Watermark

Joseph Brodsky; illustrated by Robert Morgan
Venice: Peter Koch, Printer, 2006

Five hundred years ago Venice was host to the greatest Renaissance scholar-printers, humanists, and artists. Here in 1499, Aldus Manutius printed his most beautiful and enigmatic book, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Today we are participating in that great tradition.

Watermark is a series of lyrical meditations woven from the fabric of Venice in the late 20th century ... meditations on time & beauty ... a looking glass romance of a Russian poet-in-exile with a city that beguiles his eye. Brodsky dedicated Watermark to his friend the American painter, Robert Morgan who has lived in Venice for more than 30 years and the book is illustrated with 14 photo-gravures made from his original photographs.

In early September, we imported a printing press, on loan from the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione printing museum in Cornuda, near Treviso and floated it down the Grand Canal to the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia in the Cannaregio sestiere, where Peter was artist-in-residence for the Fall of 2006.

The paper is Twinrocker “Da Vinci” handmade, with our own watermark designed by Christopher Stinehour and Susan Filter. Robert Morgan’s photographs were digitally re-configured by Donald Farnsworth and printed at his Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California from photogravure plates made by Unai San Martin. The printed sheets were shipped to Venice, Italy, where we printed the text in Monotype Dante types cast in lead at the Olivieri Typefoundry in Milano. Once the printing at the Scuola Grafica was completed, the sheets were shipped to our studio in Berkeley where the book will be bound in richly pigmented papers made by hand at Cave Papers in Minneapolis, MN.

The edition is limited to fifty copies Copies numbered 1 to 30 are bound Venetian-red hand made papers and housed in a hand painted wooden enclosure. Copies numbered I to V designate the deluxe edition bound in full vellum, housed in a unique box with a brass plate imbedded on the surface, includes a suite of all 14 photo-gravures signed by the artist. Fifteen copies are designated h/c (hors commerce).

Book; 80 pp.    11 x 16.5 inches   50 copies.      

Numbered edition 1-15:  o.p.

Numbered edition 16-25:  $6000.

Numbered edition 26-30:  $7500.

Deluxe edition:  o.p.

Suite of 7 signed photogravure prints:  $1500.