The First Flowering: Bruce Rogers At The Riverside Press 1896-1912
The First Flowering: Bruce Rogers at the Riverside Press 1896-1912
Probably no book designer of the twentieth century has had more written about him, his work, or his life than Bruce Rogers. He was, as his primary biographer Joseph Blumenthal observed, the ultimate "artificer of the book". His career as a working designer spanned six decades, but arguably his finest (and certainly his happiest) years were spent at Cambridge's Riverside Press where he took ovr from D.B. Updike in 1896 ad where he remained until 1912, overseeing his own department and designing at least sixty titles for Houghton Mifflin's list of Riverside Press Editions.
Boston was an interesting place at this time, the center of the Arts and Crafts movement, where Updike (never close to BR, whom he once called "an impossible person") had set up shop, and in which characters as diverse as Rudolph Ruzicka, W.A. Dwiggins, Bertram Goodhue, and Fred Holland Day circulated. George Mifflin was instrumental in starting the department for special editions under Rogers's supervision at Riverside and supported him against considerable opposition, stubbornly championing the legitimacy of publishing fine limited editions within the framework of a large commercial printer. In more than a decade,...