Arion Press - Lyre Logo  


Stephen Shore exhibition lauded
by The New York Times

Photographer Stephen Shore, whose art is featured in the Arion Press edition of The Age of Innocence, is the subject of an exhibition entitled “Biographical Landscape: The Photography of Stephen Shore, 1969-1979,” at the International Center of Photography in New York, through September 9, 2007.

New York Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman raves about the exhibition in a review dated May 18, 2007. He writes, "The show is wonderful. The work’s laconic eloquence speaks of an era and a nation. Its wit and affection add buoyancy to scenes of threadbare America... Its formal rigor makes an uncanny order out of images that, at first glance, look like no place or nothing.

"Look again. His show reminds us of a period when cutting-edge American art and the tradition of straight, documentary photography got together.

"Mr. Shore’s pictures imply the arbitrary ways we make sense of life, choosing to note certain things but not others, framing the world so that what we see comes into focus, thereby excluding what doesn’t fit."

Andrew Hoyem Honored with Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award

Andrew Hoyem received the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award during the 26th annual Northern California Book Awards on Sunday, April 15, 2007. The awards ceremony were held in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Main Library, Civic Center, San Francisco.

The Fred Cody award honors the recipient's lifetime contributions to community and literature. Previous recipients include Diane di Prima, Orville Schell, Ishmael Reed, Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Hass, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Malcom Margolin, Adrienne Rich, Wallace Stegner, Kay Boyle, William Everson, Alice Walker, Gary Snyder, Jessica Mitford, Tillie Olson, M.F.K. Fisher, and Robert Duncan.

Andrew Hoyem

Andrew Hoyem has been a printer and publisher in San Francisco since 1961, starting with a small literary press that published Beat Generation writers, called the Auerhahn Press. He became associated with Robert Grabhorn of the famed Grabhorn Press in 1966. The name of the company was changed to Arion Press after the death of Robert Grabhorn in 1973. Since 1975, he has published 77 deluxe limited-edition books under the Arion Press imprint, including Melville’s Moby-Dick, Joyce’s Ulysses, and a folio Bible. Recent titles have included Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind, Seamus Heaney’s Squarings, and Godot, with the artist William T. Wiley.

Hoyem is currently working on an edition of poetry by Emily Dickinson with prints by the artist Kiki Smith. In 1989 the firm acquired Mackenzie & Harris, the oldest and largest remaining type foundry in the United States, started with equipment displayed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Arion Press has 12 employees, including people highly skilled in the crafts of typecasting, typography, letterpress printing, and bookbinding. About three titles are published each year in editions of 400 copies or less. The company also does design and fine printing on commission from companies, institutions, and individuals. Arion Press books are known for editorial quality, variety and ingenuity of design and format, excellence of production, and the inclusion of original prints by major artists.

Listen to Arion Podcasts

Two recent talks by Andrew Hoyem are now available to hear online or download. On Oct. 7, 2006, he was the featured speaker at Oak Knoll Fest. His talk traces his career from the Auerhahn Press, through Grabhorn-Hoyem, and on through the launch, growth, and evolution of Arion Press. Listen online courtesy of Oak Knoll.

On Nov. 18, 2006, Andrew Hoyem presented "Bible, Blake, Baseball, and Beckett" at the King Library Press 50th Anniversary Celebration in Lexington, KY. As the title indicates, this talk focuses on the stories behind four recent books. Download the podcast or listen online courtesy of the University of Alabama Book Arts podcast series.

The New York Times Spotlights Arion Press

Sunday, November 5, 2006
By Michael Kimmelman

Arion Press, a San Francisco publisher, produces some of the most beautiful limited-edition, handprinted books in the world. It carries on a grand legacy of San Francisco printers and bookmakers.

The other day I visited its tweedy, graying founder, a tall, charming man named Andrew Hoyem. Arion occupies an airy, immaculate former steam plant in the Presidio, sparsely furnished with antique printing presses and a football field’s length of wooden drawers chockablock with metal type. It’s a kind of living museum, with a library of its own books in mahogany and glass vitrines. A dozen or so monkish artisans and apprentices quietly set type and sew bindings under huge windows opening onto a leafy park.

This weekend, at the International Print Fair, there’s a brand new edition by Arion: Godot, inspired by Waiting for Godot, illustrated by William T. Wiley. When I visited Mr. Hoyem in San Francisco, there was Mr. Wiley, beside his tin of watercolors, poring over several dozen of the prints laid out on a big table, hurrying to get ready.

Over the years Arion has enlisted Jasper Johns to etch the frontispiece for a collection of Wallace Stevens, John Baldessari to illustrate Tristram Shandy and Sol LeWitt to make 48 drawings for 48 poems by Seamus Heaney. There are too few things in the world that can be said to be done with perfect love and care. Arion makes fresh art out of old (and not so old) literature by matching artist and writer with typeface, paper and binding. Sunday is the last day to check out its booth at the fair and to see what can still be done in the tradition of Gutenberg.

The stories behind the books

Franklin's Memoirs and the revival of the historic Aitken typeface

Aitken Type SampleArion Press recently revived an historic typeface, first produced in Philadelphia in 1800 and used by a succession of fine printers such as Daniel Berkeley Updike, Bruce Rogers, and the Grabhorn Press. Now it has been recreated as for use in The Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin. The new digital version of this historic typeface is called Aitken, in honor of printer Jane Aitken, who used the original version in a notable 1808 Bible. See a type specimen and read the story of the Aitken typeface and its use for Franklin's Memoirs.

A look back at A Day in the Bleachers

The baseball season may be over, but memories of past seasons still remain. If you're a fan, don't miss reading Arnold Hano's wonderful recounting of the story behind A Day in the Bleachers. He remembers that day during the 1954 World Series: "I said to my wife, 'I think I'll go to the game tomorrow.' 'You'll never get in,' she said." He did get in, and he was there to witness one of baseball's most famous moments — "The Catch" by Willie Mays. Read "A look back at A Day in the Bleachers".

Pope leaps in vain