Art and Life

Pictures and commentary courtesy of Dick Blacher

Art and Life

 by Vernon Lee (Violet Page), 1896

#39 of 352

The Designers
Among an immensely talented staff of designers, two men stand out, William Wallace Denslow and Dard Hunter; each went on to gain world recognition, independent of the Roycroft.
William Wallace Denslow -- His remarkable talent, coupled with a bizarre lifestyle and sense of humor, makes him my favorite of the Roycroft artists. I consider myself very fortunate to have some of his artwork in my collection. Denslow's watercolor illustrations in a few copies of Art and Life convinced Hubbard to offer him a permanent position with the Roycroft.
The first mention that I have found of this book other than the prospectus, was is the October 1896 Philistine which states, "We have printed a small edition on Japan Vellum of this exquisite Essay and are illuminating the copies by hand. Price per volume $5.00 The November 1896 Philistine states:  "We have printed a small edition on Japan Vellum of this exquisite Essay and are illuminating the copies by hand. Bound in classic limp vellum, tied with tapes; price $5.00 per copy. Twelve copies, no two alike, illumined by Mr. W. W. Denslow; also Ten copies specially illumined by William B. Faville. Price, $25.00." The regular edition of this book was also listed in the 1899 catalog and sold for $5.00

This is the 3rd book of the Roycroft Press and the first done in the new print shop after Cy Rosen took over from Harry Tabor. The book measures 8 1/4" by 5 1/8" and has 95 pages. The body of the text is set in Old Style Antique. There were 352 copies printed in two colors on Japan vellum and according to McKenna bound in suede (I have never seen one that I recall). 109 copies were bound in paper over boards with a cloth spine (This is what I typically see). Twelve copies were specially illuminated by W. W. Denslow. Ten copies were specially illuminated by William B. Faville. All copies of the book were numbered and signed by Bertha Hubbard.

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