"To speak about the bookbinder Pierre Ouvrard is to examine the vision of a passionate monk, a man who could have been born during the period described by Umberto Eco in his novel The Names of the Rose. While roses attract us with the charm of their fleeting beauty, a fine binding captures for the ages a vision of immortality."
Maitre Relieur (Master Bookbinder) Pierre Ouvrard is considered to be the finest exponent of bookcraft that Canada has produced. He had created several thousand standard-type bindings for libraries up until the early 1970s and thereafter concentrated on livres d'artistes.
Ouvrard would read the books he was to bind for inspiration. He retired sometime in the 1990s and although I couldn't find much in the way of additional biographical material online I presume he was born in the mid-1920s, having been an apprentice during the 1940s.
- The Bruce Peel Special Collections Library at the University of Alberta have a comprehensive online display featuring some 300 works by Ouvrard, including all the bindings he created for the Governor General's Awards, an interview and testimonial.
- A documentary on Ouvrard made this year and screening at present in Canada.
- Pierre Ouvrard Master Bookbinder/Maitre Relieur, a book by Merrill Distad and Jeannine Green in 2000.