A few weeks back I took time away from printing to visit the London Art fair, one of the main reasons being to visit the 21st Editions stand. I have been following the progress of this unique publisher ever since I saw them at Photo London in 2004 and have started to acquire a number of their publications when funds permit as there currently is no publisher in the world that is creating books with original prints to such a high standard, incorporating a number of alternative photographic printing processes most notably platinum. I always look forward hearing about new offerings and viewing them in person when possible.

One particular book that I wanted to cast my eyes on was 21st editions second original print publication on Imogen Cunningham. It had just been completed and was available to view at the stand. Following on from the successes of their first book on Cunningham entitled ‘Platinum Prints’ which sold out within a few weeks of it being announced, see figure 1 & 2, the second covers her early Symbolist work which was originally shot on glass plates, see figure 3.



Figure 1, Imogen Cunnigham ‘Platinum Prints’



Figure 2

This new publication contains nine tipped in platinum prints and three 3 loose gum over platinum prints and included poetry and prose by William Blake. The platinum prints were masterfully created by my good friend Stan Klimek who I have worked with in the past. He is one of the finest printers in the world today and capable of printing large editions, in this instance over 400 prints were created for this particular project. One of his skills is to be able to restore old negatives/plates and the Imogen Cunningham glass plates certainly needed his expertise.


Figure 3, Imogen Cunningham: Symbolist







Having had a good look at the prints at the stand they certainly do not disappoint. Printed on Rives BFK the prints had all the qualities of great platinum prints. The gum over platinum prints were special too, they almost had some of the wonderful reflective qualities you get with Japanese papers. Other titles on display that I really enjoyed  were Michael Kenna’s book of exquisite platinum prints entitled  Huangshan and Masoa Yammoto ‘s platinum book.


Michael Kenna, Huangshan: Poems from the T’ang Dynasty, Platinum Prints




‘Yammoto Masoa’

Overall it was well worth the visit, as with all 21st Editions’ original print publications you really need to see them in person to fully appreciate the quality of the platinum printing, letterpress text and artisan bindings.

For further information visit 21st Editions here.

It’s always a pleasure seeing and hearing about 21st Editions forging ahead with new printing projects. There really is no publisher in the world currently doing what they do every time to such a high standard.  Their latest entitled Gilded Circles and Sure Trouble is the third project  with Josephine Sacabo in a new format that incorporates both photogravure and platinum prints in one set. I have viewed her earlier silver gelatin books when I visited 21st in Cape Cod a few years ago and thought they were stunning. (you can read about my experience here)

This new handcrafted set contains ten signed ‘chine-collé’  photogravures by Josephine Sacabo printed on Japanese tissue (see end of post for details of this process), a letterpress book with an introduction by John Wood and poetry by Keagan LeJeune and illustrated with ten platinum prints.

To learn more about pricing an availability contact 21st editions at 21st@21stEditions.com


Freestanding signed chine-collé photogravures by Josephine Sacabo printed on Japanese tissue


Letterpress book featuring 10 tipped in platinum prints

Full Details

Edition: 50 sets
10 photogravures printed using Sekishu Japanese tissue on 16×20 inch Somerset Velvet paper
10×12 inch letterpress book illustrated with 10 platinum prints
30 sets for sale


About Josephine Sacabo

Sacabo divides her time between New Orleans and Mexico. Both places inform her work, resulting in imagery that is as dreamlike, surreal, and romantic as the places that she calls home.Born in Laredo, Texas, in 1944, she was educated at Bard College in New York. Prior to coming to New Orleans, Sacabo lived and worked extensively in France and England. Her earlier work was in the photo-journalistic tradition and influenced by Robert Frank, Josef Koudelka, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She now works in a very subjective, introspective style, using poetry as the genesis for her work. Her many portfolios are visual manifestations of the written word, and she lists poets as her most important influences, including Rilke, Baudelaire, Pedro Salinas, Vincente Huiobro, and Juan Rulfo, Mallarmé, and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Her images transfer the viewer into a world of constructed beauty.

During her 36 year career her work has been featured in over 40 gallery and museum exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. She has been the recipient of multiple awards and is included in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House, the International Center of Photography, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and la Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris, France

Chine-Collé definition :

A technique in printmaking in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printing process. The purpose is to allow the printmaker to print on a more delicate surface, such as rice paper or linen, which pulls finer details off the plate. During printing, a glue is applied to the back of the paper (a paste made of rice flour and water being traditional), and then the heavier support (typically, the heavyweight paper normally found in printmaking) is placed on top. Under the pressure of the press, the lighter surface is glued to the support simultaneously with the image printing on it.” (from Art of the Photogravure: www.photogravure.com)


21st Editions :  http://www.21stphotography.com/

Josephine Sacabo : http://josephinesacabo.com

Announced today is the latest 21st Editions title, Imogen Cunningham: Platinum / Palladium, published under the auspices of The Imogen Cunningham Trust.  I like many others and been influenced and inspired by her work over the years, this book sounds wonderful and knowing first hand how much passion, care and attention goes into creating these fine original print publications I very much look forward to seeing this book in person at some stage. Priced at $8500 and limited to just 35 copies with only 20 for sale this title will sell out quickly. For those parties interested in this unique book email 21st@21stEditions.com to reserve a copy.

The components of this new title include :

1 ORIGINAL VINTAGE SILVER PRINT from Cunningham’s personal collection of family photographs (album size) taken and printed by Imogen Cunningham.  These will be randomly selected from a group of images chosen by Meg Partridge, Director of the Trust. ­

MAGNOLIA BLOSSOM, TWO CALLAS, and AGAVE DESIGN 1:  3 loose free-standing 11×14 inch (a first for the Trust) palladium prints from the original negatives printed and signed by Joshua Partridge, master printer and the grandson of Imogen Cunningham. These are the only estate prints Joshua has ever printed and will ever print.

9 bound masterful platinum prints of iconic and defining images printed from Cunningham’s original negatives.

1 bound platinum frontispiece portrait of Cunningham taken by master photographer Rondal Partridge, her son.

1 free-standing platinum print, archivally matted and overmatted, printed directly from Cunningham’s original early glass plate negatives by Rondal Partridge in the 1980’s and 1990’s. These will be randomly selected from a group of images chosen by Meg Partridge, Director of the Trust. ­

Introduction by Meg and Betsy Partridge and excerpts from an interview with Cunningham conducted by Rondal Partridge.

Academy Award nominated documentary, Portrait of Imogen, by Meg Partridge, Director of the Imogen Cunningham Trust.

Printed in letterpress and hand-bound by master binder Sarah Creighton.

Links : www.21stEditions.com

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