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French Book Arts
New York, The Grolier Club, 2018 279x210 mm. 207 pp. 157 color plates. Hardcover.
French Book Arts

French Book Arts

Manuscripts, Books, Bindings, Prints, and Documents, 12th-21st Century

George H. Fletcher

This book is a companion volume to the first public exhibition of the 135th season of the Grolier (December 7, 2018 - February 2019) celebrating a thousand years of French Book Arts. It includes 159 entries (nearly double the contents of the exhibition), with 157 illustrations, most in full color. The Grolier Club has maintained a strong Francophile tradition since its founding in 1884, beginning with its name. The Grolier Club was named for Jean Grolier, the Renaissance collector who was renowned for his patronage of scholars and printers, for the magnificent bindings he commissioned, and for a generous habit of sharing his library with friends. Drawn from the Grolier's permanent collections, the objects in this exhibition and catalogue range from a magnificent 12th-century manuscript of Gregory the Great's commentary on Job to recent artists' books and designer bookbindings. Highlights include manuscript and printed illuminated Books of Hours, early printed books, bindings from seven centuries, a letter from Jefferson to his Parisian bookseller, portrait prints of the great and the good, commemorative medals, and documents. Our patron saint, Jean Grolier, the "Prince of Bibliophiles," is honored with five of his books and three documents. The libraries of such important figures as Madame Pompadour, Marie Antoinette, Count Hoym, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and Adolf Hitler are represented. Curated by H. George Fletcher, the exhibition honors the memory of Mary K. Young, a devoted member of the Grolier Club, who championed Franco-American ties as a director of the Florence Gould Foundation. The catalogue was designed by Jerry Kelly.