A Letterpress Collection by David Peat
Individuals of all ages are invited to view a special exhibit illustrating the evolution of letterpress entitled "Tools of the Trade," on display through January 31 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street. The exhibit is part of the Library's fall program series, "Then and Now: Printing in Indy," allowing participants to see presses in operation and create prints of their own.
The exhibit features the collection of Dave Peat, an expert on the history of printing who’s described as the Godfather of Letterpress. It includes such items as specimen books, small toy presses and Indianapolis printing artifacts dating to the 1800s.
While studying printing in a grade school shop class, Peat discovered his first specimen book, an 1878 Allison & Smith Franklin Type Foundry, an experience that led to his fascination with ornate Victorian type. Peat acquired his first press in 1960, a 7 x 11 Pearl with six fonts. He now has close to 4,000 fonts, nearly all from 19th century type.
In addition to the exhibit, the community is invited for a screening of the documentary, "Pressing On: The Letterpress Film," on Thursday, December 6 from 7 - 9 p.m. at Central Library. The film describes how letterpress printing has survived in a digital age and shows young printers who blend wood, metal and type to save a process in danger of being lost forever. Following the showing, filmmakers will discuss their project and the eccentric characters who keep this form alive.
These programs are made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.
Call 317-275-4100 for more information about these free Library programs.