The Latest from the Palace Press: Ernie O’Malley & Dorothy Stewart in NM

Just off the press,
The Press at the Palace of the Governors is pleased to announce the release of ERNIE O’MALLEY & DOROTHY STEWART IN NEW MEXICO

The title of the book comes from the 1929 diary entry of Ernie O’Malley, written in Taos, New Mexico. It is self-conversation that begins with Ernie asking, “What the hell are you doing near Indian country?” It goes on to reveal the philosophy and values of the young general in the Irish war for independence as he seeks new experiences in America. Shortly after this was recorded, he met artist Dorothy Newkirk Stewart, who lived at El Zaguán on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. The two forged a friendship based on a shared commitment to the arts, travel, and indigenous cultures that took them around New Mexico and on to Mexico.

Introduced by Cormac O’Malley, the book is a hybrid cross of an album amicorum – a friendship book – and an informal artist book, juxtaposing the words of Ernie O’Malley and early prints by Dorothy Stewart. Inspired by Dorothy’s at times “throw caution to the wind” approach to book design, we meandered into book-making parts unknown on the way to completion. Dimensions, typography, and papers were tried and ruled out until we arrived at a book you will want to caress. It won’t take long to read, but you will return to it again and again. You may even recognize yourself in it, for honestly, who of us hasn’t had a similar self-conversation?

The set type for a page and the resulting print.

With 48 pages measuring 5 x 7.5 inches, 100 copies of this letterpress edition were printed. The soft-cover binding is based on the popular travelers’ journals that we make and sell at the Palace Press. Our friend Patricia Musick, who knows more about Irish lettering than nearly anyone, designed the lettering for the title page, and also the monogram of the entwined EOM and DNS initials used on the half-title page. Text papers are Biblio and handmade Moravia, and the cover paper is a rare handmade by John Koller. It was marbled by Thomas Leech, who along with James Bourland, did the presswork. The typefaces, all handset, are Goudy Oldstyle and University of California, with Colum Cille used judiciously for the headings. That typeface was designed as a Gaelic alphabet in the 1930s and is named for the Irish monk, scribe and saint.

A shot of the paper marbeling process.

The Palace Press announces a “new” Gustave Baumann book!

A look at the Gustave Baumann book Indian Pottery Old and New

The Press at the Palace of the Governors

announces with great pleasure

A NEW Book by Gustave Baumann

Indian Pottery Old and New

An entry in the December 31,1919 issue of El Palacio magazine reported an exhibit of woodcut prints by Gustave Baumann. On display were pages of what the article called a “wonder book,” Indian Pottery Old and New, said to have been printed in an edition of 50 copies. That showing, and another in Chicago in 1920, were the last times the work was seen in public, and the book was little-known to collectors and admirers of Baumann’s work for nearly a century. Only a few of the fifty copies planned for that 1919 edition were completed, and no more than a dozen are found today in museum, library or private collections. In 1937 Baumann worked on a much-expanded version, and as late as 1950 he still spoke of his intent to bring out a book on Southwestern Indian pottery. So, like the book’s title, we present a book by Gustave Baumann that is both old and new. It is yet another display of the artist’s wit, ever-sharp eye and sure hand.

The block-book style text and fifteen woodcut studies of Indian pottery were carved within a year of Baumann’s arrival in Santa Fe, and we have followed the design of the booklet as he first conceived it. Variations in its black-only format were suggested by changes in his 1937 prototypes, most notably the introduction of brown background blocks carved for all of the pottery groupings. Those blocks, now in the collection of the New Mexico History Museum, are printed here for the first time. Many of the pots, so skillfully rendered, are in the collections of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the School for Advanced Research.

One hundred forty-five copies of the book were printed by Thomas Leech and James Bourland on Baumann’s remaining supply of Arak paper made by the Whitehead and Alliger Company. That a ream of this paper remained at the time of his death in 1971 may indicate that he had been saving the paper for this very project. Handmade paper covers by Thomas Leech include Baumann’s mouse-chewed canvas tool belt (too far gone to restore), New Mexico mica, and recycled paper trimmings from some of Baumann’s other papers.

The 28-page soft cover book measures 6.75 by 8 inches and comes in a hard-cover folder made by Rosalia Galassi. The price of the book is one hundred sixty dollars, which includes  USPS Priority postage.

How to Order in the Time of COVID-19 

If you wish to reserve a copy of this book, please email your request to: 

(For Institutional purchases, contact Thomas Leech at the above address)

However, books will be mailed only upon receipt of check, made out to:

Museum of New Mexico Foundation 

and mailed to:

Palace Press, c/o Thomas Leech

2 Casa Del Oro Loop

Santa Fe, NM 87508 

(This is a museum approved teleworking location)

Please include contact information and an address where the book will be mailed.