Are these the most beautiful books ever made?
Find out in the first exhibition in a new space at Emery Walker’s House in Hammersmith. It offers a glimpse into what are regarded as the most beautiful private press books ever published.
The small drawing room of the most authentic Arts & Crafts house in Britain – located at 7 Hammersmith Terrace – is the perfect setting to show off Walker’s book-printing skills from a Victorian age that witnessed leaps in technology.
Highlights include spreads from the Doves Bible and the Kelmscott Chaucer, two of the finest books ever made. Another gem is The Odyssey, translated by Lawrence of Arabia, a close friend of the Walker family, which is now seen as one of the most beautiful private press books of the 20th century.
It was Walker’s final achievement, printed a year before his death. He was one of the first printers to create plates from photographs, rather than hand-carving processes dating back to the 15th century, putting him at the heart of advances in typography and printing.
Also on show are proof pages and an uncut Kelmscott Press printing block, linking Walker and his great friend William Morris.
A recent donation from a local mudlark of some missing Doves Press type, retrieved from where it was dumped in the Thames, will be displayed for the first time.
“Since the Emery Walker Trust was set up 20 years ago, we’ve aspired to create an exhibitions programme,” said curator Helen Elletson.
The exhibition Emery Walker and the Private Press Movement is included in the hour-long guided tours of the house and garden until the end of May 2022.
Visitor numbers are limited, so pre-booking is essential. Visit the Emery Walker's House website.
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