An Animated Character: An Evening of Vance Gerry

Friday, September 27, 2019
5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

The Whittington Press has recently released Vance Gerry & The Weather Bird Press, a limited edition book about the life and work of the Southern California based artist, printer, and publisher Vance Gerry (19292005). To mark the occasion, Robert Bothamley will give a lively, illustrated lecture about the work of the late artist.

The Clark Library holds Vance Gerry’s archives, comprising illustrations, layout sketches, galley, page, and signature proofs, dummies, correspondence, ephemera, pochoir samples, and stencils, as well as nearly 100 Weather Bird Press books. A selection of this work will be on display in the library before and after the talk.

The talk will be followed by an optional outdoor screening of one of the many Disney movies showcasing Gerry’s work, the 1961 animated feature 101 Dalmatians.

The evening’s schedule is as follows:

5:306:30 p.m.  Lecture
6:307:30 p.m.  Reception for lecture attendees, library open for book viewing
7:30 p.m.  Grounds open for movie attendees and picnicking on the East Lawn
8:00 p.m.  Screening of 101 Dalmatians

Please note: There are separate events for the lecture (with book viewing and reception) and the outdoor screening. It is not required to attend both the lecture and the screening, but if you plan to attend both, please be sure to make separate bookings.

The grounds will open at 7:30 p.m. for those who are only attending the outdoor screening. Space is on a first-come, first-served basis, and may not be guaranteed for late arrivals. Screening attendees are invited to bring their own insect repellent, blankets, low lawn chairs, and dinner picnics. Attendees are responsible for disposing of their own trash in onsite receptacles. Music and pets are not permitted for this special event.

Free parking is available at the Clark Library on a first-come, first-served basis. Street parking is also available. The Clark Library is also served by MTA Bus 37 (Adams & Cimarron), 209 (Arlington & Adams), or Dash Midtown (Adams & Cimarron).

Vance Gerry and The Weather Bird Press

Vance Gerry was born and raised in Pasadena, California. As a teenager, Vance served as an apprentice at the Castle Press of Grant Dahlstrom. He learned the basic principles of book design and how to set type by hand. After graduating from high school, Vance enrolled in art classes at Woodbury College and later at The Art Center School but his education was interrupted when he was drafted into the Korean War. After his tour of duty, he enrolled in the Chouinard Art Institute where he became acquainted with Don Graham, an instructor at the school and consultant for Walt Disney. Upon graduation, Don was instrumental in recruiting Vance into the Walt Disney Animation Studio where Vance worked as a layout and story sketch artist.  Vance contributed ideas and drawings to films like Sleeping Beauty, The 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree, and The Sword in the Stone, and Beauty and the Beast. The last film he worked on at Disney was The Lion King.

Vance began his adult printing career in 1962 when he founded the Ivy Garden Press in Pasadena. Soon thereafter the press was renamed the Peach Pit Press. In 1967, Vance decided to leave Disney and become a full-time professional printer. The Weather Bird Press was established in South Laguna and over the next 38 years, the name of the press did not change but its location did. The press was moved from South Laguna to Pasadena, to Fallbrook and eventually back to Pasadena. Vance used different presses and machines throughout the years: a Linotype machine, a Miehle vertical, a Vandercook press, and others. He also used several different font types, some rarely seen in commercial printing presses. With his talent as an imaginative artist, he has illustrated most of his books with line drawings, linoleum cuts, and pochoir. He has also written and printed several books under the pseudonym of Bunston Quayles.

Robert Bothamley

Born in Newport Beach, Bob spent his early childhood in Orange County, California. His grandfather, Herbert Rankin, was a successful businessman and an avid amateur photographer. As an early member of the Sierra Club, Herbert participated in the annual high trips with Ansel Adams, photographing the magnificent scenery of our state’s wildlands. From his grandfather, Bob developed a love for our national parks and an appreciation of photography, especially, the work of Ansel Adams. Bob’s initial collecting interests included works by Ansel Adams, early photography, and books illustrated with original photographs.

Bob’s family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he spent his adolescent years. He was taught by the Jesuits at the Instituto de Ciencias where he graduated with a degree in engineering. Fluent in Spanish, his experience in Mexico fostered an interest in the Spanish/Mexican heritage of California which is another of his collecting interests.

Returning to California, Bob attended Occidental College where he received a degree in economics and later received his MBA from UCLA. Bob is currently a principal of Daum Commercial Real Estate Services where he serves as the company’s Secretary and Chief Financial Officer.

Bob was first introduced to the work of Vance Gerry by Jeff Weber. Vance had just completed his book, Selected Shore Plants of Southern California, and had provided copies of both the regular and deluxe editions for Jeff to sell. Jeff mentioned to Bob, “This is a printer you should collect.” Bob took one look at the deluxe edition of the book and agreed. That started a collecting interest that has lasted for over twenty-five years and continues today.

Bob’s family includes three wonderful adult children and two adorable granddaughters who both share his love of books.

Booking Form

Bookings are currently closed for this event.