Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bookplates in the Rabbit Hole

The Quest Begins 

By Jeffrey Price
Jeff and Esta

For the past forty years or so I have enjoyed collecting the woodcut bookplates by M. C. Escher and exhibiting them in my art gallery in Connecticut.   In addition to inventing prints where fish turn into birds and stairways that wind in endless loops,

Escher created about a dozen woodblock engraved bookplates, each one of them quite rare and loaded with historical connections and aesthetic virtues.

The Latin in this print gives it its title: "A Reader Banishes Troubles" The print is surrounded with a mat embellished with watercolor and ink, and the frame is created from white gold with hand engraving in the traditional scagrafitto technique.
M.C. Escher’s Works© The M.C. Escher Company,Baarn, The Netherlands

To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Escher's birth in 1998, an exhibit was held in Holland that focused on Escher's bookplates and challenged artists around the world to create their own bookplate designs that somehow connected to Escher's unique and imaginative designs. I wrote to many of the artists who designed Escher-like prints, and my small collection grew to include marvelous prints by Peter Lazarov, Elle de Kosta, and many others.
Bookplates Inspired By M.C. Escher's Artwork

 In 2005 I commissioned Natalija Cernecova of Latvia to design a 'personal print' for my wife Esta and myself.
 Her brilliant etching featured a Venetian woman in a dress containing Escher-like butterflies, surrounded by floating spheres, and other delightful Escheresque and personal designs.
Cernecova's etching 'Scherzando' 

My small and specialized collection kept me happy for many years, and then I fell down the ex libris rabbit hole in November of 2015. Today, just.eight months later, thousands of bookplates are organized in my albums and in frames on the walls of my art gallery, and I feel I have caught a collecting bug for which – delightfully – there may be no cure.

Note From Lew

Here is Jeffrey Price's Contact Information

     Proprietor:  Artists' Market Inc.
      Collector :  Artists' Bookplate Museum
         Curator:  Famous Photographers Archive LLC
163 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851 USA
Open Monday - Saturday 9 -5 & Thursday tll 8pm
Closed Sundays

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