Portfolio Naples August/September 2018 - Page 46

Over the last thirty-plus years, Thornwillow has published the original works of literary and political luminaries like German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger, novelist John Updike, President Barack Obama, newscaster Walter Cronkite, and poet laureate James Merrill, as well as the work of some of the world’s greatest designers. They published Richard Wendorf’s The Three Laws of Portraiture, Vassily Kandinsy’s The Effect of Color, and the poem Le Bateau Ivre by Arthur Rimbaud with illustrations by interna- tionally renowned architect and designer, Thierry Despont. They also are respon- sible for the remarkable portfolios of Egon Schiele’s works, as well as other intra-war artists, which are now featured in the Neue Galerie. Each meticulously crafted Thornwillow book or portfolio involves the human hand at every stage: laid out by master typographers, printed letterpress on the finest stock papers, and handbound. It is perhaps no wonder, with this unwavering commitment to the finest craftsmanship, that Thornwillow publications can be found in some of the most prestigious personal collections, as well as permanent collections at the White House, the Vatican, the Smithsonian, The Morgan Library, The Beinecke at Yale, and The Bodleian Library at Oxford, among others. And yet, amidst all of this history and tradition, Thornwillow’s hand-crafted pub- lications meet the modern world of technology at precisely the right juxtaposition. Pontifell and his team have found crowd- funding, much in the style of John Baskerville or Johannes Gutenberg, but using social media and Kickstarter, to be a wonderfully effective way of connecting with new audiences who still treasure the art of fine printing and bookmaking. Still it is Pontifell’s unique and diverse collection of presses, as well as the e xpertise he brings to each printing, that makes Thornwillow unique and draws projects that can’t be ac- complished anywhere else. In 2017, for instance, it was The Thornwillow bindery. 44 PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE