Measured markets: Limited edition publishing and the Grabhorn Press, 1920–1930
In the postwar prosperity of the 1920s there burgeoned a new interest in fine book-making, which typically featured handcraft production, luxurious materials, “worthy” texts, and—virtually by definition—limited editions. A small but socially prominent community of bibliophiles and wealthy collectors consituted an eager market for these elite books, distinguished by their visible repudiation of mass culture and “commercialism.” This article examines the publishing enterprise of the Grabhorn Press, one of the foremost producers of finely printed books in twentieth-century America. It analyzes the press's editiorial and design strategies, pricing and marketing policies, and general business practices in order to better understand the cultural paradoxes of producing such books both “for love” and for profit.
KeywordsBook Club Publisher Weekly Trade Publishing Late Twenty Fine Printing
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