Arion Lyre

News of the Grabhorn Institute

The Grabhorn Institute is the nonprofit umbrella over Arion Press and M & H Type, engaged in education and preservation efforts. Our programs include a lecture series, exhibitions, tours of the production facility, and apprenticeships in typecasting, letterpress printing, and book binding. Here is the 2015 Report Letter to supporters summarizing some of the Institute's many recent activities.


Dear Friends:                                                                 17 December 2015

In these times, we rely on the support of foundations and individuals to sustain this literally unique cultural resource, the historic printing facility at Arion Press.  

Designated “an irreplaceable cultural treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we practice the centuries-old crafts of fine bookmaking, the legacy of Gutenberg, from start to finish, from the casting of type in our foundry, through letterpress printing, through the design and creation of the bookbindings.  The results are books made at the highest level of craft and illustrated by today’s most respected artists and photographers, such as William Kentridge, Kara Walker, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell, Kiki Smith, Martin Puryear, Alex Katz, Stephen Shore, and Julie Mehretu.

Arion Press is open to the public every weekday and for regular tours and free evening programs. Our apprenticeships, school tours, crafts demonstrations, and lecture and exhibition series now involve more than 4,500 people annually, including students at all levels.

In the year ahead, we will need your help, in particular, to maintain our apprenticeships and to compensate for cancelled subscriptions at public libraries and state universities. You can take pride in such recent accomplishments as:

  • The 104th book of Arion Press, Wedekind’s The Lulu Plays, with revered South African artist William Kentridge.
  • Publisher Andrew Hoyem’s lecture at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which can be viewed here.
  • Coverage of our work by popular television interviewer Anthony Bourdain in his new series Raw Craft. Watch his tour of the Press.   
  • Organizing the first exhibition in 50 years on the work of the Grabhorn Press, for the Grolier Club in New York. Read more about the catalog.
  • Planning books with artists John Baldessari, Joel Shapiro, Enrique Chigoya.  
  • Free public programs with writer Alix Christie (on Johannes Gutenberg), art historian Catherine Brawer, writer Giaocchino Lanza Tomasi, and others.
  • Hosting an international traveling exhibition by London-based Designer Bookbinders in our gallery. See images Here.
  • New paid apprentices Ben Davidson (typecasting) and Nathalie Roland (bookbinding).

We cannot relax our efforts to sustain this one-of-a kind arts facility for use by future generations. Please accept our thanks and consider a meaningful tax-deductible donation before the end of 2015.


Andrew Hoyem
Diana Ketcham

To contribute, please print, fill in, and mail a contribution form:

Contribution form

or donate securely online now:


1802 Hays Street, The Presidio, San Francisco, California 94129
Telephone: 415-668-2548; Fax: 415-668-2550