Right-reading (adj): Having the proper orientation (used in printing)

Today is Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:37 pm (U.S. central time).

“Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.”
-- Joseph Conrad

Topics


Tom Christensen
("xensen") . tom [at] rightreading.com
 

Subscribe (RSS)

rss feed button





Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter


Search This Blog



12 Recent Posts

Most posts appear early weekday mornings.


 

Some Popular Pages

1 How to Get a Book Published
2 Persian Ceramics
3 Chinese Jade
4 Creative barcodes from Japan
5 Taoism and the Arts of China
6 The digital divide
7 New graphic design 8 Gutenberg and Asia
9 The Yi jing
10 Glossary of Book Publishing Terms
11 Books for Writers
12 Famous Last Words
13 On Julio Cortazar
14 On Lewis Caroll's Sylvie and Bruno
15 Daybook: September
16 The Making of Masters of Bamboo


Some popular blog posts, 2006-2008

Ubu Roi, book binding by Marcel Duchamp and Mary Reynolds

ubu roi binding

Mary Reynolds (1891-1950) was an innovative book binder who for three decades enjoyed a relationship with Marcel Duchamp described by friends as “happier than most marriages.” Susan Glover Godlewski has written about her life and career, and examples of her work can be seen at the Mary Reynolds Collection (affiliated with the Art Institute of Chicago).

A post at Ordinary finds called this extraordinary binding for Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi (Ubu the King) to my attention. It quotes the Reynolds Collection:

This binding is perhaps the best known and most successful of the collaborations between Reynolds and Duchamp. On November 26, 1934, Duchamp visited his close friend Henri-Pierre Roché in Arago and excitedly reported on a binding that he had just designed for Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi that Mary Reynolds was going to execute. Reynolds and Duchamp created out of the binding itself an extraordinarily clever pun. Both the front and back covers are cut-out “U’s” covered in rich earth tones; the spine is a soft caramel B. The endpapers are made of black moiré silk. A gold crown, signifying the puppet king, is imprinted on the front flyleaf and visible through the front cut-out “U”. The author’s name is imprinted in gold on the back flyleaf and is similarly visible through the back U. The binding spread open spells “UBU.” Reynolds must have spent considerable time executing this binding. We know from a letter from Duchamp, responding to a question from Katharine Kuh, that the binding was not completed until 1935. It is expertly and lovingly crafted. Both Duchamp and Reynolds were so pleased with the final work, that another copy was bound identically for the American collectors Walter and Louise Arensberg (Philadelphia Museum of Art).

ubu roi

.

Paris: Librairie Charpentier et Fasquele, 1921. Binding: morocco, levant, and niger (goatskins) with silk and glassine endpapers. Mary Reynolds Collection, MR 253.

.

Ordinary Finds – Book binding for Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry

.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

Pingback from The Casual Optimist – Monday Miscellany, Nov 3rd, 2008
Time: November 3, 2008, 2:46 pm

[...] The extraordinarily cool binding for Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi (Ubu the King), a collaboration between bookbinder Mary Reynolds and Marcel Duchamp, as seen at blog.rightreading (pictured). [...]

Comment from Nancy
Time: November 4, 2008, 1:12 pm

Gorgeous bookbinding! I am thinking about making another attempt at typesetting/bookbinding. I love the art form and I’d love to extend my skill set. However, I’m going to take it a bit more slowly this time.