New York: Grolier Club, 2023,
First Edition. large octavo, yellow cloth stamped in gilt. 160 pp.; 116 color plates. Grolier Club, Item #33188
A lavishly illustrated volume showcasing some of the most important bookplates produced in America from the collection of the Grolier Club. A miniature work of art, a bookplate may be viewed as a metaphorical portrait of a collector or library, using the designer’s personal graphic style. It also tells a story about the relationship between the artist and the patron. Illustrious collectors ranging from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harry Elkins Widener, J.P. Morgan and Paul Mellon come to life through bookplates by such celebrated figures as Dorothy Sturgis Harding, Eric Gill, Walter Crane, Rudolph Koch, and Rockwell Kent. Grolier Club Bookplates, Past & Present is a veritable who’s-who of both book collectors and the graphic artists who created their personalized ex-libris over the past 130 years, down to the present day. This carefully researched and amply annotated book not only provides a feast for a bibliophile’s eyes but also explores the meaning behind bookplates and their legacy as cultural indicators in book history. Very fine.