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Early versions were cheaply printed and varied from a couple of pages to a few dozen pages. Usually used to print short stories, political or religious tracts, or poetry, they became a favorite mechanism for publishing limited runs of personal poetry, family history, or short stories for limited distribution. This exhibition will focus primarily on those produced by letterpress printers in the last century, featuring works from the permanent collection of the Book Club of California, as well as from the personal collection of the curator and several companions of the Moxon Chappel who have graciously agreed to loan from their personal collections.

This collection will contain several cover variants: variations in color scheme and gilting, titling, layout, borders, etc. David Wingfield Pettus has been collecting books for more than 45 years. In that time he has assembled what many believe to be the most comprehensive collection of nautical fiction in the world. Like many collectors, his primary focus is on the great literature contained within the covers of the rare volumes he acquires.

But, again, like most collectors, he cannot help but be attracted to the bindings, the illustrations, and evocative ephemera that naturally come his way in the course of his collecting. The earliest known pop-up book dates from the 13th century and was used to calculate dates of holy days. An exhibition of pop-up books with remarks by collector and Book Club member Mike Jacobsen.

Catching the Light February 5 — April 30, A collection of broadsides printed by Southern California Printers. Curated by Carolee Campbell , proprietor, Ninja Press. Also on display are holiday cards printed in the small, little-known print shops of our members. On view December 4, —January 8, Join us for the exhibition opening on Wednesday, September 6 with remarks by historian, geographer, and curator Peter Farquhar.

The Working Library: Clifford Burke and Fine Printing will showcase selected works from Cranium Press, founded by Clifford in , as well as books that informed and inspired his distinguished career as poet, printer, and publisher. A contemporary artist and master of the ancient traditions of Chinese book design, Lu Jingren has been crafting books for nearly four decades.

He is renowned not only for his prolific creative work and cutting-edge design sensibilities, but also for his dedication to fostering an appreciation of the book as an art form. Upon his return to China, he founded Jingren Art Design Studio in Beijing, which focuses on book design, editing, and translating design-related publications. Clark December 12, January 9, Louis Prang—artist, businessman, and educational reformer—was born in Prussia in and arrived in America in to pursue his vocation as printer and wood-engraver.

Prang set an unsurpassed standard for quality and elegance, but cheaper imports undercut his greeting-card business and in he abandoned Christmas card printing altogether to concentrate on fine-art reproduction and his innovative art-education books. You can read a warm review of the exhibition in the San Francisco Chronicle here. Founded one hundred years ago, on August 25, , the National Park Service is an American invention that was developed gradually over time.

As our nation expanded to the West and the beauties of its natural wonders were experienced for the first time, people generally felt one of two emotions: a desire to preserve this wilderness for future generations to enjoy, or to exploit it for financial gain. From the beginning, those on the side of preservation and protection made significant use of books, periodicals, and, in particular, photography to generate support for their cause.

Delphi Complete Works of Lord Byron

The exhibition will include a sampling of the publications and photographs that, together, played an important role in making a general public aware of the need to preserve our natural wonders and established support for this new government agency, the National Park Service, to protect and manage these precious resources. From Lafayette H.

View images of the exhibition here. Throughout its fifteen year run, Fine Print not only provided a showcase for the best in fine press publishing, but attempted to integrate all of the book arts, including calligraphy, bookbinding, papermaking, wood engraving, and type design—the latter increasingly devoted to digitization and computer-generated types—while also offering important articles on the history of the book and creating a space for conversation among writers, scholars, and book artists from around the world.

As Robert D. As a collaborative undertaking, it is at once conversational and deeply personal. Most of these works will be on display for this exhibition. His early work focused on teaching and calligraphic research involving the exploration of calligraphy as a fine arts medium. He lectures for the Open University in Manchester and Leeds. Recent publications include Thel-Time , ed. Annwn has written a lengthy paper about his collaborations with Thomas Ingmire.

Holiday Cards from William P. Wreden, Family, and Friends December 14, January 15, Early last December, passing G. It took me until December 22 to return when the shop was open and purchase the book. For the occasion I compiled a checklist of books, catalogues, holiday cards, and keepsakes published up to May I noted that we did not seem to have copies or available records for everything that was printed and it was likely that the list for holiday cards was incomplete.

In one carton were cards printed for our family and in the remaining three were cards and related materials my parents received or acquired over some sixty-four years. I thought the contents might be worthy of exhibition. This year, with the encouragement of Linda Vance, a New York friend and artist, I proposed the exhibition.

Annually, Linda reproduces one of her paintings on the holiday cards she and her husband, Mike Ridder, send out. Two of her cards are included in the exhibition. There is a gap, though, from then until World War II paper shortages led some people to refrain from sending holiday greetings through the war years. Other gaps occur in the s. The first letterpress card sent by my parents was printed by the Grabhorns in the early s.

Most cards they printed are undated and without a printer indicated. My mother often wrote in pencil on the back of a card the date it was printed. She also penciled in the year on the back of many of the cards she received, and created a few files for individual senders as well as three large envelopes by category: China and Japan; San Francisco; and Santa Claus, Three Wise Men and Angels, etc. Other cards were loosely grouped by year.

The current exhibition features only a small sampling of cards my parents received. Spanning ten months and attracting almost nineteen million fairgoers, the PPIE celebrated not only the completion of the Panama Canal, but the resilience and vitality of a city so recently in shambles, and established once and for all that the City by the Bay was a thriving cultural center.

Instead, the original founders were joined by others for a total of fifty-eight charter members and began a century-long and counting! Since its founding in , the Book Club of California has held to its commitment to promote and foster the art of the book, and this exhibition traces the evolution of that endeavor. In the first display case you will find a selection of books that likely would have been on view at the original PPIE—a snapshot of the book arts in San Francisco during the early twentieth century.

All the books on display are drawn from the collections of the Book Club of California. Naturally, the book has a long bibliophilic history as well. Many of these are on view in the exhibition.

This exhibition comprises works from the Burstein Collection of Lewis Carroll, now numbering 3, books by, about, or inspired by Carroll—not to mention innumerable tchotchkes. It was started by Book Club of California member Sandor Burstein with a single volume he purchased in Portugal in to memorialize his trip, although his love for Carroll dates back to his childhood. His son, Mark, now curates the collection.

The Book Club of California would like to gratefully acknowledge Sandor and Mark Burstein for making the exhibition possible, as well as BCC member Malcolm Whyte who suggested the exhibition and helped choose the books and design their display. He has served the Lewis Carroll Society of North America as chairman of the publication committee; editor of its magazine, Knight Letter; series editor of The Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll; vice president; and president.

In addition, he has edited, introduced, or contributed to fourteen books on Carroll, including, as editor and art director, the forthcoming Annotated Alice: The th Anniversary Deluxe Edition W. In addition to producing hundreds of books over the course of his distinguished career, he was a lecturer, bibliophile, poet, and historian of the press in his region. In , he founded the Ward Ritchie Press in Los Angeles, which featured keepsakes, limited editions, cookbooks, and books about local history or Western Americana.

In , Ritchie retired from the firm, bought an Albion hand press, and moved to Laguna Beach, where he produced some of his best pieces under the Laguna Verde Imprenta. The two were middle school classmates, attended Occidental College together, and remained close friends and collaborators all their lives. At the age of seventy-two Stuart learned the mechanics of printing from Ritchie and quickly developed a reputation in her own right as a book artist and printer.

She continued to produce books until the ripe age of one hundred under the imprint Imprenta Glorias. The Club is exceedingly grateful for the gift and the opportunity to share selections from it in this stunning exhibition. A month-long exhibition of fine press holiday cards from the collection of the Book Club of California and its members and friends.

Call for more information. The notion of finely printed cookbooks could be considered a bit absurd. The one element that all the items displayed have in common is that they were created by California craftsmen and published or printed in California.

By James Russell Lowell

Randall Tarpey-Schwed is a bibliophile, collector, and independent researcher with a special interest in gastronomy. Fisher: An Annotated Bibliography. From through , brothers Edwin and Robert Grabhorn had the most venerable press in California. George Lyman donated by Mrs. David Potter , and previous holdings. Printers and graphic designers make a series of artistic decisions when creating books and ephemera.

Inspired by avant-garde art movements such as Cubism as well as symbolism from Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec, Asian, and African cultures, the motifs included chevrons, sunbursts, zigzags, lightning bolts, airbrushed ray bands, and simplified, elongated human forms and silhouettes. This exhibition will provide a visual survey of prevalent art deco motifs depicted on a wide variety of ephemera: programs, menus, travel brochures, matchbox and luggage labels, catalogs, dance cards, announcements, bridge tallies, playing cards, poster stamps, business cards, signs, tradecards, perfume cards, sheet music, letterheads, blotters, and more.

He is a collector of books and ephemera about bookselling, among many other topics. Twenty-two years ago, Mr. Learning at the knee of the local masters, he trained toward exacting standards. Partnering with Robert Grabhorn, he launched a new iteration of their celebrated endeavor. In , not long before Grabhorn died, he arranged to take over all his printing machinery. Endowed with this historical equipment and some aesthetic ambitions of his own, Hoyem launched Arion Press in , taking the name from the Dionysiac poet who, according to myth, was rescued by dolphins.

The book would be large, 15 inches by 10, and hand-set, like the Whitman, in a Goudy face. Hoyem commissioned wood engravings from the artist Barry Moser, but he was particular about what they could depict. No main characters—including the whale—should appear in an illustration, he advised; no major action scene should be rendered. To study the Arion Press edition of Moby-Dick today is to have an almost sacred experience of the power of physical print. Its ink is black, with wide margins and initial letters in a dark, aqueous blue. The paper is a faint blue-gray, like the surface of the ocean on a cloudy day.

When the reader lifts a page to turn it, the watermark of a whale shimmers through. Because the letter w is particularly wide, Hoyem made the abutting spaces slightly narrower; every semicolon has a hairsbreadth gap before it, as if signaling the partial stop. The result is something that one would not think possible: a nearly perfect book. To augment his passion projects, Hoyem takes commissions for private printings. The ideal buyer, he says, is someone whose interests lie at the intersection of literature, art, and printing craft—and such people come along more rarely than one might expect.

There is, always, the risk that the market will trump the art. Half a century ago, the main contours of literary connoisseurship were clear.

Past Exhibitions

The canon started with the classics, swept up into Modernism, and left few major works of English-language poetry and fiction unstudied along the way. High culture was, in large degree, a body of shared knowledge; scholars tested unknown works as one might assess porcelain: tapping them at crucial points and listening for the familiar, canonic ring. The limited-edition art book for years benefited from this outlook. Then, in or about the s, high culture changed. The idea of an absolute canon fell into question, and alternatives emerged.

When serious critics today turn their attention to rock music, it is with the idea that Sgt. Dalloway did in its own time. The challenge of the literary world today is not a dearth of quality. It is an excess of excellence, contextually defined. The role of fine-press books, like those Arion Press publishes, has changed, too. Arion Press has played both within that model and against it. The projects it produces have one foot in tradition.

After all, fine press work is virtually extinct. But the press also embraces a more idiosyncratic approach. As a doctoral candidate at Harvard in the s, she studied with I. Why was the slippery modernism of Eliot [A. And it provided a standard of appraisal beyond the normal vagaries of taste. Heaney came to Harvard as the Boylston professor of rhetoric and oratory; he was succeeded, in , by Jorie Graham, another rising poet whose poems Vendler helped introduce to readers.

These days, Vendler lives the fast but quiet life of a late-career literary lioness. Why set aside the time and energy to contribute tens of thousands of words, across decades, to books whose press runs seldom exceed copies, and whose audience mainly comprises a small circle of collectors? Taking on the problem of how to present Stevens to people, or how to present Yeats. Others have agreed.


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Since their early days as publishers, Hoyem and Ketcham have been surrounded, both professionally and socially, by a cohort of creative minds. Hoyem had been misinformed—it was actually the architect Robert A. The broad social orbit is as much about keeping an eye out for new talent as it is about sharing their wares.

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Hoyem is He is beginning to think about retirement and about the future of the press. The trouble is, partly, the point: no one is inventing books quite like those Arion Press makes. So far, he has never had much trouble finding the right people for the task. Updated 8. Not all type is melted down once a press run is complete: handset type is returned to its cases, unlike monotype, which is melted down. The pages of the volume Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror were not trimmed to their dimensions, but handmade as round sheets.

We regret the error. View the discussion thread. Chapter and verse quotation-citation correspondence site. Features A Nearly Perfect Book The poetry critic, the publisher, and the art of bookmaking in a digital era. Arion casts and maintains a large inventory of letterpress type Photograph by ToniBird Photography. Stamps used to label wrapped packages of fonts of type Photograph by ToniBird Photography.