San Diego: Anne Covell, 2017. Paperback. Number 9 of 20 standard copies. There were also five deluxe and two artist copies of this beautifully conceived and executed work. Anne Covell is a book artist and hand papermaker living in San Diego, CA. She has studied Asian and Western papermaking techniques with Timothy Barrett, and has taught for numerous professional organizations including the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory, Penland School of Crafts, and the University of Georgia study abroad program in Cortona, Italy, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be seen in a growing list of private collections, special collections libraries, and museums worldwide. In her colophon Anne writes: "I first became interested in the Japanese beetle in 2012 during a particularly hot and dry summer in Iowa City. Perhaps it was a result of the season or of my having moved to a new home ripe with some of the beetle's most preferred foods, but I became overwhelmed by its pervasive, relentless assault on my garden. As the summer wore on, I began finding leaf remains gathering at the bases of trees...as if it were fall. Their presence was out of place; out of season. But when I began to look more closely, what struck me was the beauty of form that the beetle had inadvertently left behind. Starved of oxygen and drained of color, these leaf skeletons would soon crumble and return to the earth. But, for a moment they existed between realms and reflected a loss that spoke to the complexity of the natural world." The book contains 12 folios of 100% Japanese Gampi hand-dyed with persimmon tannin and treated with konnyaku to mimic the sound and texture of withering foliage. The illustrations of leaves, berries, and twigs were letterpress printed from drawings by Anne. Housed in a stiff brown paper envelope, with paper handmade, hand dyed, and hand burnished with persimmon tannin by the artist. Measures 4.5 x 10 inches. Fine condition. ARTISTSB/010421. Fine.
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MA: Viewpoint Editions, 2012. Paperback. Number 22 of 36 copies. According to noted book artist Dorothy Simpson Krause, “This homage to Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1947-1997) and her seminal book, The Everglades: River of Grass combines my images of the Everglades with historic photographs, documents, and maps. Forty miles wide and over 100 miles long this slow moving river ranges from a few inches to a few feet in depth. Only half its original size, the Everglades has been largely destroyed to meet the demands of urban and agricultural growth. The ongoing battle for restoration of the Everglades is a moral test which hopefully we will pass.” The book’s exquisite images evoke the beauty and mystery of the Everglades, which are “one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known” (Marjory Douglas). Printed on Yu Kou paper, on a laser printer with letterpress overlay. Interleaved with Yu Kou light tissue guards. All of the unbound pages are housed in an envelope enclosure made from brown Lokta Oil Paper to reference a packet of documents an early settler might have carried. The closure on the envelope is a native mahogany tree seedpod with rawhide and thread tie. This book was produced while Krause was Artist-in-Residence at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University, and was published under the auspices of Minerva: The Press at Wimberly. In fine condition. PRI/101912. Fine.
Barcelona: Printed at The Folio Club for Sandra March, 2014. Hardcover. Number 83 of 100 copies signed and numbered by Sandra March. Text in Spanish, Catalan, and English. March is a talented young book and installation artist. With this work she draws a metaphorical, graphic, and auditory journey captured by words, illustrations, and sound. Thus the contents comprise the book, two posters, and a CD. She writes that this project has a scientific basis with a therapeutic and artistic impulse, starting on a subconscious level after losing both her sister and her father from heart diseases. The journey goes from a symbolic loss of the heart until its restoration, through a tour of the beautiful and varied morphology of the cardiac systems of thirty-one different animals and the sounds of their heartbeats. The heartbeat sounds are from a jellyfish, starfish, black widow spider, giant tortoise, Nile crocodile, frog, parakeet, and human being among many others There were a number of contributors to this project, including the biologist Francesc Uribe Porta, sound engineer Vicente Rosati, and illustrator Raquel Bullon. Bound in a white cardboard CD case, with posters attached to the back cover by a pink elastic band and CD held on the middle fold of the case. In fine condition. 58 pages. PRI/042715. Fine.
Chicago: Sherwin Beach Press, 1992. Hardcover. Number 163 of 200 copies. "The Essence of Beeing" is an account by Michael Lenehan of two beekeepers: one who has hives on the roof of his apartment building in the city, and one who keeps bees on his farm in the country. In the process of describing the beekeepers and their work, the book tells a great deal of what is known about bees and honey. It was written by Michael Lenehan, executive editor of the Chicago Reader, where it appeared originally in 1977. Mr. Lenehan has contributed many pieces to the Reader during his more than 30-year association with it; he has also published elsewhere, notably in the Atlantic Monthly. Here, Alice Brown-Wagner has illustrated the text with drawings of the tools of beekeeping. "The laid-back style of the narrative belies well-packed information....It is a delightful essay....Binding and type were well and sensibly chosen. Any beekeeper would enjoy this for a generous present—as has, indeed, this reviewer. Others may find it tempts them toward one of the world’s absorbing occupations." —Colin Franklin, Bookways. The book was designed by Bob McCamant, hand set in 12 and 14 point Cooper Oldstyle by Alice Brown-Wagner, Kate Friedman, and Bob McCamant, and printed on Fabriano Roma Michelangelo by Bob McCamant. It was casebound, cloth over boards, by Ann Repp, and has a dust jacket of blind-embossed Roma Raffaello. 45 pages, 9 1/4 x 12 inches. Published in 1992, numbered but not signed. PRI/031620. Fine.
Washington: Wiesedruck, 2018. Hardcover. Number 29 of 40 copies that included five deluxe copies. Vogel Totentanz is a bird dance of death alphabet book inspired by Hans Holbein’s Dance of Death woodcut alphabet. After the Black Plague ravaged Europe in the late 14th century, death as inevitable regardless of status or age became a pervasive motif in art and literature. My present-day Totentanz is a reflection of that idea in context of our environmental crisis. Birds are indicator species for overall environmental health and human well-being [from the artist's website]. The 29 etchings were drawn from specimens at the Cashmere Museum, the Wenatchee Valley College collection, and the Burke Museum in Washington State along with other found remains. Diotima types were used throughout. The text was letterpress printed on Zerkall Book paper by Arthur Larson of Horton Tank Graphics. This regular edition is bound in a bird-footprint-etching printed blue paper and housed in a slipcase. Binding and slipcase by Claudia Cohen. In fine condition. Measures 6.875 x 5.5 inches. Etchings are 2.5 x 2.5 inches. [60 pages.] PRI/122121. Fine.
Washington: Wiesedruck, 2020. Hardcover. Number 21 of 40 copies, including five sold out deluxe copies. Signed and numbered by the artist. Poe's introduction to "The Conchologist's First Book: Or a System of Testaceous Malachology" is presented within along with forty-one etchings of fifty-six shells by artist Sarah Horowitz. She writes about this exquisite book on her website: " I received two large cardboard boxes of individually wrapped shells eight years ago after the death of my paternal grandmother. Each shell was in a cellophane bag, stapled shut with a fortune-cookie-sized strip of paper on which was typed the Latin name and origin of the shell. My grandparents had purchased the shells in the Philippines where they lived in the late 1960s. Their house was a veritable cabinet of curiosities which was magical to me. I am engrossed by collections, particularly those of complex organic objects, and by the books that document these collections. This book is as much about the history of collecting and the act of recreating my grandparents’ collection, as it is about shells. This text by Edgar Allan Poe was written as an introduction to The Conchologist’s First Book, first published in 1839 and adapted from Thomas Wyatt’s Manual of Conchology. It was intended to be a cheaper, more concise version of Wyatt’s book for use in schools. Poe was paid to have his name on the title page in order to help sales, but he also wrote an original preface and introduction, and edited and re-organized the text. Poe had an interest in shells from time spent on the South Carolina coast while in the US Navy, and considered the study of shells to be one of the most important branches of natural history. Wyatt’s original text borrowed much material from The Conchologist’s Textbook by naturalist Thomas Brown who derived his work from the writings of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Carl Linnaeus." Orange leather spine with decorative printed paper covered boards and gray leather title label to spine. Housed in a cloth covered box with matching paper covered edges. Letterpress printed by Arthur Larson of Horton Tank Graphics on Phoenix paper made specifically for this project by Gangolf Ulbricht in Berlin, Germany. Identification pages are printed on Kaji Natural paper. Housed in a gray cloth slipcase. Binding and slipcase by Claudia Cohen. Measures 6.5 x 9 inches. Unpaginated. PRI/122121. Fine.