March 12, 2007
Exhibit showcases fine press books by California printers
An exhibit of books by California fine press printers is on view in the Peterson Gallery, on the second floor of the Bing Wing of Green Library, through June 17. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
"California Printers in the Fine Press Tradition, 1975-2006: Selections from Stanford's Special Collections" features fine press books ranging from small volumes of poetry to deluxe limited-edition collaborative works representing 40 presses active in California over the past three decades. In addition to the books on view, a section of the exhibit is devoted to the art of bookmaking: type and printing, bookbinding, papermaking and paper-decorating techniques.
"Not only does this exhibit demonstrate the incredible richness of contemporary book arts in California, it contains and displays the tools and techniques, even the raw materials, of those arts," University Librarian Michael A. Keller said. "By showing both exquisite finished products and the methods that produced them, this exhibit will be of interest to many audiences, from serious collectors and book artists to those just beginning to realize and explore the tangible, tactile and beautiful tradition of the printed word."
Among the books exhibited are critically acclaimed works by internationally known presses, such as the 1979 handset edition of Moby-Dick produced by Andrew Hoyem's Arion Press, San Francisco; highly collaborative projects, such as a new translation of Parmenides, printed in two Greek types that were commissioned for the book by Peter Koch, Printers, Berkeley; and two titles published almost 30 years apart, bracketing the time period covered in the show, by typographer and designer Jack Stauffacher, who founded the Greenwood Press, San Francisco, in 1934.
Also included are books by a multitude of presses that had their genesis in the book arts renaissance of the 1970s and early 1980s, many of whom were founded by women: Moving Parts Press, Felicia Rice; Ninja Press, Carolee Campbell; Paradise Press, Susan King; Occasional Works, Ann Rosener; and the Heyeck Press, Robin Heyeck, among others. Many of the books on display are the products of close collaborations among writers, artists, printers and bookbinders.
Books produced by literary fine presses, such as the Yolla Bolly Press, make up the largest category of those featured in the exhibit. Innovative works by creative partnerships such as Bill Kelly and Michele Burgess of Brighton Press, San Diego; Peggy Gotthold and Larry Van Velzer of Foolscap Press, Santa Cruz; and Betsy Davids and Jim Petrillo of Rebis Press, Berkeley, make up another. Also featured are a handful of what might be classified as artists' books, but which employ fine press techniques.
Exhibit cases in the Peterson Gallery are illuminated Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The gallery is accessible whenever Green Library is open; hours vary with the academic schedule. For library hours, call (650) 723-0931 or visit the web at http://library.stanford.edu/.