By Julia Leonard and Sara Langworthy
Artists' notes to accompany the Gary Frost Broadside
We wanted to show the depth and range of Gary’s contributions to the field as well as impart at least a bit of the affection and respect those of us who have had the opportunity to work with him have.
Gary began his career with a deep immersion into the ways books operate and function in order to conserve them in the best possible manner. He still applies that knowledge to his work, but he has also widened his interests (as he always does) to encompass the history of the printed word and future of the book and of print in our digital age. We decided we wanted to convey the intersection of these interests and to show how deeply rooted they are in Gary’s thinking.
Gary was unbelievably generous with his drawings. We did not tell him what we were up to, merely asked if we could ‘use some of his drawings of books’. Going to his lab, we found a box full of beautiful drawings, ranging from observational pencil drawings to analytic pen and ink renderings to diagrammatic details. It was an amazing array. It was almost impossible to select a manageable number to print. We chose several that we felt showed the range of his work over the last forty years, and paired them with two recent quotations from Gary’s writing on the impact and relevance of the printed book. We, of course, had to include his favorite colors as well!
The images were printed from polymer plates and the type was hand set metal. Students and other UI faculty joined us for the typesetting, platemaking and printing; another testament to the regard all of us at the UI Center for the Book hold for Gary.