by Rudyard Kipling's father) as part of their
contribution to the 50th anniversary of the founding of Pakistan.

Richard Watling, Chairman of the Plowden Committee comments, "We are
delighted to present the Royal Warrant Holders Association's 2009
Plowden Medal to Nicholas Pickwoad, his innovative work, born out of
an in-depth knowledge of bookbinding combined with a scholar's
understanding for the conservation of the book and historical
library, has had a fundamental effect on current practice and will
stand as a reference point for future generations of conservation

Further information:

Nicholas Pickwoad
+44 1603 872303
npickwoad [at] paston__co__uk

Shelley-Anne Claircourt (RWHA Press)
+44 20 7854 1827
info [at] pressoffice__co__uk

Richard Peck (RWHA)
+44 20 7828 2268
richard.peck [at] rwha__co__uk

Photographs will be taken of Prof. Nicholas Pickwoad receiving the
Plowden Medal at the Royal Warrant Holders Luncheon on 2 June 2009.
Copies will be available from

Shelley-Anne Claircourt
+44 20 7854 1827
info [at] pressoffice__co__uk


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