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Subject: A death

A death

From: Betty Storz <storz>
Date: Friday, April 13, 2001
    Stella Patri, Doyenne of S.F. Bookbinders
    Eric Brazil, Chronicle Staff Writer, Friday, April 6, 2001

    San Francisco--Stella Nicole Patri, who became an icon among
    American bookbinders and manuscript restorers during a career
    she began when she was in her 60s, is dead at age 104.

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    Mrs. Patri's eventful and adventurous life touched on three
    centuries, from her birth in 1896 in Montreal, Canada, to her
    death March 31 at the Sonoma home of her son Remo Patri.

    "She was the grand dame of bookbinding and an incredible
    friend," said Johanna Goldschmid, a bookbinder and rare book
    specialist, "She was a great inspiration. No superlatives could
    reach how wonderful Stella was."

    ...

    Mrs. Patri was a survivor of the 1906 earthquake in San
    Francisco, and before embarking on her life's work had been a
    wife and mother, an expert milliner, a welder, a bookseller and
    a committed social activist.

    The Hand Bookbinders of California, of which she was a founding
    member, lavished tributes on Mrs. Patri on her 100th birthday
    and called her "a model of a persistent spirit."

    ...

    It was while working at Newbegins and Paul Elder San Francisco
    bookstores after her divorce from art school founder Giacomo
    Patri that Mrs. Patri became interested in the physical
    structure of books. In 1962, she sailed for Rome to study the
    restoration of antique documents at the Istituto di Patologia
    dei Libri, which became the foundation of her professional
    career. She also studied bookbinding in London and fancy book
    finishing in Paris. When the Arno River flooded Florence, Italy,
    in 1966, soaking whole libraries of valuable ancient documents
    in mud and slime, Mrs. Patri, who spoke Italian, was among the
    "mud angel" volunteers who repaired and restored the damaged
    books. She later became an instructor for other volunteers. ...

    Plans for a celebration of her life are pending.

    Mrs. Patri's family requests that donations in her name be made
    to American Indian and AIDS causes and to the United Farm
    Workers, all of which she supported during her life.

    San Francisco Chronicle, 6 April, 2001
    (c) 2001 San Francisco Chronicle

Stella Patri joined the Guild of Book Workers in 1962 and was made
an Honorary Member of the organization in 1993. She was a founding
member of the Hand Bookbinders of California. She will be missed.

Betty Storz
Mendocino, CA
Book repair and restoration


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:55
                 Distributed: Thursday, April 19, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-55-001
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Received on Friday, 13 April, 2001

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