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Holly Downing
Sebastopol, CA

Arch (cover)


Arch (detail)


As an artist who has been making mezzotint engravings for 35 years, it was a pleasure to produce the artist’s book Arch with my friend and collaborator, Jack Stauffacher, letterpress printer and proprietor of the Greenwood Press, San Francisco for 65 years. Arch includes five hand pulled mezzotints of arches from Italian vernacular architecture, and poetic text from Paul Valéry’s Dialogues, Eupalinos or the Architect. Hand binding with Japanese clothes was by Foolscap Press, Santa Cruz.

Partnering the chiaroscuro of velvety blacks and subtle gray/whites of my mezzotints with the sculpted black letterpress of Jack’s type seems like a perfect marriage, in addition to the intimate scale and lack of glass in front of the mezzotint surface.

Books by Jack and mezzotints by me are in many public collections and libraries including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco; The Bancroft Library, Berkeley. Jack is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and I, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Arch was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.

©2014 Center for Book Arts, Incorporated 1974

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