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Ron Gordon Gallery Talk
The Oliphant Press: Tradition & Transformation
A Virtual Gallery Talk

We plan to simulcast on Facebook Live, too <facebook.com/jaffecenterforbookarts> and video will follow on the JCBA Vimeo Channel <vimeo.com/jaffecenter>.

Ron Gordon has been called a keeper of the great tradition of American book design and a link to its past. He learned his craft from three of the most esteemed printers of the 20th century: Leonard Baskin & Harold McGrath (Gehenna Press) and Joseph Blumenthal (Spiral Press). In 1966 Ron established his own press, The Oliphant Press, in New York City. In TriBeca, Chelsea, and then SoHo, he produced books by letterpress for some of the most important cultural institutions in the city (the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Collection, the New York Public Library) as well as for a number of bookshops and independent publishers — including The Gotham Book Mart, The Phoenix Book Shop, William Targ Editions, and Frank Hallman’s Aloe Editions. Authors included a number of the Beat poets — Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg — as well as other important writers —Samuel Beckett, John Updike, Ray Bradbury and Saul Bellow.

Over his 50-year career as a designer/printer, Ron collaborated with many artists, including Baskin, Maurice Sendak, and Edward Gorey. His talk tells the story of how he supplied printing and design for many institutions and publishers; how he managed demands, both aesthetic and economic; and how the technology of printing changed profoundly during the time of his career.

This JCBA Zoom gallery talk is presented as part of JCBA's current exhibition, Our Human Frame: 100 Years of Baskin. The exhibition explores the work Leonard Baskin and his Gehenna Press, as well as the design dialogue created by Baskin with his friends and students through the extensive holdings of Baskin's work in the Jaffe Collection. The exhibition was researched, curated, and designed by Daniel Zaccardi, who will join Ron Gordon and JCBA Director John Cutrone on JCBA Zoom

Mar 15, 2023 03:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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