Let the Light Enter
September 11, 2011
The Venice Biennale
October 7, 2011
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To acquire

ACQUIRE, Merriam-Webster tells me this means “to get as one’s own.” But a definition is never as simple as that. The sub-categories of the definition are often much more interesting.

a. to come into possession or control of often by unspecified means
b. to come to have as a new or added characteristic, trait, or ability (as by sustained effort or natural selection)

I just acquired four cases and one cardboard box of very dirty, yet gorgeous wood type. I first found out about the type about a year ago, shortly after I was given the UniIII Vandercook. An antique dealer in Pittsfield had it, plus a ridiculous amount of wood type with an x-height of at least eight inches, a collector’s dream! (He sold that lot for $1600 on eBay.)

But this random, really filthy collection is not a collector’s dream, but a printer’s dream.

I tried to haggle with him in the spring. He wouldn’t budge. He had his price and he was not going to let it go for anything else. So I let him go to Brimfield, to sell it off piece by piece to those people who want to make random type collages or whatever they do with it. And the summer months went by. At least once a week I wondered about the type and wished I had bought it.

It turns out he didn’t go to Brimfield to sell it, so I heard from a mutual friend. So I decided to acquire it, not buy it, this was more monumental than that. There had been a sustained effort, even if only in my mind, in my attempts to “get it as my own.” It also feels a bit like winning a trophy, or a piece of art at an auction. This kind of thinking reminds me of my entry about Art Basel.

And finally I did acquire it!! This past Friday it arrived at PRESS. It needs a serious clean, and hopefully it will get it in the next couple of weeks.

It will make for some really, really fun printing in the next few weeks.

Stop by this Thursday for our next opening to see it in person!

Here’s a sneak peak.


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