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George Macy Companies, Inc.: Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press:

A Preliminary Inventory of its Art Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: George Macy Companies, Inc.
Title: George Macy Companies, Inc.: Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press Art Collection
Dates: circa 1930-1967
Extent: 6,731 items (220 boxes)
Abstract: The collection consists of original artwork that was used in Limited Editions Club publications and a few that were used for The Heritage Press. The art files contain the work of over 100 artists including Miguel Covarrubias, Maynard Dixon, André Derain, Roger Duvoisin, Robert Gibbings, Bernard Lamotte, Reginald Marsh, and Edward A. Wilson. The collection includes original watercolors; pen and ink, wash, and charcoal drawings; colored overlays; proofs; original photographs; and photographic negatives.
Access:

Open for research. A minimum of twenty-four hours is required to pull art materials to the Reading Room.




Acquisition:

Purchase, 1970

Processed by:

Leslie Hirsch, Joan Sibley, 2003

Repository:

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin


George Macy (1900-1956) founded the Limited Editions Club in 1929 to publish fine illustrated books, mostly classics, in limited numbers for member-subscribers. Most titles were limited to 1500 copies, were designed and illustrated by leading figures in the graphic arts, and were printed on fine paper. New introductions were written for many titles. From the base established by the Limited Editions Club, Macy broadened his publishing activities with The Heritage Press, a series of unlimited, less-expensively produced reprints of titles previously issued by the Limited Editions Club. After Macy's death in 1956, his wife, Helen Macy, continued the work of the firm until 1968, when their son, Jonathan Macy, assumed leadership. In 1970, the firms were sold to the Boise-Cascade Company, and Ziff-Davis Publishing acquired the Limited Editions Club inventory. Cardavon Press later acquired both the companies and the inventory. Cardavon sold off the Heritage Press and its distributer, Heritage Club, to the Easton Press, and in 1979, sold the Limited Editions Club to Sidney Shiff. Schiff died March 18, 2010, and ownership passed to his wife, Jeanne Shiff.

The archives of the George Macy Companies, including both the Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press, were purchased by the Ransom Center in 1970. These items herein described comprise the original art works that were used in Limited Editions Club publications; the few that were used for The Heritage Press are identified as such in the following list. The art files contain 6,731 items by over 100 artists, and include original watercolors; pen and ink, wash, and charcoal drawings; colored overlays; proofs; original photographs; and photographic negatives. Among the artists represented in the collection are Miguel Covarrubias, Maynard Dixon, André Derain, Roger Duvoisin, Robert Gibbings, Bernard Lamotte, Reginald Marsh, and Edward A. Wilson. The following list is arranged alphabetically by artist.


The Ransom Center Art Collection also holds a separate Limited Editions Club collection of portfolios of prints and one group of loose prints by various artists which were published as illustrations for books issued by the club, 1988-2001.

Related holdings elsewhere in the Ransom Center include correspondence files and pre-publication materials created by the firms, which are held in the Manuscripts Collection, as well as a number of the published works in the Library.