Book Arts

Because of William Andrews Clark’s patronage of John Henry Nash (1871–1947), the San Francisco-based printer, the library owns a complete collection of Nash’s work, as well as part of his papers. Clark also collected the entire output of both the Kelmscott and Doves Presses, as well as other presses from the printing revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The library’s holdings for Eric Gill (1882–1940)—English sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter, and printer—are the most comprehensive in the world. As Gill worked closely with Robert Gibbings and the Golden Cockerel Press, this press is also well represented.

The Clark Library continues to collect in the area of book arts, with an emphasis on American fine presses in the Arts and Crafts tradition: in particular, California printers, including selected contemporary book artists. Holdings also include the archives of many southern California printers, such as Ward Ritchie, Saul and Lillian Marks (the Plantin Press), Patrick Reagh, and Vance Gerry (Weather Bird Press). The papers of artist Paul Landacre are held by the library, as well as a significant collection of his prints, illustrated books, and engraved woodblocks and lino-blocks. A substantial collection of the books of Art Deco printer François-Louis Schmied came to the Clark in 1996 as part of the gift of Ward Ritchie’s library.