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Letterpress Print - Melville Broadside

Melville Broadside

Traditionally, broadsides were used like posters to announce events or proclamations. This contemporary broadside was used to promote our exhibition Melville: Finding America at Sea. It features text of Melville’s poem “Tom Deadlight” drawn from the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Melville's Published Poems (the definitive textual edition of Melville's works).


Arranged in the shape of a whale's tail, the beautifully printed text diminishes in size as it descends the page and is accompanied by ornaments representing corpse lights treated with glow-in-the-dark ink.


A colophon at bottom left displays the number of the print and commemorates the exhibition, which was held at the Newberry Library in 2019 (the bicentennial of Melville’s birth).


This gorgeous print was produced for the Newberry by the Chicago print company the Starshaped Press in a limited edition of just 200 copies. 11 by 14", classic small poster size.

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