“What Power is This?” Shinjuku Playmap & Tokyo Graphic Design, ca. 1970.

What Power is This? February 23, 2011

Teruhiko Yumura, et al.-. Shinjuku Playmap.  Nos. 1 (July 1969) through 30 (December 1971) (all published in the first series).  8vo.  Wrpps., covers illustrated by Teruhiko Yumura (also known as King Terry and Terry Johnson).  Tokyo 1969-1971.  [46471] What power is this, indeed? The global tidal wave of youth culture rebellion and experimentation of the […]

Compositions for Silk Damask & Other Fabrics (homage to Morton Feldman)

Thumbnail image for Compositions for Silk Damask & Other Fabrics (homage to Morton Feldman) February 8, 2011

(Fabric weaving manuscript).- Felix, M. & J. Mercier. Cahier de Théorie 4e Année 3e. N.p. (Lyon?) n.d. (circa 1895). [44915] Though we know little about the person who composed it (“J. Mercier,” seemingly a student in the 4th-year class of  one “Professeur M. Felix”), Cahier de Théorie 4e Année 3e offers a rich window into […]

Felix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut

Thumbnail image for Felix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut February 1, 2011

Meier-Graefe, Julius. Felix Vallotton, Biographie: Des Kuenstlers nebst dem Wichtigsten teil seines Bisher Publicierten Werkes & Einer Anzahl Unedierter Originalplatten; De Cet Artiste avec la Partie la Plus Importante de son Oeuvre Editee et Differentes Gravures Originales & Nouvelles. Berlin/Paris (J. A. Stargardt/Edmond Sagot) n.d. (ca. 1898).  Freitag 12821. [41835] Painter, playwright, critic and man […]

30 Year in Face 800 Year in Heart: In Memoriam Walasse Ting.

My Shit and My Love December 20, 2010

Brussels. Galerie Smith. My Shit and My Love: Ting. 1961. Signed by Ting on inside front cover; limited to 1099 copies. $250 [46359] Walasse Ting died at the age of 80 on May 17, 2010. He is remembered as a mischievous bon vivant, prodigious womanizer and prolific artist who recognized few boundaries between his practice in […]

“Everything has its Limit! Even Miniskirts…” Aerial propaganda leaflets on the inner German border, 1965-1969.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5167/5246880477_16618b2992_t.jpg December 13, 2010

Unique Dossier.- “Propaganda; British Frontier Service / 511.  Vol. II: Opened 30-2-65, Closed 18 Jun 69.” [46337] In the mid 1960s, a heated barrage of artillery over the inner German border (separating the Soviet and Western occupation zones) delivered neither explosives nor shrapnel, but aerial propaganda leaflets. This was, after all, the cold war, and […]

Damage: An Inventory, “the magazine that’s not for everybody.”

Damage: An Inventory December 7, 2010

A pronounced regionalism prevailed in the American underground music scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s. In California, the micro-climates of Los Angeles and San Francisco each nurtured a distinctive local take on punk rock. Local fanzines reflected this, with publications like Search & Destroy celebrating the eclecticism of the Bay Area while Slash Magazine spoke to the angular defiance of Melrose and Silverlake. Brad Lapin’s Damage: An Inventory represented itself as a partisan of both communities, and furthermore, sought to connect West Coast punk to developments in Tokyo, Paris, London and elsewhere.

F.A. Bernett Books @ The NY Art Book Fair, Nov. 5—7, 2010

November 2, 2010

Once again this autumn, The NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 promises to be among the most energizing and eclectic book-related conferences of the calendar year. Now in its fifth incarnation, the program attracts art book publishers, print makers, librarians, book dealers and collectors from around the world for 4 days of special exhibits […]

International Sign Painters of the World, Unite and Take Over.

Thumbnail image for International Sign Painters of the World, Unite and Take Over. August 26, 2010

Arrenbrecht, Wilhelm. Der Schriftenmaler.  Internationales Schriften-Vorlage-Werk. Cologne, ca. 1895.  [46260] Once upon a time, merchants hoping to make a good impression on potential customers didn’t hire graphical user interface consultants, they hired top-flight sign painters.  Elegant hand-painted lettering in a shop window announced to passers-by that the proprietor had class and sophistication.  Based on an […]

Serindia, Sir Aurel Stein and the Discovery of the Dunhuang Manuscript Hoard.

Serindia August 9, 2010

Stein, Aurel.  Serindia.  Detailed Report of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China. 5 vols.  Oxford (Clarendon Press) 1921.  [46224] In the early 1900s, Wang Yuanlu, a Taoist priest acting as the self-appointed abbot of the Buddhist cave shrines at Dunhuang, made a startling discovery.  A crack in one of the cave’s brilliantly painted frescoes […]

Edward Meneeley and the Advent of the Electrostatic Artist’s Print.

Edward Meneeley. July 27, 2010

Meneeley, Edward. IBM Drawings. New York (Teuscher Editions) 1966.  (Teuscher Editions, 2).  All prints initialled and dated by the artist.  Folio number 10 from a total edition of 15. [45865] Meneeley, Edward.  Portraits: People and Objects. New York (Teuscher Editions) 1968. (Teuscher Editions, 3). All prints initialled and dated (1967) by the artist.  Folio number […]

Recto|Verso on A Journey Round My Skull

Album de Fotografias del Decorado May 17, 2010

My deepest thanks to Will Schofield, the brain behind A Journey Round My Skull for featuring Recto|Verso in today’s post.  If you aren’t already familiar, A Journey is essential reading (and viewing) for anyone concerned with the lost / secret history of 19th- and 20th-century avant-garde literature and graphic design.  It’s by far one of […]

The Bois de Boulogne and Sem au Bois: Belle Epoque Paris and the Pageantry of the Passing Spectacle

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1012/4596067321_1c5b7c68e9_t.jpg May 11, 2010

Sem (pseudonym for Georges Goursat).  Sem au Bois (title stamped in gilt on front cover).  N.p. (Paris?) ca. 1908.   Signed and dated 29/4/08 in pencil on the last plate; 6 other plates with the artist’s printed insignia.  [45958] A jewel in the crown of Baron Haussmann’s modernized Paris, the Bois de Boulogne opened as a […]


Arlis Party at F.A. Bernett April 27, 2010

This past weekend on a beautiful spring night in April, more than 100 of our friends and colleagues in ARLIS/NA, the Art Libraries Society of North America, joined us for music, food, drink and conversation at F.A. Bernett Book’s humble headquarters in Boston’s historic Leather District.  It was the first time in more than13 years […]

The Bricklayer’s Art

Depero illustration for Verzocchi trade catalog. March 2, 2010

[futurism] Trade Catalogue.-  Milan.   Società Anonima Giuseppe Verzocchi.  Veni. VD. Vici. Milan (Società Anon. G. Verzocchi) 1924.  [45934] “All I have,” explained Giuseppe Verzocchi in a 1950 interview with Life magazine, “I owe to work. I intend to build a monument to it through art.”  Verzocchi made good on the promise (and then some), commissioning […]

Radical Newspapers and ‘The Graphic Design of Urgency’

Free Angela January 15, 2010

Collection of Mid-century American and Canadian Leftist Literature; 184 individual issues of 59 serials comprising a unique collection of publications from the 1920s to the 1990s. [45779] F.A. Bernett Books recently acquired a private collection of leftist periodicals. In cataloging the material, I was struck over and over again by a particular quality of the […]

Lucien Vogel’s Le Style Parisien

Le Style Parisien January 7, 2010

Le Style Parisien.  Numbers 1 (July 1915) through 7 (February 1916) (all published; lacking 8 pp. text). Paris (Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts) 1915-1916.  [45884] It may not have been the most avant-garde publication of its time, but Le Style Parisien served as an important bridge between the emerging capitals of  European fashion — chiefly Paris […]

Oceanliners and Graphic Designers: Carl Hinkefuss, Wilhelm Deffke and the Branding of the SS Imperator

Thumbnail image for Oceanliners and Graphic Designers: Carl Hinkefuss, Wilhelm Deffke and the Branding of the SS Imperator December 19, 2009

Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft.  Literarisches Bureau. Turbinen-Schnelldampfer Imperator: Hamburg-Amerika Linie.  Hamburg (Kunstanstalt H. G. Rahtgens for Hamburg-Amerika Linie) 1913. [45805] Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft.  Literarisches Bureau.   Imperator auf See, 1913. Berlin (Otto Elsner/ W. H. Deffke for Hamburg-Amerika Linie) n.d. (1913). [42926] These two lavishly produced promotional booklets offer a seductive glimpse into the luxurious world of early […]

“In Consequence of the Demolition of Haggerston Castle…”

Thumbnail image for “In Consequence of the Demolition of Haggerston Castle…” December 18, 2009

I. In Consequence of the Demolition of Haggerston Castle, Beal, Northumberland:  Illustrated Catalogue of the Most Expensive and Best Period Style Fixtures and Fittings, Metal, Materials and Fabric; Also Garden Ornaments, Balustrading, Paving, Sculptured Stone Figures, Fine Wrought Iron Gates, Etc. Etc.  II. Haggerston Castle, Beal, Northumberland: Catalogue of Four Days Sale.  III.  llustrated Particulars […]

A Curious Work Whose Importance Dwarfs Its Size

Thumbnail image for A Curious Work Whose Importance Dwarfs Its Size December 13, 2009

Wall, Bernhardt. The Etcht Miniature Monthly Magazine.  Nos. 1 (January 1948) through 12 (December 1948) (all published). [44806] Bernhardt Wall, the prolific American commercial engraver and visionary print maker, has often been compared to William Blake.  But whereas Blake’s private press endeavors tended toward the visionary and grandiose, Wall kept things whimsical, and sometimes thought […]

Joseph Urban’s Rainbow City

Thumbnail image for Joseph Urban’s Rainbow City December 9, 2009

(Designs by Joseph Urban.)  Progress in Industrial Color and Protection at “A Century of Progress.” Chicago (American Asphalt Paint Co.)  1933. [45366] Celebrated architect, interior decorator, exhibition designer, illustrator and color theorist Joseph Urban (1872-1933) went out on a high note.  His final project, a commission to oversee an inventive color scheme for The Rainbow […]