Lecture by Simon Loxley
Monday, November 04, 2019 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
The Grolier Club Committee on Modern Fine Printing presents
“In Search of Emery Walker,” a lecture by Simon Loxley in the Grolier Club's ground-floor exhibition hall. Free and open to all, but reservations required.
The role of Sir Emery Walker (1851–1933) in inspiring and facilitating the private press movement—most notably through the Kelmscott, Doves, Ashendene and Cranach Presses—and in raising the standards in printing and typography, is well-known among designers, bibliophiles and lovers of fine books. The effects of his contributions spread from Britain to the United States and Europe, and their influence helped to determine the design ethos of the twentieth century and beyond. Yet Walker, a self-made man whose career as an engraver, photographer, and printer spanned five decades, seems largely remembered now only through the works of others. Despite being described as “the most lovable of men,” he was nevertheless a protagonist in the bitterest dispute in typographic history--over the rights to the Dove Press type. But even then, the pronouncements and self-justifications of his former partner Thomas Cobden-Sanderson dominated the affair. Today, although visitors to Walker’s house in London can see the furnishings and pictures he acquired, the objects and mementoes that were dear to him, any real sense of the man himself remains strangely absent.
In this talk, Simon Loxley will give a full picture of Walker, his work, and his world, portraying a man who professionally and socially seemed to “know everyone,” but who was also of consequence in his own right. The result of years of research in archives and a re-examination of previous scholarship, Loxley’s book "Emery Walker: Arts, Crafts and a World in Motion," has been published by Oak Knoll Press.
Simon Loxley, a graphic designer and writer, is the author of "Type is Beautiful: The Story of Fifty Remarkable Fonts" (Bodleian Library, 2016), "Printer’s Devil: The Life and Work of Frederic Warde" (David Godine, 2013), and "Type: The Secret History of Letters" (I.B. Tauris, 2004). He designed the Emery Walker House’s logo, and also designed and edited "Ultrabold," the journal of St. Bride Library (2006–2016).