Browse Exhibits (10 total)

Six Centuries of Master Bookbinding at Bridwell Library

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Originally exhibited: February 9–April 29, 2006
The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries

Introduction

The fiftieth exhibition in The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries at Bridwell Library was the first devoted entirely to historic bookbindings. Selected for their beauty, quality and historical interest, these bindings exemplify the important stylistic developments of European and North American bookbinding from the late Middle Ages to the present day. The exhibit is not intended to be comprehensive but as an introduction to the most splendid and well-made bindings owned by Bridwell Library. Included are works by binders from England, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and the United States. This digital exhibit is a sampling of the bindings shown during the gallery exhibition in 2006. 

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The Eighth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2018

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Tish Brewer, The Center for Art Conservation

Bexx Caswell-Olson, Michigan State University Libraries

R. Arvid Nelsen, Bridwell Library

Ellen Buie Niewyk, Hamon Library, SMU

Priscilla Spitler, Recipient of the 2015 DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding

A PDF of the catalog is available here

The 2018 commission book is volume four, Apocrypha, of The English Bible Containing the Old Testament & the New, published in Hammersmith by the Doves Press in 19031905. The competing designs and sample book bindings, as well as the bindings commissioned during past competitions, are included in this exhibit. The Doves Press Apocrypha, bound as issued, and volumes II, III, and V of the set in design bindings, are also in this year’s display.

Apocrypha, volume IV

Apocrypha, volume IV, from The English Bible Containing the Old Testament & the New. Hammersmith: Doves Press, 1903–1905.

The term “apocrypha” means “hidden things” and is used to specify writings outside of the canon of the Old Testament and New Testament. The Doves Press Apocrypha volume includes Jewish religious writings dating from approximately 300 B.C.E. to 70 C.E. Originally issued in five volumes, this set is lacking volume I. The three other volumes have been rebound as follows: Volume II, Second Samuel through Song of Solomon, bound by Hugo Peller in 1986; Volume III, Isaiah through Malachai, bound by Don Etherington in 1988; and Volume V, The New Testament, bound by Courtney Sheehan in 1986.

The Doves Press, founded in 1900 by Emery Walker (1851–1933) and Thomas J. Cobden-Sanderson (1840–1922), was a leading producer of fine press books. Conceived as a revival of the craftsmanship of the pre-industrial age, the Doves Press Bible is considered the firm's finest publication, combining exquisite typography and clarity of design. Bridwell Library Special Collections holds two complete sets of the Doves Press Bible printed on paper in addition to this incomplete set, and one of only two sets ever printed on vellum. The vellum set was once owned by Emery Walker, and is bound by Katharine Adams.

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The Fifth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2009

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Michael Collins, private book collector

Celia Warren Fowler, niece of Helen Warren DeGolyer

Daniel J. Slive, Head of Special Collections, Bridwell Library

James Tapley, commission winner The Fourth Triennial Helen Warren DeGolyer Award, 2006

Thomas Taylor, designer and printer Goodbye to a River, 1989 Book Club of Texas edition

Goodbye to a River

John Graves (1899–1986). Goodbye to a River: A Narrative. Austin: Book Club of Texas, 1989.

Goodbye to a River: A Narrative recounts the author’s “farewell” canoe trip along a stretch of the Brazos River in Texas during the Fall of 1957. Fearing that planned construction of a series of dams soon would change the Brazos irrevocably, Graves set out to experience its natural beauty one last time, accompanied only by his dachshund.

An inspiration to generations of environmentalists, the book won the Carr P. Collins Award of the Texas Institute of Letters in 1961 and was nominated for a National Book Award. The success of Goodbye to a River is believed to be a major reason that only three of the proposed thirteen dams were built on the Brazos. The 1989 Book Club of Texas edition of Goodbye to a River was limited to 550 copies, designed and printed at the press of W. Thomas Taylor in Austin, Texas.

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The First Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 1997

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Decherd Turner, Chair, Former Director of Bridwell Library and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas Austin

Valerie R. Hotchkiss, J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian and Associate Professor of Medieval Studies, Southern Methodist University

Edith DeGolyer, DeGolyer Estate

Jan B. Sobota, Director of Conservation Laboratory, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University

Catherine Burkhard, Craft Guild of Dallas

Raoul Bollin, Swiss-American design bookbinder

The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacrament and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church According to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Together with the Psalter or Psalms of David [Boston]: Printed for the Commission, 1928 [issued 1930]. xli, 611 pp. ; 36 cm. Five hundred paper copies and twelve vellum copies printed by Daniel Berkeley Updike. Vellum. Bridwell Library Special Collections.

In 1927 the Episcopal Church in America sponsored a competition to design this book. Bruce Rogers, Daniel Berkeley Updike, Oxford University Press, and Cambridge University Press competed, and Updike was awarded the commission. He printed the work at his Merrymount Press in Boston. Coordination of the project was the responsibility of the Commission for the Textual Revision of the Standard Book of Prayer, but the details of the work, including the choice of printer and editorial tasks, were carried out by the librarian of the Pierpont Morgan Library, Bella da Costa Green. J.P. Morgan, Jr., whose father had supported the revision of the Prayer Book of 1892, agreed to subvent all publication costs and arrange distribution.

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The Fourth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2006

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Stuart Brockman, Design Bookbinder, Brockman Bookbinders, Oxford England

Valerie Hotchkiss, PhD, Head of Rare Books and Special Collections Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, Former J. S. Bridwell Endowed Librarian

Jamie Kamph, Bookbinder, 2003 Winner of the DeGolyer Prize Competition, Lambertville, New Jersey

Steven A. Nash, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Garden, Dallas, Texas

Peter David Verheyen, Conservator, Syracuse University Library, Founder of the Book Arts Web, Syracuse, New York

Eric Marshall White, PhD, Curator of Special Collections, Bridwell Library, Dallas, Texas

Joseph Warren, Representative of the DeGolyer Family, Dallas, Texas

We also owe much to the DeGolyer Advisory Board. Over the past three years board members Mirjam Foot, Colin Franklin, Jamie Kamph, Pamela Leutz, J. Franklin Mowery, and Jan Sobota have provided invaluable expertise, advise, and assistance. Ms. Leutz has been especially helpful in promoting the events on local, state, and national levels.

Ficciones

Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986). Ficciones. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Dos Amigos, 1987. Illustrated by Gabriela Aberastury, Julio Pagnao, Mirta Ripoll, Raúl Russo, and Alicia Scavino. 26 x 33.5 cm, 184 pp., Bridwell Library Special Collections.

The book for the fourth triennial competition is Jorge Luis Borges's Ficciones, printed in a limited edition of forty-two at the Argentine fine press Ediciones Dos Amigos. First published in 1944, Ficciones includes seventeen short prose pieces designed to challenge a reader's presuppositions and complacency. Largely because of this work, Borges is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

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The Ninth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding

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Exhibit dates: May 19, 2022—July 15, 2022
The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries

In 2020 a national invitation went out to bookbinders for designs to bind Bridwell Library’s copy of Five Poems by Toni Morrison with silhouettes by Kara Walker. Ten remarkable proposals were received, along with completed books showing related techniques. The submissions were reviewed in February 2022 by the competition jury—

Karen Baker-Fletcher, Professor of Systematic Theology
Perkins School of Theology

Jane Elder, Head of Reference, Research, and the Theological Writing Center
at Bridwell Library, and entrant to the Fifth Competition, 2009

Elyan Hill, Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History
Meadows School of the Arts

James Reid-Cunningham, bookbinder and conservator
Commission winner of the Eighth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition, 2018

Nishiki Sugawara-Beda, Visual Artist, Assistant Professor of Art–
Painting and Drawing, Meadows School of the Arts

The jury selected one entry for special distinction on the strength of the binding proposed for Five Poems. Another was distinguished for the skill and artistry evident in the completed binding. A third, owing to the integrity of design and craft to the printed expressions of Toni Morrison and Kara Walker, was named winning entry of the Helen Warren DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding. The creator of that submission will be offered the commission to bind Five Poems.

Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995) Dallas bibliophile and supporter of the arts, studied bookbinding with Mariana Roach, Dorothy Westapher, and noted Swiss binder Hugo Peller. Married to Everette DeGolyer Jr. who was the founding director of SMU’s DeGolyer Library, she established a fund that has supported a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference at Bridwell Library since 1997.

For the 2021 competition, American bookbinders were invited to propose a design binding for Five Poems by Toni Morrison, and to submit a completed binding of any work as an example of techniques they propose to use. 

Five Poems

Five Poems represents Toni Morrison's only published verse, and each poem is accompanied by a silhouette by artist Kara Walker. The partnership of Morrison and Walker represents a unique collaboration between two extraordinary African American artists. The two artists never actually met; Walker simply responded to Morrison's words through the illustrations.

Five Poems is published in a signed edition of 399 numbered and 26 lettered copies. This is copy number 79. The book was designed by Peter Rutledge Koch. It was printed letterpress from digital imaging and photo-polymer plates at Peter Koch, Printers in Berkeley, California. The typeface is Rialto Piccolo designed by Giovanni de Faccio and Lui Karner. The text paper is Rives BFK, tan. The copyright is held by Rainmaker Editions, 2002.

Toni Morrison

Nobel Prize winner in Literature Toni Morrison (1931–2019), authored eleven novels including Beloved, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1988, and Song of Solomon, National Book Critics Circle Award winner in 1977. She was known for her prose and her exploration of the black experience, in particular black women. In addition to her novels, Morrison also published children's literature, essays, song lyrics, a play, and a libretto for the American opera, Margaret Garner. She was a longtime faculty member at Princeton before retiring in 2006, and lectured around the world. Toni Morrison was a champion for the arts, and spoke often about the power of the written word and the importance of fighting censorship.

Kara Walker

Kara Walker (born 1969) is well-known for her cut-paper silhouettes depicting the tragic legacy of slavery. Walker utilizes drawing, painting, text, shadow puppetry, film, and sculpture to develop her historical narrative work. She was born in Stockton, California, and received her B.F.A. at the Atlanta College of Art and an M.F.A. at Rhode Island School of Design. Walker made her debut in New York in 1994 with her silhouettes cut from black paper, adhering them directly to the gallery wall. In 1997, Kara Walker was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, making her one of the youngest-ever recipients at twenty-eight.

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The Second Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2000

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Decherd Turner, Chair, Former Director of Bridwell Library (1950–1980); former Director of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin

Everett Lee DeGolyer, Helen Warren DeGolyer Estate

Don Etherington, Winner of the 1997 DeGolyer Triennial Prize Commission

Catherine Levine, Craft Guild of Dallas

Valerie R. Hotchkiss, J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian & Associate Professor of Medieval Studies, Southern Methodist University

Sally Key, Conservator, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University

Ulysses 

James Joyce (1882 – 1941), Ulysses (Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922). Printed for Sylvia Beach by Maurice Darantière at Dijon. First edition, no. 313 of 1000 copies. 23 x 18 cm. Bridwell Library Special Collections.

Ulysses, written in 1914–1921, first appeared in parts in the avant-garde serial the Little Review. Thanks to the vision of publisher Sylvia Beach, it survived early obscenity charges (it was banned in the United States until 1933), and in 1922 it came forth—"complete as written"—amid much fanfare and controversy in a "private and limited edition of 1000 copies." Of the first edition, 100 signed and numbered copies were printed on Dutch handmade paper; 150 numbered copies were produced on Vergé d'Arches paper, and 750 copies on handmade paper were numbered from 251 to 1000. All were issued in blue paper wrappers.

In Ulysses, Joyce uses symbolism, mythology, realism, and abstraction to record a day in the life of Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman in Dublin. Through his mundane activities, as well as his relations with his wife, Molly, his surrogate son Stephen Dedalus, and the people he encounters, Bloom reflects the modern urban Everyman in what Ezra Pound called "an impassioned meditation on life." Although the complexity of themes and the richness of motifs in Ulysses defy easy interpretation for the designers of its new binding, the challenge that comes with the opportunity to bind such a monument of English literature has engendered a lively competition full of artistic inspiration.

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The Seventh Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2015

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Jane Elder, Bridwell Library

Jolene de Verges, Hamon Arts Library

David Lawrence, Recipient of the 2012 DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding

Olivia Primanis, Harry Ransom Center

Roberta Schaafsma, Bridwell Library

The Restoration of Leather Bindings

Bernard C. Middleton (1924 – ). The Restoration of Leather Bindings. Chicago: American Library Association, 1976.

In honor of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Competition for American Bookbinding, the 2015 Award Commission will be Mrs. DeGolyer’s copy of Middleton’s classic manual of bookbinding, signed by the author. The work offers a comprehensive overview of traditional restoration techniques, tools, and materials. The volume is illustrated with numerous black and white photographs by the author and his bindery assistant, Eric Horne, and detailed drawings and diagrams by Aldren A. Watson.

Completed commissions of previous DeGolyer Award winners and all competition entries, including design proposals and sample bindings, are exhibited in The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries at Bridwell Library. In addition, a PDF containing an image of each proposal and sample binding is available here.

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The Sixth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2012

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Roberta Schaafsma, J. S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian, Director of Bridwell Library for nearly five years. She has graduate degrees from The University of Michigan and Chicago Theological Seminary.

Eric White, PhD, has been the Curator of Special Collections at Bridwell Library since 1997. His research on Bridwell’s holdings includes an article on an inscribed copy of the Imitatio Christi donated to Basel’s Carthusian monastery in 1487, and the exhibition catalogue Six Centuries of Master Bookbinding at Bridwell Library. He has been involved in all six DeGolyer bookbinding competitions since its beginning in 1997.

Priscilla Spitler was winner of the Fifth Triennial Helen Warren DeGolyer Exhibition and Bookbinding Competition. She studied bookbinding with Alfred Brazer and John Mitchell at the London College of Printing, and design binding with James Brockman at the University of Texas at Austin. She was edition binder at Booklab for eight years before establishing in 1995 Hands On Bookbinding, now located in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Russell Martin has been the Director of the DeGolyer Library at SMU since 2001. Previously he was a curator at the American Antiquarian Society. He holds a BA and MA from SMU, an MS from Illinois, and a PhD in English from Virginia. He has published numerous essays and reviews in the fields of American literature, folklore, history, and bibliography.

Jace Graf worked in commercial printing, typesetting, and design in Austin before attending the Graduate Book Arts Program at Mills College in Oakland, California. After earning a masters degree at Mills in 1990, he worked for five years at Booklab in Austin. In 1996 he established his own book arts business in Austin, Cloverleaf Studio, where he specializes in edition binding, boxes and portfolios of all kinds, and book design.

The Imitation of Christ

Libri quatuor De imitatione Christi, praecipuo regni administro, dicati. Paris: Ex typographia Fratris Regis natu proximi (Pierre-François Didot), 1788.

The Imitation of Christ is the most widely read Christian text after the Bible. Its spirit of personal devotion patterned on the life of Christ has been embraced by Catholics and Protestants alike and has profoundly influenced the spiritual reflections of readers from its first appearance through the present day.

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The Third Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2003

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Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Colin Franklin, Chair, Author, book dealer, book collector, and former publisher, Oxford, England

Catherine Burkhard, Bookbinder, calligrapher, and owner of the Books 'n Letters Studio, Dallas, Texas

Bruce Levy, Winner of the 2000 Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Competition, Nevada City, California

Greg Warden, Director, Meadows Museum of Art, Professor of Art History, and local bookbinder, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910). Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. West Hatfield, MA: Pennyroyal Press, 1985. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Foreword by Henry Nash Smith. 32.4 x 25.4 cm. Bridwell Library Special Collections.

The book for the third Triennial was Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This 1985 Pennyroyal Press edition is the first significant edition since 1885’s cloth-bound original publishing. Illustrated by Barry Moser and with a foreword by Henry Nash Smith, it was prepared from the extant portions of Twain’s final manuscript, correcting errors and omissions in the first edition that have crept into every subsequent printing. Moreover, this edition features forty-nine original wood engravings crafted by Barry Moser, one of America’s foremost book designers and engravers. The Bridwell copy that was bound by the 2003 competition winner was not among the numbered and bound copies. It came to Bridwell Library directly from Mr. Moser’s stock and is signed by the artist.

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