hist-03We cannot deceive, that during the last 111 years some fundamental and incisive changes have occurred in our social surroundings which have influenced all forms of our lives, and so also our time of recreation and what we make of it. The book, and along with it also the meaning of the exlibris has transformed and changed itself through the postponement of the educated population to the digital society.
Today the exlibris is less likely an indicator of the owner in the book, than it would be as an individualized collectible object of enthusiasts of small graphic art in their bookplate collection. The elaboration of a design of such individual and personalized small graphic print in close association with the artist, is one of the most exciting aspects of the preoccupation with exlibris to be experienced.
Today the Austrian Exlibris Society has a count of 160 members. At regular meetings, lectures and presentations are given, functions for exchanges are organized, and in close contact with artists commissions are made for creating new bookplates. In this way, members participate actively in the artistic event and process and also promote and support the artists.
Friedrich Teubel: Kupferstich, 1934, für die Österreichische Exlibris-GesellschaftThe ÖEG informs its members in the regularly published “Mitteilungen” about the world of the exlibris, and it also publishes the periodic Yearbook, full of contributed essays about bookplates, about commercial art, and about the small graphics in general. The archives of the Austrian Exlibris Society are stored at the Austrian National Library.
The members also maintain close contact in foreign countries, as the exlibris ideas are so popular worldwide. There are 37 societies from different countries in the parent organization FISAE (Federation International des Societes d’Amateurs d’Exlibris) together represented. This was also started in Austria, as the ÖEG in 1953 was part of the First FISAE Congress, which it organized and hosted. Since those beginnings, there were congresses not only in many countries in Europe, but also in Japan, America and China and in 2004 Austria had the honor for the fourth time to host and organize, the XXX. Congress, in the town of Wels. The Austrian Exlibris Society remains dedicated to the exlibris, to the commercial arts and small graphics, and continues the exlibris tradition in Austria.