Amelia Fontanel, Associate Curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, is a letterpress printer herself, and she knows first-hand the thrills and chills of producing work on an iron handpress.
Here’s what Amelia wrote:
“The Rich Mouse is a bibliophile’s dream!
When marketeers tout the publication of a forgotten manuscript by some bygone author, we oft expect a trade edition, maybe in hardback, sometimes in e-ink, and a chance to enjoy a bit more of that writer’s brilliance. But when bibliophiles get involved in breathing new life into a lost text, the result can be so much more than words on paper: it can be a book worthy of appreciation on many levels—good content in concert with excellent production and presentation.
This is just what the team of historians, typographers, and printers at the Tampa Book Arts Studio has done to publish The Rich Mouse, a sweet parable left unpublished in 1950 by famed woodcut artist J. J. Lankes. Great care has gone into the typographic choices, paper selection and even, meticulous printing of the book on the iron handpress once owned by Mr. Lankes himself. The Rich Mouse in limited edition is a labor of love in revealing a new facet of Lankes’s creativity. Its companion Rich Mouse Compendium also gives the rationale and describes the effort spent to bring this important work to press by bibliophiles and for bibliophiles too!”
Amelia FontanelAssociate Curator
RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection