This exhibition/book brings together books to illustrate a canon of more than five hundred years of Western book design. It showcases book design in all its forms: reference works and works of art, ‘machines for reading’ and picture books, prestigious collector’s items and throwaway paperbacks. It includes work by famous printers of the hand-press period — Nicolas Jenson, Aldus Manutius, Christoffel Plantin, the Elzeviers, John Baskerville, Giambattista Bodoni — and trendsetting designers of the modern era — William Morris, El Lissitzky, Jan Tschichold, Paul Rand, Massin, Irma Boom. It also includes remarkable illustrated works by architects and artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Maria Sibylla Merian. Special attention is devoted to printers’ manuals, illuminating the printing process, and also to type specimens and writing masters’ copybooks, placing letterforms in a broader context.
February 8 – May 13 2012
Bijzondere Collecties UvA, Amsterdam