- New York: The Grolier Club, 2011.
- 8.5 x 11.5 inches
- 118 pages
- ISBN: 9781605830377
Price: $95.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 108805
This volume was produced to accompany an exhibition held at the Grolier Club from December 6, 2011 to February 4, 2012, on the history of the French national typographic and printing establishment, the Imprimerie Nationale, arguably the most important printing house in Europe. Drawn from the ancient, vast, and comprehensive archives of the Imprimerie Nationale, Printing for Kingdom, Empire, & Republic documents the significant influence of the press, not only on printing and the book arts, but also on French - and therefore European - literary culture from the mid-sixteenth century to the present day. The exhibition was organized by The Grolier Club and the Groupe Imprimerie Nationale, S.A., with administrative and organizational support from the Institut Mémoires de l'Édition Contemporaine (IMEC), France's largest archive of authorial and publishing materials.
Edited by Grolier Club member H. George Fletcher (former Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings at the Morgan Library & Museum, and retired Brooke Russell Astor Director for Special Collections at The New York Public Library), the catalogue tells the story of the Imprimerie Nationale, from the royal printers established by François I in 1538, to the Imprimerie Royale created by Cardinal Richelieu in 1640, through many generations of development, marked often by artistic innovation and wide cultural influence, but sometimes by distress and neglect, to triumphant survival in the present day. It surveys a wealth of objects, all classified as French monuments historiques, and never before seen outside of France, and including artifacts of various printing processes, such as punches, matrices, and typefonts from the days of François I to the present, as well as engraved plates used to produce illustrations for such renowned works as Louis XIV's Medailles and the Description de l'Égypt commissioned by Napoleon. The catalogue also showcases the books produced at the Imprimerie Nationale, from the scholarly products of the Renaissance in France through the royal folios of the Sun King to the culture-changing works of the twentieth century, and thus to the work of postwar and present-day generations of French book artists. In many instances, original manuscripts, documents, and artwork follow the art, craft, and business of book-making from conception to realization.
Printing for Kingdom, Empire, and Republic contains a foreword by Jack Lang, two separate prefaces by Dider Trutt and Eugene S. Flamm, and an Introduction by H. George Fletcher. It includes historical essays by Isabelle de Conihout, Annie Parent-Charon, and James Mosley and discusses topics such as humanism and typography, Pierre Moreau (Master Scribe and Printer), The Romain du Roi (a type made for the Royal Printing-House of Louis XIV) and more. An annotated checklist of the items on display at the exhibition is followed by the essays. Beautifully illustrated, the book contains five pages of color plates, four plates in collotypes, illustrations of typefaces, and more.
The book has been composed in Monotype Garamond for the text and hand-set Garamond, cast from the original matrices, for the display type, at the Imprimerie Nationale's Atalier du Livre d'Art et de l'Estampe, in Ivrey-sur-Seine, France, and printed there letterpress on Arches Expression texture white 120 g. It was designed by Jerry Kelly.