the popuplady

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A Life in Pop-ups

A Passion for Pop-ups:
20 Years of WOW!!

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The Hannukah Puzzle Books:
A Book in 8 Parts for
8 Days of Fun

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A collection is never complete!

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from a box of junk

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A Life in Pop-ups

Ellen G. Kreiger Rubin discovered pop-up and movable books when she began reading them to her sons more than 20 years ago. The first books she collected were of children’s classics and science. She was awed by movable books’ unique ability to teach.Today, she has more than 6000 books and ephemera. In September 2000, she co-curated with Ann Montanaro and Robert Sabuda the exhibition, Brooklyn Pops Up! The History and Art of the Movable Book at the Brooklyn Public Library. She is credited with the concept for its catalog, Brooklyn Pops Up, with cover art by Maurice Sendak, widely available and in its fifth printing.

Although frustrated by her mono-lingualism, Ellen still accepts the challenge of pursuing art, books, ephemera, and objects designed by Czech artist, Vojtěch Kubašta, the paper engineer in whom she specializes. She has realized her dream to have a retrospective exhibition of Kubašta’s work from her collection. In 2005, The Popuplady and Jim Findlay mounted a 150 item exhibit, with memorabilia and art from his daughter’s archives, at the Bienes Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The accompanying 4-color catalog has a pop-up designed by Kubašta. The catalog won the Ellen LoPresti award [honorable mention] presented by ARLIS-SE chapter. In February and October, 2001, Ms. Rubin appeared on the Martha Stewart Show discussing the history of pop-up books. In December, 2004, she appeared on CBS Sunday Morning.

Ms. Rubin writes, curates and lectures on subjects relating to her collection. Also in 2004, Ellen published her first book, The Hanukkah Puzzle Book, A Book in 8 Parts for 8 Days of Fun! by Pitspopany Press. It is not a pop-up but a toy-book, with 8 individual books shaped as puzzle pieces telling the story of Hanukkah and its traditions.

The oldest book in The Popuplady's collection is Sacrobosco's Sphaera (1547). She is always looking to move the ‘timeline’ of her collection as far back as possible, hunting for items that have shaped the history of pop-ups. Seeking out ephemera is always great fun. She is tickled to find movable postcards, promotional items, and advertisements.

Ellen now writes for publications on movable books and lectures to children and adults. She also combines pop-up workshops with her lectures.

The Popuplady is a charter member of the Movable Book Society, now with over 500 members worldwide, and writes for its publication, Movable Stationary. She is a member of the Grolier Society, America's oldest bibliophilic group,The Ephemera Society, The Miniature Book Society, ABC Children's Books, and The Children's Historical Book Society. She is a graduate of The Bronx H.S. of Science, City College of CUNY, and Yale Medical School-Physician Associate Program.

Ellen has been happily married for over 40 years and has two sons, Ben, a jazz musician and music producer, and Andrew, a police officer. She has 3 grandchildren.