Opening Reception Nov 10: A Century of Fine Press Books

“A Century of Fine Press Books”

Opening reception and presentation with refreshments: November 10, 2016 6-8pm
Exhibit dates: November 10 – January 31, 2017
Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library – Sul Ross State University
Free and open to the community!

Celebrate the history and craftsmanship of fine press bookmaking as The Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library debuts the “Van Robinson Fine Press Book Collection”.  An opening reception and presentation by the donor Mr. Van Robinson will be held November 10, 6-8pm. Light refreshments will be provided. The Library exhibit will continue through January 31st  2017. The Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library is located on the Sul Ross State University campus, entrance 3. Free parking after 5pm is available in the circle drive or adjacent lot. For more information call the library at: 432-837-8123.

Books from the Van Robinson Fine Press Collection are produced by the finest book designers and printers in the United States and Europe. The 317-book collection represents an entire century of exquisitely crafted books from renown printers such as Kelmscott, Ashendene, Arion, Book Club of Texas, Doves, and others. They are printed on the finest paper, some handmade, illustrated with original drawings, etchings or engravings. Many are produced in limited editions, giving audiences a rare chance to see these volumes in person.

moby-dick-srsuThe finest and most valuable book from the collection is “Moby Dick; or, The Whale” by Herman Melville printed by Arion Press located in San Francisco, California. Every element of the book is crafted to reflect the mood of this classic text, resulting in a volume that is as much a work of art as it is a novel. Considered one of the greatest American fine press books ever printed, it took a year and a half to print and was completed in 1979. Only 265 copies were printed of which 250 were for sale. The text is set by hand with initial letters printed in blue at the start of each of the 135 chapters in Leviathan Capitals, a special alphabet designed for the purpose by Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes. Boxwood engravings created by Barry Moser depict a whaling industry on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution in meticulously researched detail. It is printed on handmade paper tinted blue-grey. A whale can be seen lurking in the very pages themselves as a watermark, visible only when light shines through the paper. The 600 page book is bound in full blue Levant Morocco (the finest goatskin) with silver lettering stamped into the spine.


Van Robinson
Van Robinson

The “Van Robinson Fine Press Book Collection” was donated to the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library by Mr. Van Robinson of Fort Davis, Texas.

The collection can be found in the library’s conference room 104 on the first floor and may be viewed by appointment. To find a complete listing of books available in the Fine Press Collection, search the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library catalog or view the exhibit catalog.

Tour Arion Press on this episode of “Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain”.


Print a poster for “A Century of Fine Press Books”

A Century of Fine Press November 10, 2016 Bryan Wildenthal Library SRSU