Bound by: Richard Minsky

Minsky in London

New York and London: Richard Minsky, 1980. Signed Limited Edition. Hardcover. Fine.


Copy AP3 from a total edition of 30 copies numbered 1-25 and AP1-AP5. One of 3 AP copies misplaced by Minsky c. 1983-4 and rediscovered in 2016. Edited by Pamela Moore, with 90 photographs by Richard Minsky, Minsky in London documents Minsky's experiences as a US/UK Bicentennial Fellow (1978-1979), in his own words, those of the editor, and observations of 15 people he encountered. The book is remarkably frank and frequently hilarious. Vignettes include the story, with photo documentation, of the massive fire at Editions Alecto that destroyed Tom Phillips' work on Dante's Inferno; Tom Phillips' opening at Marlborough Gallery including a photo of Phillips chatting with David Attenborough; and Minsky's encounters with the Heralds of the College of Arms, British artists, the punk music scene, and especially British bookbinders. Minsky says, "The edition was all sewn in 1980 and sold out fairly quickly. I lost the final 3 AP copies, likely when I put everything in a storage warehouse in 1983 ... or when I took over 15 Bleecker St. from CBA [The Center for Book Arts, founded by Minsky in 1974] and moved my studio there in 1984. They turned up here [Minsky's current residence since 2002] in mid-2016, all sewn (primary sewing on N-guards, secondary sewing on linen tapes) but without covers. They were in the bottom of a large carton that was marked to be something else, which was on top of these. I hadn't dug through that carton in decades. I had three back covers still from 1980 and made new front covers of the same design (1st edition, 2nd state), but couldn't find the records (a 45 rpm record is in an envelope in the back cover). Then I found the records, but no record labels, and couldn't find the stamping die for the labels. Yale has the original art for the labels (by Pat Gorman) and scanned it for me, and I had new copper engravings made for stamping." (email from Minsky to Abby Schoolman, February 20, 2018) Minsky meticulously documented the differences between the 1980 bindings and record labels and those he created in 2016 in order to complete these 3 long lost copies of Minsky in London in a Facebook album (September 2016). For example, "In 1980 the cover was screen printed in black on bookcloth, with a color Xerox heat transfer for the Gerald Mynott portrait of Minsky. The new front cover [as in this copy] is made from a scan of the original screenprint and a scan of the portrait combined in Photoshop and printed in archival pigment inkjet (Epson R1900 with UltraChrome II inks) on BF Inkjet Media TruPalette PC12.1 canvas." Unlike the foil-stamped 1980 copies, the spine title of this copy, a new design, is stamped in 23ct gold. Due to the variations above, this copy of Minsky in London is a first edition, second state. Three piece binding, decorated cloth covered boards, black leather spine, machine made black and white endbands, title stamped in 23ct gold. Each page is printed on one side only and laminated to the next page, creating a single leaf with a bookcloth hinge. Signatures sewn on stubs (N-guards) with linen thread, secondary sewing with linen thread on linen tapes. Letterpress from Monotype and handset type on Mohawk Superfine, with dry mounted photographic prints. 45 rpm record in pocket mounted on rear pastedown. Book designed by Minsky and printed with Dikko Faust at the Center for Book Arts. Of the 90 photographs, some of the large color photos were printed by Minsky at London College of Printing, some of the black and white photos were printed by him in New York, others were printed at various commercial facilities. Cover and endpaper design by Pat Gorman, cover illustration by Gerald Mynott. Rear endpaper photo by Pat Gorman. Rear endpaper lyrics by Kathy Fire. Libido performed by Kathy Fire and Reverse. Ode to a Dead Sheep by Tommy Weitzel. Complete with erratum slip. 64 pages. Bound by Richard Minsky in 2016. Housed in a custom clamshell box by the artist. 36cm x 28cm See Minsky, Richard. My Life in Book Art. Braziller: New York, 2011. pp. 46-53. Richard Minsky (b. 1947) founded the Center for Book Arts (NY) in 1974, upon which many other centers for book arts around the world are based. In 1978-1979, Minsky lived in London teaching, studying, and making art as the National Endowment for the Arts and British Council's US/UK Bicentennial Fellow, culminating with his participation in the exhibition The Open and Closed Book (1979) at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Adding to many honors during a long career, Richard Minsky received the 2017 Guild of Book Workers Lifetime Achievement Award and the American Printing History Association 2018 Laureate Award. The Richard Minsky Archive is at the Yale University Arts Library, which mounted a 50-year retrospective in 2010.