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Paper Trails

Paul Romaine

Session IV, Panel 4. “Valley of Venetian Ties: Historic Paper Mills and Printers of Toscolano Maderno,” presented by Megan Singleton ¶ “Much to Do with Little: Paper and Book Making at Aba House, Nungua, Ghana,” presented by Kathy Wosika.

Megan Singleton spoke about her 2011 visit to the ruins of a former hand papermaking district in Lombardy called the Valley of the Paper Makers. Proportedly established in 1384 in the mountains above the villages of Tuscolano and Maderno on Lake Garda, most of the mill sites date to the sixteenth century when the area was abandoned due to the plague. However in the late seventeenth century it came to be re-occupied and by 1730 thirty-eight mills were reopened. [Read more]

Early Renaissance Paper

Paul Romaine

Session I. Panel 1. “Into the Fold: Understanding Albrecht Dürer’s Meisterstiche Papers,” presented by Angela Campbell ¶ “Fifteenth-Century Papermakers and Printers: Negotiations and Innovations,” presented by Timothy Barrett.

Left: Albrecht Dürer, St. Jerome in His Study, 1514 [MMA. 19.73.68]; verso; and x-ray. (Angela Campbell)

Angela CampbellAssistant Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, spoke about the paper production story behind Dürer’s Meisterstiche (“master engravings”) which include: Knight, Death, and the DevilMelencolia I; and St. Jerome in His Study. Durer’s Meisterstiche represented an unusual opportunity for study because of past scholarship on the three works and because the Metropolitan Museum holds six impressions of Knight, Death, and the Devil, as well as four impressions of Melencolia I and four impressions of St. Jerome in His Study, each with slight inconsistencies. Art historian Joseph Meder’s chronology of Dürer’s impressions divided Melencolia into two states, the first state in which the number “9” appeared backwards in the background and the second in which it is printed correctly. In addition, many of the surviving Meisterstiche impressions had a distinguishing horizontal crease on their versos, which she thought which might be part of the history of the production of the prints. [Read more]

Book Club of California Open House

Paul Romaine


Left to right at the BCC’s Columbian iron hand press: Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, Richard Kegler, Casey Smith, Henry Snyder, Fred Voltmer and Paul Romaine.

Members of APHA and the Friends of Dard Hunter had the opportunity to visit the Library of the Book Club of California before the conference got underway at Mills College in Oakland. The Club occupies its own floor in a downtown office building on Sutter Street. Visitors are greeted by a small office, lounge area, small bar, and an antique Columbian printing press restored by APHA member Fred Voltmer. Voltmer has become the go-to man for press restoration in the Bay Area. In “retirement,” he has restored more than a dozen antique presses of various makes and vintages to working order at institutions throughout the Bay Area. Fred, a retired engineer, prints under the imprint Havilah Press in Emeryville. [Read more]

Annual Meeting Recap

Paul Romaine


APHA’s Individual Achievement Award is presented to Roger Stoddard (left) and the Institutional Achievement Award is presented to David R. Godine (right) by APHA President Robert McCamant. Photos by Joel Mason.

With the American Printing History Association meeting and reception, Bibliography Week in New York comes at an end. Good fun, good talks, and good fellowship! Congratulations to our new officers Sara T. Sauers Vice-President for Programs, and trustees Jae Rossman, Haven Hawley and Fran Durako; as well as thanks to outgoing officers Kitty Maryatt for Programs and trustees Carl Darrow and Joan Friedman. [Read more]

RIT Wins Auction of the Kelmscott-Goudy Press

Paul Romaine


Jethro Lieberman speaks about the press at Christie’s on the eve of the auction. Photo: Paul Romaine.

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology announced today that it has acquired the Kelmscott/Goudy press, so named because it was first owned by William Morris then later Frederic Goudy. This famous iron hand press auctioned by Christie’s on December 6, expected to sell for between $100,000-150,000, actually fetched $233,000. [Read more]

Julie Mellby on Stencillers in Twentieth Century Publishing

Paul Romaine


Henry Fielding, The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great (Limited Editions Club, 1943). Colored by Charlize Brakely, designs by T. M. Cleland.

Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator at Princeton University, spoke on “Adding Color: The Business of the Stenciller in Twentieth-Century Publishing.” Many scholars do not treat stencil as a printing art and yet pochoir (its French name) was closely involved with producing high quality color for the printing industry. [Read more]

Jane Rodgers Siegel on Experiments in Color Printing in the 15th through the 19th Centuries

Paul Romaine


Detail of a color-printed intaglio illustration from: Salomon Gessner (1730-1788) Mort d’Abel (A Paris, Chez Defer de Maisonneuve, 1793, page 91). Courtesy of Columbia University RBML.

Jane Rodgers Siegel, rare book librarian at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, gave us a virtual tour of landmarks in her talk “Experiments in Color Printing in the Fifteenth through the Nineteenth Centuries: A Survey.” Printed color was rare in book illustrations until the nineteenth century, when color printing dropped in cost and became widely available. [Read more]

Tour of Ribuoli Digital

Paul Romaine


CMYK+W print heads for the large format WireJet printer. (Removed from printer carriage for cleaning)

On Sunday after the conference, a group of nearly twenty people visited Ribuoli Digital a fine art digital and traditional print and fabrication studio for artists and photographers located in the far west of Chelsea. Proprietors Andre Ribuoli and Jennifer Mahlman-Ribuoli showed prints and machines for reproducing artwork and creating new artwork. Ribuoli started doing their own artwork and have since begun working as jobbers for other artists (some quite well-known). [Read more]