Art of the Printed Book, 1455–1955


Joseph Blumenthal is notable as proprietor of the Spiral Press, which he founded in 1926. He closed the shop in 1971, after which Blumenthal turned his attention towards writing about printing. The first fruits of these post-Spiral endeavors was The Art of the Printed Book, encapsulating examples of exceptional finely printed books from 1455 to 1955. The book is divided into two sections: a group of full-page plates, preceded by an informative essay covering each of the printers and typographers represented. The 51 pages of text allow for only a few paragraphs for each of the entries, but in that brief space Blumenthal manages to zero in on the essence of the subject under discussion.

Full Disclosure: We swiped the above description from the Grolier Club’s exhibition of One Hundred Books Famous in Typography. (See other books from the exhibition that we offer here.)

  • Author: Joseph Blumenthal
  • Size: 9 × 12.125 inches
  • Pages: 192
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Condition: Jacket price clipped. Otherwise fine.
  • Note: The copy in the pic above has a torn jacket, but the jacket of this copy is perfect aside from the price bing clipped. 
  • Publisher: Pierpont Morgan Library & David R. Godine, 1973