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Jim Robertson Memorial at SFPL



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          CENTRAL NEW YORK BOOK ARTS: TRADITIONAL TO INNOVATIVE
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For Immediate Release                                   Media Contact: Suellen Bilow
February 2, 2002                                                                (415) 557-4282

                                REMEMBERING JAMES ROBERTSON

SAN FRANCISCO--"Remembering James Robertson," a celebration of the life and
work of the late James Wishard Robertson, a noted book designer and
publisher who was one of California's best-known fine printers, will be
held in the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library, on Sunday
afternoon, March 17, 2002, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Jim Robertson began his career as a designer in San Francisco, where in
1960 he co-founded the San Francisco design firm of Robertson/Montgomery.
In 1974, he and his wife and partner, Carolyn, founded The Yolla Bolly
Press in the Mendocino County town of Covelo, where they developed and
designed a wide range of books, including children's book series and
large-format pictorial books produced in collaboration with Sierra Club
Books. In 1983, The Yolla Bolly Press turned toward limited editions
printed letterpress from metal type, following in the long tradition of San
Francisco fine printing. The Robertsons chose authors and texts they cared
passionately about, paired them with appropriate artists, commissioned
introductions by well-known authors and critics, and printed and published
beautifully and sensitively designed books at the rate of one or two a
year. The Yolla Bolly Press gained international stature, its imprints
sought by collectors, libraries, and museums such as the Museum of Modern
Art and the Whitney. Friends described Jim Robertson as a man with an
"artist's temperament" who approached his work with a deep sense of
integrity. Robertson also established an apprenticeship program to transmit
the arts of typography and printing, and trained more than 30 young people
in three-month solo intensives at the Press in Covelo over a period of 16
years. He died in Santa Rosa on November 23, 2001.

The March 17 program will consist of verbal tributes to Jim Robertson by
friends and colleagues representing the full spectrum of his career.
Speakers will include Carolyn Robertson, who will introduce the program;
architecture teacher Jim Bagnall; Joe White, a client of Jim Robertson's
since the 1960s and a longtime friend; free lance writer Bill Broder;
mathematics teacher and writer Marilyn Burns; Jon Beckmann, former editor
of Sierra Club Books; Alix Christie, who was the Press's first apprentice;
Aaron Johnson, printer at The Yolla Bolly Press since 1982; and Becky
Fischbach, exhibits designer for the Stanford University Libraries.

A string quartet will open the program. A reception will follow in the
Latino-Hispanic Community Meeting Room across the hall from the Koret
Auditorium.

This public exhibition is sponsored by the Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern
Book Arts and Special Collections Center, San Francisco Public Library, 100
Larkin Street, Civic Center. The rare book room is located in the Center on
the 6th floor of the Library. This exhibit is open to the public; all
events at the Library are free. For more information please contact
Elizabeth Fischbach at 650-725-1020 or the Center at 415-557-4560.

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