Friday, February 7, 2014

The Colophon Club

The Colophon Club eagerly looked forward to our first speaker of the year in September, Englishman David Esselmont who has been making books for forty years and was famously the director of the Welsh Gegynog Press. In his talk entitled “Making Books—and Chili,” he entertained the club describing some of the highlights of his fine book-making career ending with his latest gorgeous book Chili: A Pictorial Recipe in Woodcuts. Later that week he made his award-winning recipe for a lucky chop-licking audience at the San Francisco Center for the Book.

Marla Stone, member and Professor of History at Occidental College in Los Angeles, gave a fascinating talk October 8 in the area of her specialization, modern European history and Italian political and cultural history. Her talk “Mussolini Modern, Art and Graphics on Paper in Fascist Italy” described how in 1930’s Italy the Mussolini dictatorship turned to a hybrid form of modernism to express the revolutionary new society it hoped to build. From Futurist “aerial paintings” to abstract sculpture, modernist idioms and styles shaped the art and graphics of the Fascist era.

At our November meeting we were honored to host two scholars from Venice in a delightful program “A Venetian Evening.” Poet Franco Ferrari Delfino read from The Essence of Being Venetian (Del Milion Editions) poems in Venetian dialect followed by Susan Filter reading the English translation. Franco’s wife, Maria Celotti shared with us the fruits of her recent original research at the Archivio di Stato and the Marciana Library in Venice: “Daniele Andrea Dolfin & Benjamin Franklin at the Court of Versailles in the Age of Enlightenment.” The American and Venetian ambassadors knew and admired one another, and shared an enthusiasm for the new cultural, philosophical and scientific ideas circulating in late eighteenth-century Paris.

We look forward to hearing from antiquarian book dealer and member Jeremy Norman at our December meeting who will speak on the subject of his recent book Scientist, Scholar & Scoundrel: the Life and Exploits of Count Guglielmo Libri.

We are pleased to announce that Lucy Cohen, formerly Executive Director of the Book Club of California, will be the next President of the Colophon Club as of January 2014. Susan Filter, President for over four years, would like to thank her officers, Secretary Nancy Wickes, Vice-President Tommaso Ingalls, and Treasurer Klaus Ulli Rozstcher for volunteering their time and energy, and bringing to the club a generous spirit of fellowship and love of the book.

The Colophon Club meets at the Berkeley City Club for cocktails, dinner, and lectures on the second Tuesday of the month September through May. For information or an invitation to a meeting contact: Lucy Cohen at (925) 457-1070 or

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