Citations for APHA's 2013
The 2013 APHA Awards Committee names Sebastian Carter as the recipient of the APHA Individual Award. This award is intended to recognize "a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation, or dissemination of printing history, in any specific area or in general terms."
It is almost as if the description of the award was crafted for him.
A sampling of the titles of his books and articles establishes the range of his contributions: The Book Becomes, The Making of A Fine Edition, 1984; In Praise of Letterpress, 2001; Painting With Type, 2007; “Arnold Fawcus and the Trianon Press” (in Matrix 3), 1983; “Victor Hammer” (in Matrix 7), 1987; “Stanley Morison and Jan Van Krimpen: A Survey of their Correspondence,” (4 parts in Matrix 8-11), 1988-1991; “Letters & Things. Wood Engraved Initials of Eric Gill (in Matrix 15), 1995; “The Golden Cockerel Press, private presses, and private types,” 1996; "Steven Heller and Lita Talarico: Typography Sketchbooks" in the Times Literary Supplement, 2012.
He guest-edited a number of The Monotype Recorder on Eric Gill in 1990, and contributed a section called "The Morison Years" to the centenary Recorder in 1997. He is a co-author of the History of the Monotype Corporation to be published by the Printing Historical Society. He contributed a number of entries to The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010).
He was born in 1941 in Cambridge, England. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital, and King’s College, Cambridge, reading English and Architecture and Fine Arts. He then worked as a designer with the London publisher John Murray, followed by two years in Paris with the Trianon Press. Back in London he worked for the Stellar Press and Ruari McLean Associates. In 1966 he married Penelope Kerr and moved back to Cambridge to join his father at Rampant Lions. He became a partner in 1971 and took over the business in 1991.
It is a pleasure to present this year’s American Printing History Association Individual Award to Sebastian Carter.
The 2013 APHA Awards Committee names the Limited Editions Club for its institutional award. Recognizing that institutions as well as individuals make important contributions to history and that the preservation of such history-minded institutions is a high priority today, APHA stipulates that the criteria for this award should be the same as those for the individual award, namely that the institution is making "a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation, or dissemination of printing history, in any specific area or in general terms."
Over the course of more than eighty years, and through nearly six hundred finely crafted volumes, the Limited Editions Club has promoted unique collaborations between visual artists and writers, typographers and papermakers, printers and binders. Its productions have reached well beyond its member-subscribers, who have ranged in number from a few hundred to two thousand, to collectors of various kinds, including many institutional libraries – among them, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which in 1970 acquired the Club’s archives from the first phases of its operations. The Limited Editions Club has cultivated public awareness and sustained appreciation for the traditional arts of the book through decades of rapid change in the publishing and distribution of printed works, and now through an electronic revolution. It has enjoyed a longer continuous operation than any of the individual fine and private presses that were established in the wake of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and has involved many of their artisans in the realization of its manifold productions.
The Limited Editions Club was started in 1929 by George Macy. At age 29, he was an avid reader hoping to make his living from books. The idea was to publish handsomely illustrated classic titles in small quantities; members received books for their dues. The pictures were by illustrators, photographers, and sometimes "fine artists," such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Grant Wood. Macy frequently used the best designers and printers, including Bruce Rogers and Francis Meynell.
Limited Editions Club was continued by his wife, and then his son, after his death in 1956. In 1970 it was sold, and ownership changed frequently over the next few years. Sidney Shiff acquired it in 1978 and gradually moved towards producing only livres d'artiste. Though the focus shifted away from affordability, Shiff was able to continue the tradition of craftsmanship. Michael and Winifred Bixler, the late Dan Carr and his partner Julia Ferrari, Wild Carrot Letterpress, and Jon Goodman have been among the many contributing bookmakers.
With Sidney Schiff's death, the baton has again been passed, this time to Jeanne Schiff, his wife. Books are continuing to appear, and a book about the Club is being written by Carol Grossman, and will be published this year by Oak Knoll.
It is a pleasure to present this year’s American Printing History Association Institutional Award to the Limited Editions Club, with Jeanne Schiff accepting.
The awards were presented during the Annual Meeting of the American Printing History Association, on Saturday, January 26, 2013, The Morgan Library, New York City.