martha graham. merle armitage. an alliance i love. not sure how many of you out there know mr. armitage’s work. he made his way, his own way. the linked article fills you in and gives you a nice overview. i discovered his work after buying an annual of aiga’s fifty best books. these are amazing references for any book collector. (the current fifty best books exhibition is up now.) i sought out early copies of these books and then tried from the illustration of each book to determine its value and sought out the ones that looked interesting to me. i discovered many book designers i had never heard of. i think there should be a show of fifty books from fifty years. the best of the best. that’s one jury i would love to be on.
as you can see in this book on martha graham, mr. armitage has a flair for the dramatic. i would never say his designs were subtle; expressive would be more like it. this is my favorite of the books he designed. it was the first book on graham and he does it right. i have not read it, though, so i can’t opine on the prose. in the article i reference, he says he often wrote the books just so he could design them. his books are not expensive to collect. i don’t know many people or designer friends who collect his works or have heard of him, for that matter, but i’m happy i started collecting his book designs twenty years ago. maybe you’ll enjoy discovering his work.