James Reid: Selected Wood Engravings
The inaugural publication of Brier Hill Press, James Reid: Selected Wood Engravings, marks the first appearance of these superb images since they were published in book form more than eighty years ago. The portfolio contains thirty-two original wood engravings in two separate folders: nineteen from The Life Of Christ In Woodcuts, (Farrar & Rinehart, 1930), and thirteen from The Song Of Songs, (Farrar & Rinehart), 1931.
The engravings in this portfolio are printed on 80 lb. Mohawk Superfine smooth cover. The press work is by Arthur Larson of Horton Tank Graphics in Hadley, Massachusetts. The engravings and the twelve-page descriptive booklet written by the publisher, Robert Strossi, are housed in a custom case by Portfoliobox, Inc. of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The project was designed by Michael Russem of Kat Ran Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
James Reid's 1930 and 1931 projects for Farrar & Rinehart heralded the appearance of a highly talented young artist whose distinctive style and masterful interpretive skills were highly praised in their day and highly prized ever since. While Reid illustrated several books in subsequent years, his work as a wood engraver was cut short by the severity of the great depression. As a result, he turned principally to commercial art for the remainder of his long and successful career.
Apart from a very few images printed from the blocks by James Reid for family members to commemorate special occasions, there was never a separate edition of the individual engravings. Of the one hundred and eight blocks that he created for the two books, a total of forty-two have survived and remain in possession of the Reid family; the whereabouts and fate of the remaining blocks are not known.
In the coming years, Brier Hill Press will work to identify and promote the work of artists, like James Reid, who deserve wider recognition than they received in their lifetimes, and to make their work available to both individual collectors and institutions.
James Reid: Selected Wood Engravings is published in an edition of 125, of which 12 are not for sale. A limited number of publisher's proofs of the individual engravings are also available.