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The Multifaceted Mr. Morris

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection catalog

Entitled The Multifaceted Mr. Morris, this is the catalogue of the William Morris exhibition mounted in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the University of Delaware for the “Useful & Beautiful” conference held in October 2010. More than 30 books, manuscripts, drawings, and other works were highlighted and the book's introduction tells the story of how the collector came to collect Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites.

The author, Jane Tippett, was a PhD student in Art History at the University of Delaware who worked in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection.

It was important for Lead Graffiti to find a way to marry the text with an interesting visual element. Many of the pieces included in the exhibition were very personal items, letters, photographs, drawings, and of course books.

The right page is the exhibition label about a letter from Henry Morris where we picked "& coffee" from the handwritten text.

The right page is the exhibition label about a letter
from Henry Morris where we picked "& coffee"
from the handwritten text.

We came up with the idea to look at each piece and find an interesting visual element. It might be the postage mark on a letter or a note in the margin or an interesting square inch of a photograph. Looking for them was great fun and the process connected us very directly with each piece which added a surprisingly personal experience. Some had a dozen we could use. Others forced us to pull from an otherwise non-visual piece which ended up with some interesting outcomes.

We took photos of the elements, along with the eight full color images, retouched in Photoshop, LiveTraced in Illustrator, and designed an area at the top of each letterpress page for them to live and breath. Their positioning connects them to their original lives. At one point in the project we got scared that we had somehow lost control of what went where, so we had to go back to the collection to double check our layout. It was wonderful fun to search through the pieces to find the image. We hope others that visit Mark's collection can stop for a moment and search for a couple. Some are quite a scavenger hunt to find.

The hard cover edition are bound with sewn-in boards with a printed parchment spine. Printing the parchment is another story on its own.

Production notes

56 pages, 48 printed 2-color throughout via letterpress on Hahnemühle Bugra with 8 color plates printed via high-resolution archival inkjet and bound into the handmade books.

Prices / ordering

  • Softcover edition (100 copies) is $75 plus shipping.
  • Deluxe signed clamshell edition (50 copies) is $150 plus shipping.

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