Caxton Club

27 Chicago Designers: When Art Became Design 1936-1991

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Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't

Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't

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This is the first book published on the subject of book-shaped objects. It is a catalog of an exhibition that took place at the Grolier Club in New York from January 28 through March 12, 2016.

Chicago by the Book 101 Publications That Shaped the City and Its Image

Chicago by the Book 101 Publications That Shaped the City and Its Image

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Despite its rough-and-tumble image, Chicago has long been identified as a city where books take center stage. In fact, a volume by A. J. Liebling gave the Second City its nickname. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle arose from the midwestern capital's most infamous industry. The great Chicago Fire led to the founding of the Chicago Public Library. The city has fostered writers such as Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Chicago's literary magazines The Little Review and Poetry introduced the world to Eliot, Hemingway, Joyce, and Pound. The city's robust commercial printing industry supported a flourishing culture of the book. With this beautifully produced collection, Chicago's rich literary tradition finally gets its due.

Chicago by the Book profiles 101 landmark publications about Chicago from the past 170 years that have helped define the city and its image. Each title--carefully selected by the Caxton Club, a venerable Chicago bibliophilic organization--is the focus of an illustrated essay by a leading scholar, writer, or bibliophile.

Arranged chronologically to show the history of both the city and its books, the essays can be read in order from Mrs. John H. Kinzie's 1844 Narrative of the Massacre of Chicago to Sara Paretsky's 2015 crime novel Brush Back. Or one can dip in and out, savoring reflections on the arts, sports, crime, race relations, urban planning, politics, and even Mrs. O'Leary's legendary cow. The selections do not shy from the underside of the city, recognizing that its grit and graft have as much a place in the written imagination as soaring odes and boosterism. As Neil Harris observes in his introduction, "Even when Chicagoans celebrate their hearth and home, they do so while acknowledging deep-seated flaws." At the same time, this collection heartily reminds us all of what makes Chicago, as Norman Mailer called it, the "great American city."

With essays from, among others, Ira Berkow, Thomas Dyja, Ann Durkin Keating, Alex Kotlowitz, Toni Preckwinkle, Frank Rich, Don Share, Carl Smith, Regina Taylor, Garry Wills, and William Julius Wilson; and featuring works by Saul Bellow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Clarence Darrow, Erik Larson, David Mamet, Studs Terkel, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many more.

Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger

Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger

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In Collecting Shakespeare, Stephen H. Grant recounts the American success story of Henry and Emily Folger of Brooklyn, a couple who were devoted to each other, in love with Shakespeare, and bitten by the collecting bug.

Shortly after marrying in 1885, the Folgers started buying, cataloging, and storing all manner of items about Shakespeare and his era. Emily earned a master's degree in Shakespeare studies. The frugal couple worked passionately as a tight-knit team during the Gilded Age, financing their hobby with the fortune Henry earned as president of Standard Oil Company of New York, where he was a trusted associate of John D. Rockefeller Sr.

While a number of American universities offered to house the collection, the Folgers wanted to give it to the American people. Afraid the price of antiquarian books would soar if their names were revealed, they secretly acquired prime real estate on Capitol Hill near the Library of Congress. They commissioned the design and construction of an elegant building with a reading room, public exhibition hall, and the Elizabethan Theatre. The Folger Shakespeare Library was dedicated on the Bard's birthday, April 23, 1932.

The library houses 82 First Folios, 275,000 books, and 60,000 manuscripts. It welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year and provides professors, scholars, graduate students, and researchers from around the world with access to the collections. It is also a vibrant center in Washington, D.C., for cultural programs, including theater, concerts, lectures, and poetry readings.

The library provided Grant with unprecedented access to the primary sources within the Folger vault. He draws on interviews with surviving Folger relatives and visits to 35 related archives in the United States and in Britain to create a portrait of the remarkable couple who ensured that Shakespeare would have a beautiful home in America.

Editio Princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible

Editio Princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible

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The Gutenberg Bible is widely recognized as Europe's first printed book, a book that forever changed the world. However, despite its initial impact, fame was fleeting: for the better part of three centuries the Bible was virtually forgotten; only after two centuries of tenacious and contentious scholarship did it attain its iconic status as a monument of human invention. Editio princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible is the first book to tell the whole story of Europe's first printed edition, describing its creation at Mainz circa 1455, its impact on fifteenth-century life and religion, its fall into oblivion during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and its rediscovery and rise to worldwide fame during the centuries thereafter. This comprehensive study examines the forty-nine surviving Gutenberg Bibles, and fragments of at least fourteen others, in the chronological order in which they came to light. Combining close analysis of material clues within the Bibles themselves with fresh documentary discoveries, the book reconstructs the history of each copy in unprecedented depth, from its earliest known context through every change of ownership up to the present day. Along the way it introduces the colorful cast of proud possessors, crafty booksellers, observant travelers, and scholarly librarians who shaped our understanding of Europe's first printed book. Bringing the 'biographies' of all the Gutenberg Bibles together for the first time, this richly illustrated study contextualizes both the historic cultural impact of the editio princeps and its transformation into a world treasure.
In the Service of Scholarship: Harold Hugo & The Meriden Gravure Company

In the Service of Scholarship: Harold Hugo & The Meriden Gravure Company

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In the Service of Scholarship is a history of one of the leading printing firms of the twentieth century. It is also a character study and biography of Harold Hugo (1910-1985), whose career at Meriden Gravure began at the age of fourteen and continued until his retirement as president in 1975. During his tenure, Hugo brought the company to standards of excellence that earned worldwide recognition for art reproduction of the highest quality. The distinguished graphic designer and educator Alvin Eisenmann said of Harold in 1978, "there has never been anyone who held the position that Harold does in American scholarly printing." This book records the practices that were employed to advance illustration printing during the era of film-based printing technology, from collotype and letterpress to offset lithography. Many of the groundbreaking procedures that Hugo pioneered were subsequently made obsolete by digital technology, but his refusal to compromise on quality and his attention to detail stand as a model in any age. The author was associated with Meriden Gravure for thirty years and regarded Harold Hugo as his mentor. He records a life richly lived, with deep and abiding friendships for the talented figures in the scholarly community with whom Meriden was so deeply engaged. He offers many anecdotes and insights reflecting Hugo's leadership of the company.

RHM : Robert Hunter Middleton, the Man and His Letters; Eight Essays on His Life and Career

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The Medieval World at Our Fingertips: Manuscript Illuminations from the Collection of Sandra Hindman

The Medieval World at Our Fingertips: Manuscript Illuminations from the Collection of Sandra Hindman

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This fascinating book offers a most engaging and fresh glimpse into the world of the Middle Ages. It accompanies an exhibit of some thirty diverse illuminated manuscript pages, and in a series of short descriptive essays on each of the miniatures the reader is taken on a remarkable journey from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, from which we can learn not only a great deal about the art of illumination, but also about the monasteries and cathedrals of Europe and such prominent medieval centres as the cities of London, Florence, Paris and Nuremberg. Moreover, Christopher de Hamel's wide knowledge and vivid reflections provide the historical and cultural context that help us to fully understand and truly appreciate these special works of art. The illuminated pages presented here are part of the impressive and broad-ranging collection assembled over twenty-five years by the medieval scholar and long-time Chicagoan Sandra Hindman. They represent both biblical and secular subjects and include the work of master illuminators such as Maestro Daddesco, Giovanni di Paolo and the Master of Mary of Burgundy. In addition to the colour reproductions of all the exhibited pages, the essays are sumptously illustrated with further related and comparative images, many of which are drawn from the collections of the Chicago Institute of Art itself. The Introduction to the volume is by the well-known medievalist James Marrow, and there is also a Catalogue by Matthew Westerby giving full details, descriptions, provenance and bibliography of the exhibited illuminations.