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About Paper

12 September to 4 December 1984

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MoMA Staff

Riva Castleman  American, 1930–2014

New York Times Review of the exhibition


28 October 1984


D. J. R. Bruckner is an editor of The New York Times Book Review. I LIKE THE IMPRINT OF LEAD DIRECTLY ON THE PAPER,'' Daniel Keleher says. ''You can feel the words on the page; they don't only look different, they are different.'' Keleher, who operates the Wild Carrot Letterpress in Hadley, Mass., specializes in printing handset, monotype and Linotype books for private presses. It is a demanding craft, and he often spends two months on the production of a book. When he printed Dostoyevsky's ''The House of the Dead'' for the Limited Editions Club, he took a chance that had the artist, Fritz Eichenberg, holding his breath. Instead of printing Eichenberg's wood engravings from metal plates made from the blocks, Keleher, with the help of Bruce Chandler of the Heron Press in Boston, put the blocks themselves directly on the press. On his Heidelberg press, a traveling bed moves under the inked rollers. Keleher and Chandler laid the blocks on this bed and placed the sheets of paper on a cylinder that moves with the bed to receive the impression. They set the rollers high enough to just kiss the blocks and printed one sheet at a time. Each block was different, with varying depths, marks left from sanding and other peculiarities. To produce a coherent appearance in the book, the printers had to adjust the inking and impression for each block. It took them more than a week to print 2,000 copies of the eight wood engravings needed for the book.

New York Times • Magazine • page 37 • 4,128 words