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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Powerful Impressions. The Book: Work of Art, and Object of Desire - or Obsession.

Jeremy M. Norman Count Guglielmo Libri Collection.

Jeremy M. Norman Count Guglielmo Libri Collection.

1823-2009.

There are few figures in book history as infamous as Count Guglielmo Libri (1803-1869). An erudite and accomplished Italian aristocrat, Libri was appointed in 1841 as Chief Inspector of French Libraries and began to leverage his unsupervised access to these collections to enrich his own personal library of rarities. By 1848 his mounting thefts could no longer be hidden and, warned that he was about to be arrested, Libri fled to London with 18 large trunks of books and manuscripts containing about 30,000 items. He was able to convince his English friends that his problems in France were political rather than criminal, and he retained the trust of many, even after being convicted in absentia in France in 1850. Several sales in the 1850s and 1860s reputedly netted him over a million francs.

The Club’s extraordinarily rich collection of pamphlets, catalogues, and letters relating to “L’Affaire Libri” was acquired in 2016, the gift of Grolier member Jeremy Norman, in the wake of his exhibition of this material at the Club in 2013.

Flockophobic Press

Human House.

Human House.

Jean McGarry. New York: Flockophobic Press, 1990.

Strip Poker, mis en mot par Steven J. Bernstein; mis en bouteille exclusivement par A.S.C. Rower.

Steven J. Bernstein. New York: Flockophobic Press, 1991.

On the Slates.

Clark Coolidge. New York: Flockophobic Press, 1992.

The Flockophobic Press was started in 1989 by Sandy Rower, a grandson of sculptor Alexander Calder, and operated through the early 2000s. In keeping with its name (“fear of the flock," an aversion to mainstream mentalities and societal norms) Flockophobic Press productions challenge our customary notions of what constitutes a “book,” dressing poetry and prose in decidedly unbook-like forms, such as bottles, menus, and even shoes, in order to draw attention to overlooked writers.

From a gift of ten Flockophobic Press titles made in 2009 by the Milton S. Eisenhower Library Special Collections department of Johns Hopkins University.

Cuban Artists' Books

Deux poèmes: Prière de paix: Élégie pour Martin Luther King; lithographies originales de Nicolas Alquin.  Deux poèmes: Prière de paix: Élégie pour Martin Luther King; lithographies originales de Nicolas Alquin. 

Deux poèmes: Prière de paix: Élégie pour Martin Luther King; lithographies originales de Nicolas Alquin. 

Léopold Sédar Senghor, 1906-2001. [Paris]: Les Bibliophiles de France, 2006.

Peggy Brown’s 2018 gift of eight limited-edition books issued to the members of Les Bibliophiles de France between 1989 and 2014 made a sparkling addition to the Grolier Club’s collection of modern livres d’artistes. Founded in 1948, the society commissions fine artists, book designers, and printers to explore themes in French-language poetry and prose. This dynamic lithograph by Belgian sculptor and illustrator Nicolas Alquin (b. 1958) was created in response to the 1979 elegy to Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor, the first African elected to the Académie française.

Gift of Elizabeth A. R. Brown, 2018.

Libroinfinito.

Libroinfinito.

Giulio Iacchetti, b. 1966. [Turin]: Alberto Tallone Editore, [2016].  

With Libroinfinito, Italian industrial designer Guilio Iacchetti sought to create a book that would be “inadmissible” on a shelf. The letters of the Latin alphabet are fanned out to generate an infinite, circular reading experience, paying tribute to the 26 symbols that give form to Italian literature. Through the book’s visibility and presence, Iacchetti draws attention to the meticulous craftsmanship of the books produced by Tallone Editore, all typeset by hand and letterpress printed in one of the oldest and most prestigious typographic studios in the world. The Grolier Club copy is one of six produced on handmade Umbria paper.

Purchased in 2017 with Grolier Club Library Harper Funds.