Mortimer Rare Book Room

Private Press Books

One of the largest collections within the Mortimer Rare Book Room consists of finely printed limited edition books issued by private presses, starting with William Morris’ Kelmscott Press at the turn of the 20th century and continuing to the present day. This area of western Massachusetts in particular has been a mecca for artists, printers, calligraphers, bookbinders, and the like, since the arrival of Leonard Baskin in Northampton in 1953. His formal teaching at Smith, and later at Hampshire College, as well as the informal apprenticeships at Baskin’s own Gehenna Press, created several generations of practitioners of the arts of the book. Although we collect private press books from throughout the world, we concentrate on locally produced ones. Sixty copies of this dual-language book of poems by Pablo Neruda was illustrated by Debra Weier and produced in Easthampton, MA, by her and Bill Bridgers. It features color printing, collage, and pop-up constructions. The fine bindings in paper, with leather top and bottom edges, were designed and made by Gray Parrot, a Maine native who had a studio in Easthampton during the 1980 and 1990s.

Pablo Neruda. Las Piedras del Cielo/Skystones. Poems translated by Ben Belitt. Easthampton, Massachusetts: Emanon Press, 1981.
PURCHASED ON THE FUND ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH MCCONNELL, CLASS OF 1918, AND ANNE L. BOHNING, CLASS OF 1915

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permalink for book: http://fcaw.library.umass.edu/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001566180&doc_li...