Introduction to the Exhibition


Humane Letters:

Bruce Rogers – Designer of Books and Artist.

Bruce Rogers designed about five hundred books between 1892 and 1957. In his opening address to The Grolier Club exhibition of his work in 1938 he remarked that he only owned about seventy-five of the ones produced to that date himself and could easily cut the number down to thirty. James Hendrickson, who compiled Paragraphs on Printing in 1943, remembered this and elicited from Rogers his list of ‘successful’ books and thus was born the BR ‘Thirty’. Rogers’ list of preferences was arranged chronologically and he did not explicitly explain why a particular book was included. Many of the choices are obvious (and all of the BR ‘Thirty’ are included in this exhibition), but some are puzzling and many commentators have preferred books not on the list.

Bruce Rogers