Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Limited Editions Club:

An Inventory of Its Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Limited Editions Club
Title: Limited Editions Club Collection
Dates: 1988-2001
Extent: 18 portfolios, 1 folder (124 prints)
Abstract: The collection includes eighteen signed artists' portfolios and one separate print, by seventeen different artists. Fourteen of the artists are American, including eight African Americans. Also included are portfolios by the French artists Balthus and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the Italian artist Francesco Clemente.
Access:

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




Acquisition:

Purchases (R14122, R14350, R14826, R14873), 1998-2001, and Gifts (G10730, G11162, G11244, G11453), 1996-1998

Processed by:

Helen Young, 2002

Repository:

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin


The Limited Editions Club—founded in 1929 by George Macy (1900-1956)—published fine, illustrated books in limited numbers for member subscribers. Designed and illustrated on fine paper by leading figures in the graphic arts, most titles were classics, limited to 1500 copies. After Macy's death in 1956, his wife continued the work of the firm until 1968 when son Jonathan assumed leadership. The firm was sold to the Boise-Cascade Company in 1970. Sidney Shiff, the current owner, purchased the Limited Editions Club in 1979.

Shiff, whose background was in Wall Street investments, transformed the Limited Editions Club by concentrating on livres d'artiste. He purposefully commissioned renowned artists—including many African-Americans—and commissioned master printers and fine presses to oversee a given book's design; artistic inspiration prevailed. Targeting print connoisseurs and contemporary collectors, Shiff raised the overall quality of the books and offered club members signed artists' portfolios. The book illustrations and signed artists' prints are one and the same.


Grossman, Carol. "East Side Story: Two Faces of the Limited Editions Club."   Biblio 4, no. 3 (March 1999): 30-39.

Fleming, Margaret W. "Limited Editions Club."  Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 46: American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980: Trade and Paperback, ed. Peter Dzwonkoski. Detroit: Gale Research, 1986.


The Limited Editions Club Collection comprises eighteen signed artists' portfolios of 123 prints, and one separate print, by seventeen different artists. Fourteen of the artists are American, including eight African-Americans. The collection also has portfolios by the French artists Balthus and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the Italian artist Francesco Clemente.

The works are listed alphabetically by artist. The descriptions include titles of the corresponding book, and for those books held in the Ransom Center's Library, the call number is listed. The date of the prints is the same as the corresponding book unless otherwise noted.

Additional portfolios are expected.


The Art Collection also holds the George Macy Companies Collection, including art files of works by over 100 artists executed for the Limited Editions Club and the Heritage Press, circa 1930-1967. The Ransom Center has an additional five Limited Editions Club signed artists' portfolios in the Photography Collection. The archives of the George Macy Company are available in the Manuscripts Collection, as are numerous related published works in the Library.