San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2015. 11-1/2 by 8 inches, 308 pages. The types are Cycles and Arepo, designed by Sumner Stone. The paper is Mohawk Superfine. The offset lithography was done under the supervision of Susan Schaefer. The binding is full cloth over boards with endpapers printed by letterpress from ornaments cast by Mackenzie & Harris, presented in a full cloth slipcase. The book edition is limited to 500 copies for sale. New. Item #CNAP105
This richly illustrated 308-page volume, a comprehensive documentation of nearly forty years of work, is an indispensable resource for librarians, collectors of Arion Press and other fine presses, typography enthusiasts, and all those interested in the history of the book in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Since its founding in 1974 by Andrew Hoyem, Arion Press has played a unique role in advancing the traditions of the printed book, incorporating the work of major contemporary artists, preserving the crafts of typecasting and printing from metal type, and using its resources to present significant works of literature, be they classics or new writing. In 2001, its San Francisco workshop was designated an "irreplaceable cultural treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Generously illustrated in color, Arion's first one hundred books (1974 to 2013) are each described in a professional bibliographical entry that includes commentary on design and production. Several pages each are devoted to landmark publications such as Moby-Dick, Ulysses, Tristram Shandy, Don Quixote, Leaves of Grass, and the folio Bible, with numerous images of the work of artists such as Robert Motherwell, John Baldessari, Wayne Thiebaud, Martin Puryear, Kara Walker, Alex Katz, and Jim Dine, among many others, reproduced. A photo album showing locations, staff, work sessions, and publication parties over the years includes snapshots of collaborators such as Richard Brautigan, Clement Hurd, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Seamus Heaney, David Mamet, Bruce Conner, Kiki Smith, Robert Alter, Edward Albee, Diane Johnson, and Tom Stoppard.
There is a checklist of out-of-series publications, commissioned projects, and a note on ephemera and job printing. Essays by long-time Arion editor Glenn Todd, historian Kevin Starr, book dealer Peter Kraus, and publisher Andrew Hoyem place Arion Press in the context of the publishing, art world, bibliophilic, and crafts movements of our time. There is an index.
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