Exhibition Presents Book Arts from Stanford Library Collection

The Art of the Book in California: Five Contemporary Presses

June 1 – August 28, 2011

Stanford, California — The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents an exhibition featuring the "new book," as defined by contemporary art practices, successful experiments with media, and innovative structures in book production. “The Art of the Book in California: Five Contemporary Presses,” on view June 1 through August 28, includes some of the most significant works from each press, with approximately 50 works in all. Admission is free.

"During the last 50 years, the conception and production of the book has evolved into an art form that exceeds all former standards for the book as object. Book arts have become a mature medium, and California artists and printers are leaders in the fine arts of the book," said Roberto G. Trujillo, head of Stanford Library's Department of Special Collections, which is lending works for this exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center. "We are pleased to share these exemplary works from our Special Collections for the exhibition, and we hope this display inspires viewers to come to the library to further explore this artistic medium."

The exhibition presents works by Foolscap Press (Peggy Gotthold and Lawrence G. Van Velzer) of Santa Cruz; Moving Parts Press (Felicia Rice) of Santa Cruz; Ninja Press (Carolee Campbell) of Sherman Oaks; Peter Koch Printers (Peter Rutledge Koch) of Berkeley; and Turkey Press (Harry and Sandra Reese) of Isla Vista. Each press is unique, and each produces books and related art with a rich variety of content and media, often in collaboration with other artists and writers and often incorporating their own writing and art practices. All five presses are distinguished by their typographic sophistication, excellent design, discerning presswork, and attention to the bookbinder’s art.

An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with essays by Koch and by the distinguished typographic historian, writer, and critic Robert Bringhurst. Koch speaks Thursday, May 12 at 4:15 pm as part of the Center's Art Focus Lecture Series, fee required, open to the public on a space-available basis. Docents lead free tours of the exhibition Thursdays at 12:15, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm.

The exhibition is supported by the Clumeck Fund, the Drs. Ben and A. Jess Shenson Funds, Stanford University Libraries, and Cantor Arts Center Members.  Books featured in the exhibition were acquired in part by the Morgan A. and Aline D. Gunst Memorial Book Fund and the Robert L. Goldman Fund.

A companion exhibition, “Illustrated Title Pages: 1500 – 1900” on view April 13 – October 16 at the Cantor Arts Center, traces the development of layouts, printmaking techniques, and typography through title pages.

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VISITOR INFORMATION: Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am - 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm. Admission is free. The Center is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 pm weekdays and all day on weekends. Information: 650-723-4177, museum.stanford.edu.

PUBLICITY PHOTOS: For high-resolution images, contact PR Assistant Manager, Margaret Whitehorn: 650-724-3600, mmwhite@stanford.edu

Learn more about the Five Presses in the exhibition and associated programs.


Moving Parts Press, Codex Espangliensis from Columbus to the Border Patrol (detail), 1998, Stanford Library Special Collections.


Foolscap Press, Other Worlds: Journey to the Moon (detail), 2004, Stanford Library Special Collections

Peter Koch Printers, Diogenes: Defictions (detail), 1994. Stanford Library Special Collections


Turkey Press, Turnings, 1990, Stanford Library Special Collections


Ninja Press, Burn Down the Zendo, 2004, Stanford Library Special Collections