|San Francisco Old and New|
Grabhorn Press, 1939
Design binding by Dominic Riley
The book was given to me a few years ago by my friend and colleague Margaret Johnson, a stalwart of the bookbinding community here in San Francisco, with a view to creating a special binding for it.
The project was a joint venture. Margaret gave me a budget, and asked me to produce a binding for twice that amount. The reason was clear, and fitting: knowing that the San Francisco Public Library had for some time now wanted to have a binding of mine, but since they have a limited budget, she suggested that the finished binding would be a gift to SFPL from both of us.
It has been a joy to work on: this lovely book from this City’s iconic press, and it is a tribute from me to an institution which has for over twenty years provided me with endless help, as a research library offering much guidance and advice, support for my teaching here, and as a bastion of fine binding on the West Coast.
My design came from a simple sketch I made of some of the buildings referred to in the book: the Palace of Fine Arts, the ‘Painted Ladies’, the Coit Tower, City Hall and the Ferry Building. And towering above them all, the new Bridge.
The binding is a gift to the city from myself and Margaret, two transplants who have over the years made this fabulous city home.
Dominic's design binding is on view with bookbindings from the Book Arts & Special Collections Center, a companion exhibit to the Hand Bookbinders of California Members Exhibition, through September 3. In the Skylight Gallery, 6th floor, Main Library.