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The Art of the Handmade Book
20 October 1998 - 13 December 1998

The Hermitage was hosting a new and unique exhibition, a show of collector's edition books produced using a combination of printing techniques, drawing and watercolour, with magnificent bindings. There were just 17 books on display, all issued by the publishing house Rare Books from St Petersburg , which was established in 1991 by the publisher Pyotr Suspitsyn and the artist Andrey Pakhomov. Seeking to revive the tradition of Russian collector's books, they recruited other leading St Petersburg artists with an international reputation, among them Yury Lyukshin, Valery Mishin and Sergey Shvemberger. The broad range of subject matter included works by both contemporary and Classical authors, Western European literature and biblical texts. With magnificent, luxurious bindings, original illustrations, and handset or handwritten texts, the books were produced in tiny print-runs - generally of no more than 25 copies, and in some cases were unique. Eight of the 17 publications represented at the exhibition are to be found in the Hermitage Research Library, forming part of the Hermitage's collection of handmade books.


 
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