The Limited Editions Club created and published modern fine press editions for a small group of subscribers. This was a high volume business, with as many as twelve projects completed each year in editions of 1500. The Club was founded and managed by George Macy (1900-1956) from 1929 to 1956; by Helen Macy from 1956 to 1968; and their son Jonathan Macy from 1968 to 1970. During the 1970s, the imprint was bought and sold several times, with little artistic success until 1978, when Sidney Shiff (1924-2010) took over.
Under Shiff’s direction, a number of beautiful livres d’artistes were produced highlighting the work of African American writers and artists. For the 1998 season, Shiff contacted the poet Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson, 1928) and LA artist Phoebe Beasley (born 1944) to develop a book of poetry by Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Angelou selected the poems and Beasley responded to them with six brightly colored screen prints. Angelou then completed the volume by writing both an introduction and an afterword. Drexel Press printed Beasley’s plates and the text was designed and hand-set in Monotype perpetua by Michael and Winifred Bixler.
For more information on Angelou, see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/arts/design/27archive.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
For more information on Beasley, see www.PhoebeBeasley.com
For more information on Hughes, see http://www.langstonhughessociety.org/
For more information on the Limited Editions Club, see http://www.majure.net/lechistory.htm
William Burton, “The Decline and Fall of The Limited Editions Club,” American Book Collector (July/August 1980).