Beginning in the 1950s, the American master of wood engraving, John DePol (1913–2004), cut small endgrain blocks featuring subjects from Nature, the Heavens, the Book Arts, and fantastical abstract/geometrical designs. Although many of these images were made into patterns and used as binding papers in a number of important fine-press books, the full breadth of this aspect of DePol’s work appeared for the first time in the 2000 limited edition of this book; this aspect of DePol’s work is not included in the Book Club of California’s John DePol: A Catalogue Raisonné published in 2004. The images – 117 units with a pattern formed from each – are reproduced in Endgrain Designs & Repetitions as originally conceived by DePol: in beautiful black and white. The book also includes an autobiographical sketch written by DePol, a short essay on the history of patterns in book publishing by myself, and the publication history of the patterns.
Over the past few years, people have asked about a less-expensive edition of this book, and because of those inquiries and the interest in the 2014 DePol exhibit that I curated at the University of Michigan Library, Endgrain Designs & Repetitions is now available at an affordable price. Except for the color specimens that were included in the limited edition, this offset-printed book features the same text (with some updated information) and units and patterns, as well as a new Preface.
From the net sales of all John DePol-related books and papers that it publishes, The Legacy Press donates 10% to the John and Thelma DePol Endowed Scholarship, administered by Rutgers University Foundation.