About 21st Editions
The Art of the Book
In 1999, the Wall Street Journal described 21st Editions as following “in Alfred Stieglitz’s footsteps.” Stieglitz’s groundbreaking journal, Camera Work (1903-17) elevated photography to a fine art, an equal of painting and sculpture. 21st Editions (1999-present) picked up where Stieglitz had left off and indeed surpassed it in developing the art of the book.
John Wood, 21st Editions editor from 1998-2014, indelibly shaped this collection of images, poetry and prose. The writers he selected to illuminate and engage the images include the Pulitzer-Prize winning Edward Albee, Robert Olen Butler, Annie Dillard, and Adam Johnson, as well as U.S. Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur and many others. Harvard’s John Stauffer, another contributor, is the newly appointed editor.
In its art, 21st Editions pays homage to William Morris, who founded the Arts and Crafts Movement and Kelmscott Press, widely recognized as the beginning of the fine-press book movement.
The legacy and mark of 21st Editions is impossible to ignore as a present and future point in the history of photography and in the art of the book as it relates to the presentation and marriage of the word, image and artisan binding. The eighty-five plus prestigious museums and special collections libraries that own selections of these titles speak to that fact.
21st Editions endeavors are collaborations by as many as a dozen artisans and by the end of 2016 will have completed The Master Collection with fifty-seven projects that each took between two and four years to complete from conception through production.
The 21st Editions Master Collection of Image, Word and Artisan Bindings, of which there are only 12 complete sets extant, is currently comprised of 57 individual titles, 547 bound prints, and 247 loose prints, each one signed by the artists.