The Southern California Chapter is made up of members representing the range of printing history and book arts interests. We are excited about the wonderful programs that we continue to provide for members of the Chapter and welcome all of you in the region who share our interests to become active with the group. You can watch this web site and/or contact any of the officers to stay informed about upcoming events. Contact information is provided below.
Other exciting activities are being planned, and we would love to have you join us at these events. We would very much like to hear from you about programs that you would like us to organize. Feel free to contact any of us. Also, please let us know if you are interested in giving a presentation for the Chapter.
The annual cost of individual membership to join the national American Printing History Association is $50; institutional membership is $75. Membership in the Southern California Chapter is an additional $15. Our area includes all of Southern California from the southern border up to and including San Luis Obispo County. We are working to provide programs across this area. Please visit the Join APHA page for a membership application and detailed information about this vibrant organization.
We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you at an upcoming event.
Ethan B. Lipton, Chapter President Chair
Nina Schneider, Program Chair
Jessica Holada, Membership Chair
Jane Carpenter, Secretary
Barbara Hauser, Treasurer
Saturday, October 5, 2013
5th Annual L.A. Printers’ Fair at the International Printing Museum
Once again, the Southern California Chapter will be at the Fair. Stop by the Chapter’s table to say hi and pick up some goodies while enjoying a day of printing and book arts at this popular event.
Stay tuned for details on our Annual Membership meeting & officers’ election later this year!
Our trip to the Bay Area
What follows is a brief summary of the Southern California chapter’s field trip to the San Francisco Bay Area on July 19 & 20, 2013 coinciding with APHA’s annual Lieberman Lecture held at the San Francisco Public Library on July 20th. We thank everyone that came and especially those that made the weekend an overwhelming success: Randal Brandt, Peter Hanff, Mary Morganti, Jaime Henderson, Alastair Johnston, and in particular, John McBride and Kathleen Burch. Thanks to the staff at the Bancroft Library, the California Historical Society, the San Francisco Public Library, and the San Francisco Center for the Book.
If you were there and took photos, we’d love to add them!
1. Friday, July 19thBancroft Library Tour, UC Berkeley
We met our hosts, Peter Hanff (Deputy Directory of the Bancroft) and Randal Brandt (Principal Cataloger) at the library’s security desk. We were escorted upstairs and into the Bancroft Library Press Room, a well-lit space outfitted with three Albion presses (two of them are tabletop presses). Peter explained that the Bancroft Library was begun in 1863, by its namesake, Hubert Howe Bancroft, a book dealer in San Francisco who began collecting in earnest after realizing that some early materials were unique, ephemeral, or overlooked. Understanding that his accumulated collection was an important source of California (and western) history, and unable to find a publisher, he dedicated himself to a project that took almost 30 years and resulted in a thirty-nine volume history. He sold his collection to the University of California, making it the core collection of the library. Rare book acquisition began in 1954 under the aegis of the English Department.
In the Press Room, we were shown some of the typecases (filled with University of California Oldstyle, the proprietary face designed by Frederic Goudy in 1938), as well as a Reliance press and the Albions mentioned above. The Bancroft was given the handpress by Roger Levenson, an instructor in Berkeley’s school of library and information science. Bancroft’s former director, James Hart, suggested teaching a class and Frances Butler was recommended. Since Butler didn’t have experience using the hand press, she enlisted the aid of Alastair Johnston. This, by the way, is how Butler and Johnston met and Poltroon Press was formed. Wesley Tanner was later hired after creative differences forced Frances and Alastair to move on. Today, graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to take a class “The Hand Printed Book in its Historical Context”, a hands-on history course taught by Les Ferris.
Our group was then introduced to David De Lorenzo, Associate Director and Head of Technical Services. David had prepared a sample of items from the Bancroft’s Book Artifacts Collection. This teaching tool of over 5,000 items spans the history of communication and the transmission of the written word. Ranging from cuniforms to Apple computers, the collection was started over 50 years ago and organized by former rare book librarian, Leslie Clark. The collections are organized and described individually but until now, only searchable in the Bancroft’s notebooks. With a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the records can now be explored through the Online Archive of California. We were particularly impressed by the range of materials we saw Friday afternoon: engraved music plates, quill pens, John Henry Nash’s paper mould, and early brass bosses and corners. We then stopped in the Reading Room to see how scholars are currently using the collections for their own research and projects. The afternoon at the Bancroft wrapped up with a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the Technical Services area where we could see the numerous objects being cataloged, processed, and preserved by the Berkeley librarians.
For more information on the Bancroft and its collections:http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
2. Friday evening
Michael Burke & Dominic Riley, San Francisco Center for the Book
Our timing to the Bay Area coincided with a previously planned lecture with Michael Burke and Dominic Riley at the San Francisco Center for the Book’s new space in Portrero Hill. Michael discussed some of his recent research with the Fountain’s Abbey manuscript collection held at the British Library–specifically, how these manuscripts were collated, bound, and attached to boards, and how developing book production required faster methods of bookbinding. Dominic won first place in this year’s prestigious Designer Bookbinders International Competition for his work and the audience was treated to a number of slides of his beautiful bindings.
3. Saturday morning, July 20th
Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing,
California Historical Society
The next day’s rendezvous was at the California Historical Society. We met Mary Morganti, the Director of the Library and Archives. She gave us a brief introduction to the CHS before leading us into the library. We were welcomed by the library’s archivist, Jaime Henderson and printer, scholar, and CHS volunteer, Alastair Johnston. The items we were shown are part of the Kemble Collection of Western Printing and Publishing. This amazing resource was given to CHS in 1964 by the Society’s former president, George Harding and named in honor of California printer and publisher Edward Cleveland Kemble (1828-1886). Harding’s original gift of his printing and publishing library was quickly augmented by William E. Loy’s typographical library, and the business archives of San Francisco printing firm Taylor & Taylor. It continues to grow and is available through the library’s catalog (http://220.127.116.11/C95040/OPAC/Index.aspx) and through the Online Archive of California (http://www.oac.cdlib.org/institutions/California+Historical+Society).
Mary, Jaime, and Alastair had picked out some of their favorite items and publications that they knew would be of particular interest to the group. The samples were pulled from both the type specimen and ephemera collections. We were shown Moxon Chappel publications, Strathmore Paper color samples, sample books of printed postcards, half-tone plates used for printing postcards, reference books relating to the business and mathematics of printing, invoices and bill heads for San Francisco-based companies, numerous type specimens from Loy’s collection, brochures from Nelson C. Hawks (the inventor of the modern point system and founder of the Pacific Type Foundry), and archives from Taylor & Taylor including work dockets, work logs, and salary information. The Kemble Collection is an invaluable resource to everyone interested in printing history. More than one of us decided that working at CHS is our new dream job.
For more information on CHS and its collections (http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/)
4. Saturday afternoon
Lieberman Lecture, San Francisco Public Library
This year’s Lieberman Lecture was given by David Pankow, former curator of the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. His talk, entitled Reproductive Arts in America: Lithography Challenges Letterpress, provided a technical, yet accessible background on the development of color lithography and how it superseded letterpress as a viable commercial process. This excellent lecture will be fully reviewed in APHA’s next newsletter.
David’s talk was followed by a reception in the library’s Skylight Gallery where we were able to see an exhibition from the Hand Bookbinders of California. Andrea Grimes and Lisa Dunseth, librarians in SFPL’s Books Arts & Special Collections department, pulled some of the books that David mentioned in his lecture so that we could see them up close and personal. Here’s a link their blog post about the event: http://sfhcbasc.blogspot.com/
5. Saturday evening
Northern CA/Southern CA chapters mixer
San Francisco Center for the Book
Saturday wrapped up at the San Francisco Center for the Book where we were treated to a supper buffet, hosted by APHA’s Northern California Chapter. John McBride and Kathleen Burch orchestrated a great party that gave us a chance to meet other APHA members and printing history enthusiasts. APHA’s President, Robert McCamant, was in attendance. He wins the award for Fearless Leader since he flew out from Chicago specifically for the Lieberman Lecture and for the mixer, then turned around and flew back to Chicago the same day!!
We were also able to linger over the SFCB’s current exhibitionDruckworks: Forty Years of Books and Projects, a retrospective of works by our very own Johanna Drucker. The plates and glasses were filled well into the night and the bonds between the chapters have definitely been strengthened. The Northern California chapter will be meeting in August to plan future programs and hold an election for officers. We hope that one of their activities will be field trip to Southern California!
A couple of us made a stop at the Book Club of California on Friday morning to see the exhibition curated by Kathleen Burch & John McBride. The Legacy of Florence Walter, featuring features forty-five fine design bindings that Walter’s family has treasured for many decades. Her working sketches, photographs, keepsakes, and other printed works, as well as a portrait of Walter were on view.
Our trip to the San Francisco Bay Area was fun and educational. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and we got to see amazing collections and meet new friends. We were glad to see that the trip attracted folks from Southern California, Northern California, and Salt Lake City!
November 5, 2011
Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.: Putting Ink on Paper
Archetype Press, ACCD
950 South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
The 120 Group at Art Center College of Design in association with the Southern California chapter of the American Printing History Association present a workshop and talk with Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.
October 14–15, 2011
Printing at the Edge: 36th Annual Conference
UC San Diego
What have been the transformative moments in printing history that have changed the direction of printing, typography, papermaking, bookbinding, or book design, and moved us to a new edge? What are today’s frontiers? Where is tomorrow’s edge?
October 1, 2011
3rd Annual LA Printers’ Fair
The Southern California Chapter had a great time at the 3rd Annual LA Printers’ Fair. This annual event, held at the International Printing Museum in Carson, was a great way to promote APHA and the activities of our chapter, say “hi” to old friends and meet some new ones. Thanks to the Museum, attendees got a chance to pull a print on a 19th century tabletop Albion. [All photos were taken by Jessica Holada]
September 18, 2011
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
Pack your baskets, shake out your blankets and join us for a family-friendly picnic in beautiful Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area! We can’t promise sunshine (although there’s a very good chance it will be a beautiful day), but we can promise beautiful views and fun times on the lawn. There will be recreations to challenge both the head and the hand. Games such as “Time-the-Type sticker”, “Who’s That Printer?”, and “My Favorite Bibliophile” guarantee a fun time for all. A grand prize will be awarded to the person with the most points.
June 18, 2011
Visit to Ninja Press
Sherman Oaks, CA
Founded in 1984, by book artist and APHA member Carolee Campbell, the Ninja Press imprint is a mark of creativity, excellent craftsmanship, and exquisite artistry. With over 40 books and broadsides in her portfolio, Carolee has interpreted prose and poetry of both contemporary and historical authors. She lectures extensively and has had two major retrospective exhibitions of her work which is collected by libraries throughout the world. The Ninja Press archive is held in the Davidson Library Special Collections Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
June 13, 2011
APHA Student Memberships Awarded
Thanks to the generosity of several APHA Southern California Chapter members, I am pleased to announce that we have conducted our first-ever student membership drawing. We are happy to welcome seven new members to our group of printing history enthusiasts. Burgeoning printers and future print culture scholars, no doubt.
Jeffrey Kang (Claremont McKenna College)
Chelsea Herman (San Diego State University)
Andy Hernandez (Otis College)
Patrick (Mac) Schoen (Occidental College)
Alexandra Talleur (Scripps College)
Naomi Tarle (San Diego State University)
Jessica Thomas (UCLA)
Congratulations! These students were nominated based on their sincere interest in printing history and active participation in college and university printing programs. Thanks to the faculty for nominating them.
Student memberships will be activated at the beginning of October so they may attend at a discount Printing at the Edge: 36th Annual Conference at UC San Diego, October 14-15, 2011. The chapter will be organizing a book fair as part of the conference, in addition to screening the documentary Proceed and Be Bold, all of which are free to conference attendees. Student members will also receive the bi-annual journal Printing History, discounts on other APHA publications and workshops, a one-year membership in 2012, plus three bonus membership months in 2011 (“The Twofer”).
May 14, 2011
Visit to Clementine Press
Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA
Recently expanded, Clementine Press was started in a studio apartment with a few cases of type, a Chandler & Price Pilot press and a Showcard Signcard proof press. That was 1998. Thirteen years later, proprietor and APHA member, Richenda Brim, continues to create cards, prints, broadsides, and a growing catalog of artist’s books on that very same equipment.
A group of 6 APHA members (and one guest) were able to see a variety of projects in the works at Clementine Press that day. Richenda explained how she got started – her interest in artists’ books and early printed books prompted her to try her hand at printing. She started with a Gocco printer, but quickly realized that letterpress was in her future. To that end, she studied with all the greats: Carolee Campbell, Mary Laird, and Kathy Walkup in the Bay Area and took bookbinding classes at Paper and Book Intensive and at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. When she returned to her native Los Angeles in 1998, Richenda bought her C&P press “from a very nice man in Toluca Lake for a very nice price”, and shortly doubled her press count by purchasing a Signcard press. We got to see past and current projects during our visit. She explained how she printed a line of drink coasters using found magnesium plates. On view were not only her charming and ingenious prints using a combination of wood and metal types, polymer plates and press furniture, but books and periodicals featuring her work as well. We also had to chance to see her current book project and samples from her bookbinding classes. Examples of her work can be seen (or bought) at her Etsy shop.
April 16, 2011
Press Crawl in San Diego
In anticipation of APHA’s 36th Annual Conference this October, the Southern California chapter convened for a day of informative fun and the chance to see what’s happening in San Diego.
Thirteen members from various points in Southern California – the Basin, the Inland Empire, and just around the corner –met at the San Diego Union Building located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. This pre-fab wood-frame structure was built in Maine and shipped around the Horn in 1851. The office is restored to include a Washington Hand Press and metal type similar to that which was used when the Union printed its first edition on October 10, 1868. Gary Miller, proprietor of Iron Bear Press and current president of San Diego Book Arts; Karen Beery, the Interpretation and Education Manager of the State of California Dept. of Parks and Recreation; and Guire Cleary, Senior Park Aide at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park were there to greet us and give us some background about the newspaper and the work that has gone in to restoring the space and equipment. Although the building is not a staffed location, they do welcome volunteers and I think that you’ll be seeing some APHA members working there the next time you visit! They prepared a lovely keepsake for us that was printed on the iron handpress.
After a leisurely lunch at Coyote Café, where the tortillas were homemade and the margaritas were the size of a bathtub, we reconvened at Bay Park Press, founded 11 years ago by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek to foster the production of artists’ books and prints, and promote interest in the letterpress process. Locals can take classes or rent space to create print and book projects. The facility includes Vandercook and Kelsey letterpresses, a Charles Brand etching press, a Chandler Price guillotine and an ever growing selection of lead type. The Bay Park Press Gallery presents several print and book art exhibitions every year, representing local, regional and national artists. Jim brought out a number of artists’ books for us to look at and we also had a chance to see his recent print work that was hanging in the gallery. Bay Park Press is a lovely venue, with plenty of natural light and friendly co-op members.
Our final stop was at nearby Brighton Press, a fine press studio founded by Bill Kelly in 1985. Brighton produces limited edition artists’ books and broadsides that are designed and created through the collaboration of contemporary poets and visual artists, together with artisans in the fields of letterpress, bookbinding, papermaking, and printmaking. Bill’s partner, Michele Burgess, herself a printmaker and sculptor, was on hand to show us some of their recent work. We were impressed with their amazing attention to details and creative use of materials.
It was a gorgeous day and we are glad we could get sneak peak of the dynamic community of book artists in San Diego. APHA’s conference in October promises to be very special.
See more pictures from the San Diego Press Crawl.
February 26, 2011
Proceed and Be Bold
Playa Vista, Los Angeles (near Marina del Rey
Exact location to those who RSVP
A screening of Proceed and Be Bold! What happens when a man on the fast track in corporate America discovers a way to tell us what he really thinks. This documentary follows the adventures of Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. who decided to give up new technology for old, rejecting a comfortable, middle class lifestyle to follow his true love, the cylinder press. This film questions many expectations of race, status, society, artistry and talent. You’ll never look at letterpress the same way again.
Decmeber 4, 2010
Annual Membership Meeting and Holiday Social
At the home of Ethan Lipton in Venice, California
APHA members joined for a fun afternoon of talking and eating (or eating and talking) while catching up on events from the past year. Thiswas our chance to voice opinions on what was successful, what wasn’t, and why, and also to provide suggestions on what we’d like to see and do in 2011. If you have been working on a project and would like to share it with the group, please bring what you have. We promise an interesting time for current members and a reason to join for potential members.
We unveiled the first draft of our Bibliographic Treasure Map giving the location of printers, binders, artists, dealers, and libraries, both past and present, which has made Southern California a booklover’s paradise.
November 9, 2010
Richard Wagener, Wood engraver
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street, Los Angeles, CA
An illustrated talk by master wood engraver, Richard Wagener. Richard discussed his own work and the creative process of collaboration. A reception followed.
Richard Wagener is an artist, writer, and wood engraver. His work includes books and prints that feature the natural and manmade landscapes of California and the West. He has collaborated with Peter Koch, Bruce Whiteman, and illustrated the writings of Parmenides, translated into English by Robert Bringhurst. Under his own imprint, Mixolydian Editions, Richard produces beautifully illustrated books of his own writings.
For further information visit Richard’s website.
October 9, 2010
From Bohemia to Conceptual Writing
William Andrews Clark Library
The symposium, “From Bohemia to Conceptual Writing: Books, presses, and publishing in the cultural life 20th century California,” took place on Saturday, October 9, 2010. This symposium accompanied the exhibit, “California and the Fine Press Tradition 1910–1970,” on view at the William Andrews Clark Library October 5–December 17, 2010.
September 16, 2010
Field Trip to Riverside!
A weekday outing to the Inland Empire where we had a chance to see some fabulous print treasures held at the University of California’s eastern campus followed by a lunch at the historic Mission Inn. Led by APHA’s very own Gwido Zlatkes, the Reference Librarian for UCR’s Special Collections, and Sara Stilley, Printing and Preservation Specialist, our group was shown samples from the Petko and Adjarian collections, as well as other treasures within UCR’s special collections library. For more details, click here.
August 3, 2010
“Text Visualization: What Info can learn from Biblio”
An event at the California Rare Book School co-sponsored by the Southern California Chapter of APHA
Room 111, GSEIS Building, UCLA
Johanna Drucker is the inaugural Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor of Bibliography in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She has published extensively on the history of written forms, typography, design, and visual poetics within the twentieth-century avant-garde. In addition to her scholarly work, Drucker is internationally known as a book artist and an experimental, visual poet. Her book SpecLab: Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2009.
August 10, 2010
Stories from the Annals of the Southern California Book Trade: A conversation with Kenneth Karmiole, Howard
Rootenberg, and Michael Thompson, moderated by Carol Sandberg
An event at the California Rare Book School co-sponsored by the Southern California Chapter of APHA
Room 111, GSEIS Building, UCLA
May 8, 2010
Highlights of the Paul Chrzanowski Collection of early English books
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street, Los Angeles, California 90018
Head Librarian, and SoCal APHA member, Bruce Whiteman, gave an informal talk on the Clark Library’s recent receipt of 72 books famous in printing history. The earliest work, a 1479 Caxton, is the tallest existing Caxton and only one of eleven known copies. The latest, published in 1731, is the first printing of John Wycliffe’s 14th-century translation of the English Bible. Also shown were Wynkyn de Worde’s Golden Legend of 1512, the beautifully illustrated Pilgrimage of Perfection printed in 1531, Euclid’s Elements of Geometry from 1570 with movable illustrations, Lodovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso of 1607 with engraved plates, works from Chaucer, and parts from Shakespeare’s first folio.
April 7, 2010
Tour of UCLA’s Horn Press
with Johanna Drucker & Cocktail Social
Tour UCLA’s Horn Press, a student-run organization at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Johanna Drucker, UCLA’s Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor of Bibliography and SoCal APHA member, shared how she and her students have revitalized both the equipment and the program. We’ll learned about their adventures getting everything in place and saw some work by the students.
We then regrouped at the Bel Air Bar & Grill, a nearby restaurant for drinks and conversation. Everyone had the chance to meet fellow members and to learn about places and programs of interest to our membership. To that end, the Board members lead an informal discussion about favorite places, hidden treasures, and valuable resources throughout Southern California.
February 19, 2010
Curator’s tour of Color Explosion: Nineteenth Century American Lithography from the Jay T. Last Collection
Huntington Library, Arts Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California 91108
David Mihaly, provided participants with his insight on one of the largest collections of 19th-century color lithography in the United States. Jay T. Last, founder Fairchild Semiconductor Corp., is also an independent scholar of the history of lithography. His interest in this field began in the 1970′s when he first started collecting fruit crate labels, but quickly developed to a collection of over 135,000 objects. The exhibition features more than 250 items that are on view for the first time including advertising posters, art prints, calendars, children’s books, product labels, sales catalogs, sheet music, toys, and trade cards, as well as a lithographic press. Read a full report here.
December 5, 2009
Southern California Chapter Annual General Meeting
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California
November 5 , 2009 at 6:30 pm
Visit to UCLA Conservation Laboratory
UCLA Conservation Lab
Westwood Village at Wilshire and Kinross
An insider’s tour of UCLA’s state-of-the-art conservation lab on Thursday, November 5th at 6:30 pm. The tour was conducted by the university’s conservator, Kristen St. John, who showed us how people, chemicals, and machines work together to preserve printing history.
October 22, 2009, 2:00–4:00 pm
Early Printing in Asia
Smith Room, Special Collections
Young Research Library, UCLA
Presentation of artifacts illustrative of Asian printing by Toshie Marra and Hong Cheng of UCLA’s East Asian Library. For more information, click here.
September 24, 2009, 6:30 pm
100 Years in the Making: William Loy’s Nineteenth-Century American Designers and Engravers of Type
William Andrews Clark Library
2520 Cimarron St.
Los Angeles, CA 90018-2098
Lecture by Alastair Johnston on the newly-published book, Nineteenth-Century American Designers and Engravers of Type by William E. Loy, edited by Alastair M. Johnston and Stephen O. Saxe.
August 2009 Newsletter
The Southern California Chapter of APHA has several events planned for this Fall, after a summer hiatus. We did not plan any events for the summer since Kitty Maryatt was going to be in Japan for two months. We also had two unexpected resignations from the SoCal Board: Program Chairman Steve MacLeod resigned due to job pressures, and Treasurer Deborah Whiteman resigned due to a job change to Northern California. We have appointed Nina Schneider as interim Program Chair and Vicke Selk as interim Treasurer; we are so grateful to them for filling in at this time.
Future events for the SoCal Chapter include an informative lecture on by Alastair Johnston on the newly-published book, Nineteenth-Century American Designers and Engravers of Type by William E. Loy, edited by Alastair M. Johnston and Stephen O. Saxe. This talk will be held at the William Andrews Clark Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24.
During 2008, our chapter focused on the theme of the history of the book, organized around Frederick G. Kilgour’s The Evolution of the Book. In 2009, we have tried to concentrate on early printing efforts, both in the West and in the East. To that end, we have planned an exciting event involving UCLA’s East Asian Library in October. We will meet in the Smith Room in Special Collections at UCLA. Items will be shown from the collection reflecting early printing in Asia and other fascinating artifacts. In early November, we have planned an afternoon at the UCLA Conservation Laboratory. Further planned events include a book club meeting to discuss Kilgour’s chapter on Gutenberg and a workshop at the Scripps College Press using Dale Guild’s B-42 type.
Our Annual General Meeting will be in late November where we will hold elections for the next SoCal Board members. All of the positions are available; the Nominating Committee of Susan Allen and Richard Wagener are currently arranging a slate. We hope that the groundwork that we have laid for the last three years will prove fruitful in the coming years.
Submitted by Kitty Maryatt
June 4, 2008
APHA Book Club conversations: The Evolution of the Book
The book which gives us a structure for the meetings is Frederick G. Kilgour’s The Evolution of the Book, which you can find used on Amazon for about $30. We have made a limited number of photocopies of the next two chapters, which you can request from Richenda Brim.
We discussed the first three chapters in Kilgour on the Dynamics of the Book, Incunables on Clay, and Papyrus Rolls at the recent meeting. The next chapters we will concentrate on are The Greco-Roman World, and the Codex 100-700, which includes pages 34 to 56.
We will meet again at Kitty Maryatt’s studio in Playa Vista at 7:00 p.m. If you didn’t attend the first Book Club meeting, you are still entirely welcome. And if you cannot find time to read Kilgour, you will still find illuminating conversations at our friendly gathering.
We are also planning a series of visits to collections which house artifacts which we are discussing at the Book Club. Please look for the next announcement of the upcoming visit to USC.
May 3, 2008
USC Archaeology Research Collection
In conjunction with our discussion on cuneiform tablets at the recent APHA Book Club gathering, we have arranged a visit to the Archaeology Research Collection at the University of Southern California to view cuneiform tablets. We will be led by Hannah Marcuson, a USC senior, who knows a good deal about the collection and who is an enthusiastic interpreter of tablets. These clay tablets, which are around 3000 years old, are fascinating for their use in recording all kinds of information in Sumeria, site of present-day Iraq.
The date is Saturday, May 3, at 1:15 p.m. at the USC campus in the Ahmanson Center West. Exact instructions as to parking and the building location will be sent to you upon confirmation of your reservation. We encourage carpools. Please let Richenda know if you can either drive or would like a ride to the event. You do not need to have attended any Book Club meetings to join us at this event. Reservations are limited, however.
2008 Annual Report
During the past year, our chapter has focused on the theme of the history of the book, organized around Frederick G. Kilgour’s The Evolution of the Book. We had our first Book Club meeting in March with subsequent meetings in June and August, with a final meeting planned for November but re-scheduled for early next year to complete the reading of the book. Our vision for the next year will build on this foundation of studying scripts and manuscripts from various parts of the world in order to grasp the significance of the beginning of printing in the West. Early printing in the East will be a fertile area to explore as a precursor to Gutenberg’s achievements.
We organized collections visits around subjects in the book, including a visit to UCLA’s Fowler Museum in February to view African scripts, to USC in May to view cuneiform tablets and a visit to Los Angeles County Museum of Art in September to view their splendid Islamic collection. Docent Chris Jameson led us on a fascinating tour of LACMA’s Islamic collection in September. We had mentioned our interest in lettering and books and the fact that we were reading Kilgour. She actually took the time to find and read a copy of The Evolution of the Book in order to target artifacts that would be especially germaine to our studies. Sinuously beautiful calligraphy adorned every kind of surface in the gallery and ranged from very early fritware pottery to contemporary expressive calligraphy. One repaired binding on display, removed from its book block, showed its case construction with flap, exquisite leatherwork with intricate inlaid colored leathers and delicate gold tooling. Chris even brought paper samples of geometrical constructions for tiles and examples of five different ways an Islamic calligrapher could write the same phrase. This is the gold standard for a museum tour.
Two movies rounded out our reflections on the long history of bookmaking, the famous Helvetica movie and the NOVA presentation on the decoding of the Mayan script. In the near future, we will show the new Gutenberg movie made by Wavelength Films for the BBC, The Machine That Made Us. Stan Nelson was in the film showing us how to shape a punch for hand-casting letters, Alan May built a press for the film, and Kitty Maryatt typeset a page of the Gutenberg Bible from B-42 type made by Dale Guild Typefoundry and sent it to England for use in the film.
We held a reception in August at the California Rare Book School at UCLA for our members and prospective members of APHA and RBS participants. A panel of rare book dealers presented insights about the state of bookselling today followed by lively discussions. It was an excellent way to visit with RBS participants from various parts of the country. For our Annual General Meeting in December, we will visit the remarkable William Andrews Clark Library again to view incunables from their exemplary fine printing collection. APHA member Nina Schneider will present landmarks of early printing, including a Gutenberg leaf, which is always a fascinating experience, no matter how many times you’ve see one.
For our immediate future, we have organized a papyrus-making workshop for members only at the Getty Villa in Malibu on January 31. Apparently the previous workshop planned for the public last summer sold out in a day, so we are quite fortunate that they have agreed to give a special workshop for our members. On February 28, E. M. Ginger will give a lecture about her exciting endeavors in digitizing rare and important works at her company 42-Line in Oakland, California. A recent project was to create a digital catalog for San Francisco rare book dealer John Windle, who apparently is at the leading edge of bookselling. He even carries around a Kindle to read books as he takes the Bart to work.
One challenge for the new year is to encourage our members to renew their membership and to bring in new members. Our mandate is to serve all of Southern California, and we intend to try harder to hold events in other areas of our far-flung jurisdiction. We hope that the promise of intellectually stimulating subjects presented for members and a friendly atmosphere for socializing will continue to make our Southern California chapter a vital part of the national APHA organization.
The current chapter membership is 67, down from the 2007 total of 76.
We have created a chapter member contact list covering 2007 and 2008.
Kitty Maryatt, President, Southern California Chapter
Richenda Brim, Secretary, Southern California Chapter
Summer Newsletter 2008
The Southern California Chapter has been active this year with our long-term plan of holding a series of salons, book club events, collections visits, lectures, receptions, and performances.
We met in January to view the Helvetica movie at the CenterPointe Club. A particularly lively discussion followed, so we will be planning further discussions on sans serif typefaces.
We took a tour of African scripts in February at UCLA’s Fowler Museum led by co-curator Polly Nooter Roberts. We also hosted a table at the Antiquarian Book Fair in February (with a lottery to give away three copies of the Helvetica movie as a promotion for APHA). Members were encouraged to attend the Frederic W. Goudy Lecture at Scripps College given by Don Glaister and Suzanne Moore.
In March we started our new Book Club by reading the first part of The Evolution of the Book by Frederic Kilgour, which concerns the beginnings of writing on clay, papyrus and other substrates. We’re tentatively planning a workshop on making papyrus in the next few months. Members were encouraged to attend the Stephen Kanter Lecture on Fine Printing at the William Andrews Clark Library in April, given by Graham Macintosh, interviewed by Linda Benet.
We visited the cuneiform tablet collection at USC in May in connection with our discussion of Kilgour’s book. USC student Hannah Marcuson brought out a dozen three to four thousand-year-old examples along with ownership rolls.
In June we meet for our second Book Club, discussing the rise of parchment and the codex as outlined in Kilgour. We plan to visit UCLA’s fine collection of Coptic books to fill out this discussion.
Our first salon of the year will convene in July at the CenterPointe Club to further our ongoing discussion of sans serif typefaces.
In August, we will hold a reception for members and participants at the California Rare Book School at UCLA. We will also meet for our third Book Club event and discuss Kilgour’s chapter on Islamic books.
September will take us to Special Collections at UCLA to view some examples of early Coptic books and Islamic books. In early September, members will be encouraged to attend the Frederic W. Goudy Lecture given by Susan Share at Scripps College and opening of the exhibit Performing the Book at the Williamson Gallery. Susan Share will also give a performance with her books.
The national APHA Conference will be held in October, and we are encouraging our chapter members to attend. At the end of October, E. M. Ginger from Oakland will give a lecture about her fascinating work in digitizing rare and important works at her company 42-Line.
November will bring our yearly Annual General Meeting with a business meeting and special presentation, to be announced.
May 19, 2007
Jeffrey D. Groves
(Auto)biography of a Press: The R. Ritchie & Son Columbian Hand Press at Honnold Library
A lecture by Jeffrey D. Groves, Professor of English, Harvey Mudd College, Glennis Rayermann and Alex Hagen about the Columbian hand press which is located in the Honnold Library at the Claremont Colleges. They have been examining the Columbian in detail and will give a “thick description” of the press based on what the physical state of the press has been able to tell them about its history and operation.
April 28, 2007
Typecasting with Mark Barbour!
International Printing Museum, 315 Torrance Blvd., Carson. Presentation by Mark Barbour at the International Printing Museum. Barbour, Executive Director of the International Printing Museum, will give a presentation on typecasting on the linotype and monotype machines, and will even cast some Chinese characters. The International Printing Museum was founded in 1988 by David Jacobson and Ernest A. Lindner and features The Lindner Collection of Antique Printing Machinery.
January 27, 2007
Reception at Scripps College
APHA SoCal will again co-host a reception with Scripps College Press at an exhibition and symposium on the long-ranging effects of Mallarmé’s extraordinary poem Un Coup de Dès on the artists’ books movement. The Symposium addresses the thesis that the French poet Mallarmé instigated the artists’ books movement of the 20th century. Noted scholars Betty Bright, Johanna Drucker, Judd Hubert, Clifton Meador, and Buzz Spector will discuss the ramifications of his ideas. Judd Hubert in collaboration with Jackie Dooley at UC Irvine has organized a remarkable exhibition in the Clark Humanities Museum. With Denison Librarian Judy Harvey Sahak, Judd selected books from the Scripps College Artists’ Books Collection for exhibition at Denison Library.
December 13, 2006
Presenting Our First Salon
Type We Love, Type We Hate: Individual Response to Typefaces
Kitty Maryatt’s Studio, Two Hands Press. SoCal APHA’s “Salon Series” will be informal, social, and stimulating events that will occur on an irregular basis and at a variety of locations. And, like the celebrated gatherings held at the homes of worldly and gracious hosts and hostesses in the 18th and 19th centuries, we aim to bring together a variety of people to discuss designated topics in an informal, participative environment. Therefore, we will encourage widespread participation in lively discussions, led by Cristina Favretto, sharing of materials and experiences, and the formation of new friendships as well as the acceptance of new ideas and modes of thinking about the printed word.
Our first Salon topic will center around individual responses— positive and negative—to typefaces and type styles. Participants are encouraged to bring examples of printed items that appeal to them, as well as of typefaces that negatively impact our reading/viewing experience. We will discuss fashions in typefaces through the ages, and bring in our collective knowledge and experience to think about our dream matches of type and content. Bring snacks and beverages to share.
November 11, 2006
Annual General Meeting
Getty Research Institute. Please join us for the Annual General Meeting of the Southern California Chapter on Saturday, November 11 at 1 p.m. at the Getty Research Institute. At this meeting, the chapter officers will present reports on the activities of our revitalized group and lead a group discussion about future plans. In addition, our special guest Joyce Ludmer, Curator of Artist’s Books at the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute, will make a presentation of selected books from the Research Library’s remarkable collection. We encourage you to join us to celebrate, socialize, and share your ideas for our future.
October 28, 2006
Reception at Scripps College
Exhibition “Too Much Bliss: Twenty Years of Granary Books.”
The reception, co-sponsored by the Scripps College Press, will be followed by the Frederick W. Goudy Lecture by Granary Books publisher Steven Clay. Granary Books has produced over one hundred outstanding publications as an independent publisher for the past twenty years. Publications include artist books, books on poetry and music, and scholarly writing about the art and history of books.
September 16, 2006
Opposites Attract: Remembrances of Studies with Jack Stauffacher & William Everson at U.C. Santa Cruz
UC-Irvine, Langson Library, Holden Room. Gregory Graalfs has worked in the publishing industry for a numbers of years and is currently writing a history of California fine printing. This lecture will be on his experiences as a student at UCSC working with Jack Stauffacher and with Bill Everson at the Lime Kiln Press on his landmark book Granite & Cypress by Robinson Jeffers.