Inviting Interactions: A Conversation with Didier Mutel

Posted on Wed, 10/25/2023 - 21:11


70 Washington Square South, 2nd Fl Reading Room, New York, NY 10012

Date and time


Master printer Didier Mutel joins NYU Libraries staff in conversation on innovation, collaboration and the conservation of artists’ books.

Date: Tuesday, November 14

Time: 6:00PM

Place: Bobst Library, 2nd Floor Reading Room, 70 Washington Square Park, New York

This event brings together book artist and engraver/printer Didier Mutel, Director of NYU Special Collections Charlotte Priddle, and Preventive Conservator Jessica Pace for a conversation and discussion focusing on Mutel’s creative processes and the work of preserving his materials in NYU’s Special Collections.

As a master of his craft, Mutel creates works that reflect the long tradition of etching and printmaking that he is steeped in, while also using innovative techniques and unconventional materials to play with the boundaries of the medium. This conversation will center on exploring Mutel’s innovative works and their fit within the NYU Special Collections, and the collaborative approach taken by Libraries staff and the artist in mediating the intended and unintended consequences of human interactions with artists’ books.


Didier Mutel has been producing artists’ books and engravings since 1989. Born in 1971, he entered the École Estienne at 15, then studied at the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and continued his studies at the l’Atelier National de Création Typographique à l’Imprimerie Nationale. From 1997 to 1999, he was in residence at the Villa Medici in Rome where he produced two collaborative books. In 2008, Pierre Lallier transferred the Atelier Georges Leblanc, and a significant portion of the historical equipment, to Didier Mutel, and in 2009, the studio moved to Orchamps in the Jura. Since 2003 Mutel has been teaching at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts of Besançon. ATELIER DIDIER MUTEL is a Member of the Grands Ateliers de France, and in 2013 Didier Mutel received the prestigious title of Maître d’art. He was awarded the Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l’Intelligence de la Main, for his book, R217A (2016). His most recent work includes the monumental The First Atlas of The United States Of Acid (2017), Sidereus Nuncius (2018), Melencholia (2021), The True Tales of Captain Acid; or, Captain Acid’s Adventures in Wonderland (2022) and the ongoing series, The Birds of Acid (2019- ).

Jessica Pace is the Preventive Conservator in the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department at New York University Libraries. In her role, she is responsible for ensuring safe storage and handling of collections materials, emergency preparedness and response, integrated pest management, and materials testing and analysis. Jessica is interested in the ways in which preservation activities can create new opportunities for meaningful engagement with material culture. Over the past several years she has been working to bring artists' voices into the conversation around preservation of their works.

Charlotte Priddle is the Director of the NYU Special Collections, a department that includes the Fales Library & Special Collections, the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, and the New York University Archives. She joined NYU in 2010 as the Librarian for Printed Books in the Fales Library, and retains curatorial oversight of the print collections in her current position. Having received a team-teaching grant from the NYU Humanities Initiative in 2014, she co-taught a history of the book seminar with Professor Paula McDowell at NYU until 2019, and also co-teaches 'Histories of the Book, 200-2000' at Rare Book School.


NYU Libraries