Apr 252012

We had the extraordinary good fortune to be able to offer 20 pre-publication Special Editions of the portfolio of Occupy poster art. I’ve included a handful of images of some of the posters to be included. This edition includes 35 pieces (the regular edition will have 30) and includes thirty 12” x 18” hand silk-screened artists’ prints on French paper in an archival silk-screened presentation box. The collection has been curated by Occuprint organizer, Jesse Goldstein, BOOKLYN’s Marshall Weber, and various Occuprint editorial committee members including Molly Fair, Josh MacPhee, and John Boy.

Our special edition (Occupy the ABAA) pre-publication set is limited to an edition of 20 and contains , in addition to the above:

  • an original first edition of the Occupy Wall Street Journal’s Occuprint issue.
  • 1 copy of the Alexandra Clotfelter’s iconic “The Beginning is Near” roped bull   image, offset printed on French paper from a limited edition of 160 on French paper
  • 2 Occuprint “General Strike” offset posters
  • 1 Occuprint “General Strike Newspaper”.

While we placed most of the edition, I have a few sets left and, as this project is a fundraiser for Occupy, I’d like to see the entire run placed. Please contact me if you’d to have a set when they are printed (in the next month or so).

“Occuprint emerged when The Occupied Wall Street Journal asked us to guest curate an issue dedicated to the poster art of the global Occupy movement. The Occuprint website is meant to connect people with this work, and provide a base of support for print-related media within the #Occupy movement. http://occuprint.org/

Occuprint showcases posters from the worldwide Occupy movement, all of which are part of the creative commons, and available to be downloaded for noncommercial use, though we ask that artists be given attribution for their work. Our Print Lab is collaboration with the Occupy Wall Street Screen Printing Guild. The OWS Screen Printing Guild is an official working group within the OWS General Assembly. It is an open working group that regularly incorporates new members into its process and can be contacted at owsscreenguild(at)gmail(dot)com.

We look forward to creating and distributing more printed matter by supporting the development of screen-printing labs at other locations worldwide, and by printing more of the wonderful posters that we are receiving.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                     —Occuprint

Apr 192012

Originally published by order of Napoleon Bonaparte and printed between 1809-1828, the original Description of Egypt is one of the masterworks of the printed book. The twenty volumes (10 of plates, 1 atlas, 9 text) were printed by the atelier Rémond, founded in Paris in 1793…the successor in intrest to this historic press is the atelier Didier Mutel, aptly named as it is home to master printer and engraver, Didier Mutel. Approximately 200 years later, Didier is breathing life into a reinterpretation of this historic and remarkable work.

The original was a benchmark in printing of the day, emblematic and historically and technically remarkable. Didier’s intent with this new project is both a homage and an extension…the bite of acid upon copper expanding to envelop digital contextualization. Where the original explored architecture on the grand scale, the new begins with an exploration of faces on the micro scale. For each of the 28 plates associated with the first volume (Blindness), Didier created a unique face…and then engraved 16 iterations of each plate. Though each engraving stands alone, their evolution(s) in series quite literally transforms them [seriously, don’t miss this wonderful bit of etched animation].

Didier’s blog posts on the creation of the first book (in two volumes) can be found here (complete with unicorn pictures) and a .pdf description can be found here. It will be an edition of 15 copies and likely to be at least 10 volumes issued over the next 8-10 years. Please contact us if you would like further information about what is very likely to be a defining work of 21st century book art. 

Nov 072011

Lots of pictures and some notes (in captions) on a few hours spent at the Pitt Rivers Museum. The PRM “cares for the University of Oxford’s collection of anthropology and world archaeology.” It is an extraordinarily wonderful  example of Victorian collecting and collections. I can not recommend it enough (and can not wait to come back with Suz and the boys). Pictures of your amusement…I’m off to pack for tomorrow’s flight.

Jan 292011

One of 25, printed for Conrad.

Prince Roman Stanisław Sanguszko (1800–1881) was a Polish aristocrat, patriot, and political and social activist…and a book collector. When he died his library exceeded 6000 volumes, among the largest in Poland. He was also the subject of one of Joseph Conrad’s great short stories. Prince Roman was only published alone in one edition that was commissioned by Conrad. I had never expected to see one and can not tell you how much I loved cataloguing this absolutely pristine copy of oft-forgotten gem.

Conrad, Joseph. Prince Roman. London: Printed for the Author / Richard Clay and Sons, Ltd., 1920. Limited Edition. Barest hint of shelf/edge wear, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Tan paper wraps, black ink lettering. Archival slipcase and portfolio, quarterbound slipcase in dark brown leather, five raised bands, blue cloth, gilt lettering; blue cloth portfolio. Foolscap 4to. 42pp. Limited numbered edition, this being 15 of 25. Laid in onionskin description. Original Wraps. Near Fine in Near Fine Archival Case. (6961)

This work first appeared in The Oxford and Cambridge Review (October 1911) and was reprinted in The Metropolitan Magazine (January 1912, under the title The Aristocrat). This is the first and only independent printing of the work, printed by and for Conrad. A very handsome copy of this scarce volume.

May 312010

George Wither (see frontisportrait by John Payne) was an English poet and satirist. He was imprisoned for his writing (gist for another time) in 1614. In 1635 he was hired by the London publisher Henry Taunton to write English verses illustrating the allegorical plates of Crispin van Passe (originally designed for Gabriel Rollenhagen‘s Nucleus emblematum selectissimorum (1610-1613)).

The book was published as a Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne. They are nearly all impaired in one way or another, in fact the only perfect copy known to exist is in the collection of the British Museum. The copy I am cataloguing has some tide marks and a number of Victorian era paper repairs in addition to having a leaf in facsimile. It does, however, have the two analogue dials. One of the great pleasures of this work is that, unlike most Emblem books, that this one is in English is a treat.

I’ve attached a gallery of samples plus the frontisportrait…a mere 17 of the 200 included. Personally, I love the cat in the cage with the frolicking mice. I included on of a tortoise, interesting as he most likely drew it without ever having seen one.  Enjoy. [N.B. Click the wee image to get a bigger, prettier one to play with.]

Apr 282010

This first great manuscript library has announced plans to digitize 80,000 manuscripts from its archives. This collection comprises approximately 40 million manuscript pages and is expected to comprise 45 petabytes of data. The plan is apparently well established, expecting to take 10 years and evolving through 3 phases…with a staff of 60 growing to 120.

The technical aspects are interesting. They are tentatively planning to use a Metis System Scanner and a 50MP Hasselblad camera. Most interestingly, they intend to use FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) for the images (“Once FITS, always FITS). FITS is an open standard used mostly primarily in hard science areas. FITS is/was designed specifically for scientific data and includes structural elements for describing photometric and spatial calibration information, together with image origin metadata. Obviously, the inclusion of such data at the time of scanning could make the images significantly more valuable and at least in part address some of the major shortcomings of digital images…loss of the “nature of the original object”. Added info can be found here:
Original Announcement from the Vatican Library
Lengthy and Italian
Vatican Library Site [N.B. Has a nice Erasmus quotation, but all links are broken…]

Apr 212010

This is an interesting video from Encyclopedia Britannica on the making of a book. It examines the working of a large letterpress print house. The film starts with creating text on a linotype machine, looks at creating copper plates from lead slugs, folding the gatherings, stitching and binding. A very nice bit of industrial video. Pity most books are now glued…guaranteed to fail. Not much of a fan of forced obsolescence.  [Thanks to Ernie at E-Verse Radio for the heads-up]

Mar 142010

Working on a collection of CDVs today and have found some gems. Seth Kinman was a famed hunter/trapper and gave the elk horn chair to Pres. Lincoln (1864).

The two little people is not dated, but circa 1865. I’m working on deciphering some pencil notations on the back of the image of the two black women with the guitar.

Dozens and dozens more. Civil war generals, men with dogs, dead babies, and far too many completely unidentifiable. Nice way to spent a potion of a very rainy day.

ADDENDUM: Notation at the rear was “Chrissi and Milli” and is of Christine and Millie McCoy (1851-1912) were American conjoined twins born into slavery. Born on July 11, 1851 to slave parents on the plantation of Mr. Alexander McCoy, near Whiteville, North Carolina. The twins were sold to 19th century showman, J.P. Smith. For most of the rest of their lives the twins enjoyed a successful career as The Two-Headed Nightingale, appearing in the P.T. Barnum’s circus.