William T. Young Library

 HOURS for July 25, 2021:  12:00pm - 5:00pm

Ex Libris

University of kentucky, william t. young library ex libris

  • Presented on April 21, 2002 to the University of Kentucky William T. Young Library
  • Created by Wojceiech Jakubowski, renowned engraver and arts educator
  • Commissioned by Ronald and Teresa Saykaly
The artist

Wojciech jakubowskiWojciech Jakubowski was born in Starograd Gdanski, Poland on June 10, 1929. He received his art education studying with Professor Jerzy Hoppen in the College of Fine Arts of Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, where he graduated in 1953 with a Master's Degree in Fine Arts. For the first part of his career Mr. Jakubowski's work was primarily devoted to woodcuts and copperplate engraving. In 1960 he stopped doing woodcuts in order to explore dry point, but continued to do copperplate engravings.

Mr. Jakubowski's work since then has been primarily copperplate engraved bookplates also known as ex libris. Using this technique he has to date created close to 1000 ex libris, solidifying his reputation as the most significant Polish copper plate engraver in recent memory. His ex libris are small elegant works of art, which have garnered him worldwide recognition. This work is extraordinarily detailed and incorporates a wide variety of imagery. The subjects include the human figure, animals and other figures from nature, in addition to more abstract and symbolic images. The well-known Polish philosopher Professor W. Tatarkiewicz once stated that, " these miniature works are perfect in two ways: first because they strive for perfection; and second because they achieve this perfection to a high degree."

Mr. Jakubowski has published 17 folio collections of his work that include 100 ex libris in each folio. His work is highly valued by private collectors and has been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and libraries. He has received wide acclaim for his work having won numerous awards and prizes, including being one of four recipients in 100 years of a medal awarded by the German Association of Ex Libris Collectors. He was the initiator and organizer of the International Biennale of Modern Bookplate Arts in the Castle of Malbork, Poland, which is a highly selective juried competition that has attracted ex libris artists from worldwide since 1964.


Other links of interest

An Engraver's Art Speaks Volumes (in PDF format) Published in Arts Across Kentucky (Winter 2003, p. 30-32), this article provides some background on the bookplate arts and focuses on the ex libris given to the University of Kentucky.

East Meets West - The Bookplates of Masao Ohba and Wojciech Jakubowski (in PDF format)

This article provides a historic overview of bookplates and focuses on the Ohba and Jakubowski exhibition that was held at the University of Kentucky William T. Young Library.

University of Kentucky Libraries Main website of the University of Kentucky Libraries