Books On Books Collection – Peter Koch

Watermark (2006)

Joseph Brodsky dedicated Watermark to his friend the American painter, Robert Morgan who has lived in Venice for more than 30 years. Koch celebrates Brodsky’s evocative text with this artist’s book, illustrated with 14 photogravures made from Morgan’s original photographs.

While Koch was artist-in-residence at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia, a printing press was imported from the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione printing museum to produce this work.
The paper is Twinrocker “Da Vinci” handmade, with the Koch firm’s watermark designed by Christopher Stinehour and Susan Filter. The edition is limited to fifty copies. Copies numbered 1 to 30 are bound Venetian-red hand made papers and housed in a clamshell box. This copy was acquired 31 July 2019. 

Donald Farnsworth digitally reconfigured Morgan’s photographs and printed them at his Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California from photogravure plates made by Unai San Martin. The printed sheets were then shipped to Venice.

The text was set in Monotype Dante types cast in lead at the Olivieri Typefoundry in Milano. Once the printing at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia was completed, the sheets were shipped to Koch’s studio in Berkeley where the book was bound in richly pigmented papers made by hand at Cave Papers in Minneapolis, MN.

Further Reading

The Grolier Club Presents a Peter Koch Printer Retrospective“, Fine Books & Collections, September 2019. Accessed 3 November 2019.

Koch, Peter Rutledge, and Filter, Susan. “Printing In the Shadow of Aldus”,  Parenthesis 15, Autumn 2008. Accessed 3 November 2019. See also video of printing press from the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione being delivered to the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia. September 2006. Courtesy of the artist.

Koch, Peter Rutledge, Michael A. Keller, Roberto G. Trujillo, Mark G. Dimunation, Timothy Murray, Nina M. Schneider, Rick Newby, et al. Peter Koch printer: embodied language and the form of the book (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Libraries, 2017).

Pon, Lisa, and Kallendorf, Craig. The Books of Venice / Lisa Pon and Craig Kallendorf, Editors = Il Libro Veneziano / a Cura Di Lisa Pon E Craig Kallendorf. Miscellanea Marciana ; v. 20 (2005-2007) (Venezia: La Musa Talìa, 2008).