Book Arts from the Veatchs
Book arts from the Veatchs.
By Michael Stillman
The Veatchs Arts of the Book has released its latest collection of the book arts in Catalogue 67. The Veatchs offer books as art in its various forms. That can mean private press issues, fine bindings, handmade paper, woodcut and other distinctive illustrations, or books about book arts, such as catalogues for printing equipment, bibliographies of fine presses, type specimens, etc. Here are a few available in this latest catalogue.
For those who believe size matters, we start with Bruce Rogers' The World Bible, published in 1949. This exquisite folio Bible comes in at healthy 24 pounds. The word of God is weighty. Rogers spent four years designing and producing this behemoth, from choosing typefaces and paper to printing the 975 copies (that's almost 12 tons, though loss of some 325 sets of sheets reduced the number of copies to 650). Item 130. Priced at $3,500 (or $145/lb.).
Now let's go to the other extreme. Item 33 is a collection of seven miniature books by Sandy Connors, published from 2004 to 2006. Each book contains two wood engravings, most hand colored, printed on various fine papers. They are about six pages each and measure 1 3/4 x 2. Two were limited to 150 copies, the others to 100 each. $300.
Item 78 recounts a 1936 journey to the Far East by printer Dard Hunter, A Papermaking Pilgrimage to Japan, Korea, and China. Hunter took up printing after moving to Ohio around 1920, but his first career, and lifetime interest, was as a papermaker. Along with the text of his travels, this book has 51 specimens of papers bound in at the end. It is one of 370 copies printed, each signed by Hunter and printer Elmer Adler. $2,500.
Item 22 is a book about The Book Called Holinshed's Chronicles. The author of the original was Raphael Holinshed; the writer of the book about it was Stephen Booth. Holinshed's Chronicles was the most thorough history of England written at the time of its publication, the late 1500s. It was the source of the history that Shakespeare used for many of his plays. This work was published by the Book Club of California in 1968. It is one of 60 out of a print run of 500 to contain a leaf from the original, in this case, the opening page from The Historie of Scotland. $395.
Item 61 is A Bibliography of the Gehenna Press 1942-1975, by Stephen Brook, published in 1976. The Gehenna Press was established by the artist and sculptor Leonard Baskin. His artwork can be seen in places such as the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington. Offered is #1 of the 50 deluxe copies of this bibliography that were printed. $300.
Book Arts from the Veatchs
The Brooklyn Bridge around 1930.
Item 53 is a tribute to Walt Whitman from Antonio Frasconi, A Whitman Portrait. Frasconi came to the United States from Uruguay after the Second World War, having become fascinated by the work of American writers and musicians. One of those he particularly liked was Whitman. Frasconi is most known for his woodcuts. There are 16 of them in this book, along with eight pages of text from Leaves of Grass and reproductions of five Whitman letters from a private collection. Portraits of Whitman progress from his youth to his old age. $350.
Would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge? No, seriously. Item 46 is The Brooklyn Bridge, a 1994 edition combining Hart Crane's poem with nine photogravures of pictures taken by Walker Evans. The original edition of 1930 contained just three photographs. The negatives for this edition were supplied by Evans' estate. Evans was particularly noted for his photography documenting the Great Depression, a time during which the Brooklyn Bridge was undoubtedly "sold" many times over. $3,500.
The Veatchs Arts of the Book can be reached at 413-584-1867 or email@example.com. Their website is www.veatchs.com.