Emery Walker’s House is to open its first exhibition on 12 August, displaying examples of the most beautiful private press books ever published, illustrating Walker’s revolutionary book printing techniques and legacy in his former home in Hammersmith.
The new exhibition space in the small drawing room of the most authentic Arts & Crafts home in Britain charts Walker’s career as a typographer and printer at a time when huge advances were being introduced in the production of books to keep up with demand from an increasingly literate Victorian society.
Walker was one of the first printers to create plates from photographs, rather than using the laborious hand carved processes which dated back to the 15th century. He founded his own company in Fleet Street in 1886, specialising in cutting-edge techniques for reproducing works of art and photographs as book illustrations.
Image above: ‘The Odyssey’, translated by T. E. Lawrence (‘Lawrence of Arabia’),
He also gave a ground-breaking lecture on typography, and invaluable advice on book production to key members of the Arts & Crafts movement, both here and abroad, putting him at the heart of 20th century’s developments in typography and printing.
Highlights include double page spreads from the Kelmscott Chaucer and Doves Bible – the two masterpieces of those presses. Another high point is The Odyssey, translated by T. E. Lawrence (‘Lawrence of Arabia’), a close friend of the Walker family, now regarded as one of the most beautiful private press books of the 20th century. This was Walker’s final achievement, printed just a year before his death.
Emery Walker and the Private Press Movement is included in the 1 hour guided tours of the entire house and riverside garden from 12 August 2021 until the end of May 2022. Visitor numbers are extremely limited, due to the fragile, historic interiors, so pre-booking is essential via Emerywalker.org.uk.
Book tickets: emery-walker-house.arttickets.org.uk
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