LIU Post Professor Michael Koenig Co-Curating Exhibition at the Grolier Club on Theodore Low De Vinne, Dean of American Printers
Sarah DeCamp,Associate Director of Public Relations
LIU Post Professor of Knowledge Management Michael Koenig is co-curator of an event being held at the Grolier Club in New York, honoring the “Dean of American Printers,” Theodore Low De Vinne, one of the most important American figures of the 19th-century book world. The exhibition, titled The Dean of American Printers: Theodore Low De Vinne and the Art Preservative of All Arts, is honoring him on the centenary of his death. Koenig is co-curating the exhibition, on view from Feb. 19 to April 24, 2014, with Irene Tichenor, who wrote a biography of De Vinne, No Art Without Craft.
De Vinne was the leader in his profession in the 19th and early 20th century, specifically in the development and adoption of new printing technology—and was a founding member of the Grolier Club and De Vinne Press of New York City. He was a committed scholar in the history of printing; he wrote and published several works on the origins and history of printing. It was he who determined that it was the invention of the adjustable type mold that constituted the invention of printing in the Western sense, and that Gutenberg was the inventor of the adjustable type mold. For his contributions, De Vinne received honorary degrees from Yale and Columbia Universities. In addition, two typefaces were cut to his specifications: Century and Renner, and the former is still very much used today.
The exhibition on De Vinne surveys his life and career, featuring more than 150 books, manuscripts, letters, photographs, and touching artifacts from his life, such as the black velvet beret, in which he was often depicted in his later years. The exhibition also touches on De Vinne’s life as a collector of the art and history of printing, with examples from his impressive library on display.
"I am honored to be part of this exhibit, which celebrates the life and work of De Vinne,” said Michael Koenig. “He encompassed the breadth of the printing world and knew the history of printing in a depth that probably no one will ever be able to achieve again.”
The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge, at the Grolier Club at 47 East 60th Street, N.Y. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A comprehensive illustrated catalogue of the exhibition is available at Grolier Club, and through Oak Knoll Books. For more information, visit grolierclub.org.
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