It is almost time to turn our view south to London and the Rare Book Week events. We will be exhibiting at Battersea Evolution, set in Battersea Park. For me, with keen interest in public parks and their future, its is exciting to be moving from Olympia to this wonderful green space in London. Visit the fair and explore the park at the same time. The park has a long history. It was established in 1858 on marshy ground known as Battersea Fields, of which 198 acres became Battersea Park and the remainder was let on building leases. The park was laid out by Sir James Pennethorne between 1846 and 1864 Subsequently it has hosted many events including the gardens for the Festival of Britain in 1951. In 2002-4 the park underwent a £11 million overhaul with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund but sadly the scheme which funded the repairs has been now abandoned. But don’t abandon the park, nor the book fair. Come and visit us at Battersea. Free tickets from www.rarebookfairlondon.com
This year we have been moving our store room which supports our bookshop. Lots of titles have come to light that were at the bottom of piles of books on the floor there. Some of these are now featuring in our two most recent lists respectively on Landscape Design and Housing. The latter formed our list 100. I can hardly believe we have produced so many lists over the years of trading. You can find both these lists on the Catalogue section of the website.
We are also planning to be out and about in April with a visit to the Oxford Book Fair which is being held in a smart new hall at the Headington Campus on Saturday 21st April and Sunday 22nd April. Come along if you live in striking distance as it is always good for us to put names to faces.
We continue to seek unusual books for sale. We are looking for trade catalogues for stained glass windows in particular to add to a collection of trade material produced in the 19th century which will be a short specialist list issued in May or June.
We are attending the Cambridge Book fair on the 16th and 17th February which we hope to see you at should you be in the area. The shop in York has a BOOK SALE throughout January where all books in the shop are 25% off the price if under £50.00 – there are 1000s to chose from so come along. In the shop on 20th January 2018 2-4pm we are holding a book signing for Rita Wood, a York author who has produced a new book on Romanesque Sculpture. Come along if you are in York that afternoon and there will be wine and nibbles. Our shop is always cosy on a winter afternoon and we will make you welcome.
Our Christmas selection of books, bits and bobs are now on sale in the bookshop and both the shop and street are taking on a festive air. The street is looking particularly great with swags of fairy lights outside all the shops along Bootham, which is an initiative of all the independent shops and cafés around us. So please do come and visit us if you are in York and see what we have on our shelves. For those of you not able to come to the shop we have made a Christmas list of gift books and any of these can be sent to you post free and even gift wrapped. This is in the catalogues section of the website, please have a look.
The 13th of January is a date to reserve in your diary as it is date of the York One Day Book Fair. This is the sister event to the York Book Fair held in September each year. We will be exhibiting there and this event kicks off the season for book sales and our busiest season. Whilst others slumber through January we will be leaping to action producing catalogues and lists for sale. 2018 seems only a blink away.
Seasons greeting to any of you reading this news item about our bookshop.
The summer season is drawing to a close and September for us is always busy. We will be welcoming the Society of Architectural Historians to York next weekend and have been putting together some titles for a bookstall for their conference. Then it is the York National Book Fair in the middle of the month 15th-16th September. This is the largest book fair in Britain with 224 exhibitors, related trade stands and so on. It always has a festival atmosphere. We are also launching our new catalogue on “Traditional Building Skills” which is a catalogue made up of titles collected by two members of the Anelay family in York who ran a specialist building firm up until last year and was highly regarded for its skills in building conservation.
To cap it all we have been selected as Yale’s Bookshop of the Month which will allow us to discount all Yale Representation titles to our customers. Just a few things to keep us busy after the lazy days of summer.
Visit our bookshop if you are in York. We will make you welcome. The walls are decked with lovely prints and architectural drawings and the shelves packed with books on art, architecture, design and photography. Our bookshop is just around the corner form York City Art Gallery in a location where there are lots of other independent shops. Drop by and see us.
We will be at the London Fair at Stand C14 so hopefully you will call and see us and find some unusual titles to start a collection with or add to one.
Our traditional inventory of books on the arts, architecture and photography has been expanding in recent years to include photograph albums, which document architectural projects, trade catalogues, which inform what was really produced, and small print run journals which give insights into contemporary design ideas at a given moment. These areas interest will be part of our stock at the fair.
Among the items we will be bringing are two short-run journals “Uppercase” [ five issues] and “Living Arts” [ three issues]. Uppercase was the brainchild of Theo Crosby and he edited this between 1958-1961 as a journal of the graphic arts and visual communication. Crosby said “if some of the communications are tenuous, then the reader must bridge the gap with his own experience.” Living Arts documents, just a few years later, the activities of the ICA in London with particular, but not exclusive interest, in the visual arts. Both these publications were at the cutting edge of design when produced.
There will be original architectural drawings too spanning the 19th and 20th century on the walls of the stand including work by Robert Venturi, Maurice Adams and James Murray.
All the material mentioned in this news item is for sale [ unless someone has read it before you, discovered something and purchased it]. Highlights, beyond those mentioned here, can be viewed on this website by clicking on our catalogue section but the majority of the material at London Olympia can only be seen there… so come along.
There were floods in York in December 2016. This was start of a campaign by the 30 initial businesses to turn this negative news of the floods into a positive. The creation of a logo for independent shops to display in their windows and share the message that ‘York is open for business’ was the next step in February 2016. Now the project is expanding to include about 100 independent shops who aim through a map and directory to draw attention to the local distinctiveness of York. We are part of that project. The best way to support local shops is to shop in them and so if you are in the city look out for the logo and map and if planning a visit to the city then have a look at the website of this pioneering self help project. www.indieyork.co.uk
We will be at the Grasmere book fair on the 8-9th October with a selection of material on Architecture, Design and Gardens including some original architectural drawings which link to the Lake District. If you are in the area call and see us in this beautiful spot.
This is the tercentenary year of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, which is being widely and rightfully celebrated. As our contribution to marking his landmark anniversary we have produced a catalogue of books and related material on this design genius, the father of contemporary landscape design, and his world.
Brown wrote very little which has yet been discovered about the philosophy or his methods of design. Thus his landscape designs are his essays on landscape. There is a much quoted clip from Hannah More, who knew Brown first hand, where she reports he likened his approach to literary composition and of course there are scattered plans of his schemes for certain properties, contracts, an account book and bank ledgers so crafting a catalogue about Brown has thrown up challenges. One can set the context of the environment in which he was working in terms of his contemporary designers and the literati of the day and draw together later commentaries, some favourable, some critical of his work but there is really nothing in his own words on his work.
A diligent minute taker wrote down his proposals at Burton Constable, East Yorkshire, and here and there are comments; but unlike others in British landscape design practice such as Humphry Repton, John Claudius Loudon [who wrote millions of words], Edward Kemp and later practitioners we can only pore over the surprisingly extensive survivals of his landscape designs, not his words, for understanding of intention. Nonetheless for this important maker of the English Landscape style, whose work is still highly influential on modern designers, we have put together a catalogue of books etc. which may contribute to understanding his work. There are of course gaps in the narrative as booksellers are only able to assemble what they can find but this list is our contribution to CB300* which celebrates and interrogates the work of this landscape designer. We hope it will provide a window on Brown the designer and his historic context to reveal an area that deserves detailed examination and greater understanding.
Email us for your paper copy.
* CB300: i.e. Capability Brown 300 Celebration and Festival, bringing Brown’s landscapes to a wider audience