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Order Nr. 89578 THE ART DECO BOOK IN FRANCE. Gordon N. Ray

THE ART DECO BOOK IN FRANCE.

Edited by Tanselle, G. Thomas. Printed by Heritage Letterpress of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charlottesville, VA: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 2005. 6 x 9 inches. hardcover. 159 pages. Edited by Tanselle, G. Thomas. Printed by Heritage Letterpress of Charlotte, North Carolina. When Gordon Ray delivered the Lyell Lectures at Oxford in 1985, he chose as his subject the Art Deco book illustrations and bindings produced in France in the 1920s. This topic was not a surprising choice, for he had previously written magisterial annotated catalogues, largely..... READ MORE

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The Art Deco Book in France

EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION

  When Gordon Ray delivered the Lyell Lectures at Oxford in 1985, he chose as his subject the Art Deco book illustrations and bindings produced in France in the 1920S. This topic was not a surprising choice, for he had previously written magisterial annotated catalogues, largely based on his own collection, of British illustrated books from 1790 to 1914 and of French illustrated books from 1700 to 1914. His Lyell Lectures formed a natural continuation of the latter and gave him the opportunity to express his views on still another area in which, through his collecting and research, he had become expert. He accompanied his lectures with 183 slides, the majority of them in color, and those illustrations are in fact the reason that the lectures have not been published until now: the expense of producing so many illustrations was too daunting for the publishers that Ray approached.

  Today a happy solution to this problem is available in the form of digital presentation on the internet, and Ray's work is now being offered in a combination of printed and electronic forms. The verbal text of his lectures is printed in the present volume (supplemented by eight plates, showing striking examples of the work of the major figures discussed), and all of the available illustrations are being published on the website of the Bibliographica1 Society of the University of Virginia, at http://etext.virginia.edu/bsuva/artdeco/. Numbers placed in the margins of the lectures refer to these illustrations, which are correspondingly numbered on the website. (The online illustrations are provided with detailed captions, which are also printed in a numbered list following the text of the lectures.) One may profitably-and pleasurably-read these lectures without recourse to the illustrations. But naturally Ray's incisive judgments gain greater force when one can see what he is talking about, and the ready availability of the internet to most readers will, I trust, make the process of viewing the illustrations scarcely more burdensome than if they were presented as a section of plates in the present volume.