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John Depol

Buying Prints Can be such Good Fun

The Pickering Press

The most productive and longest collaboration of John DePol was with John Anderson, typographer, book designer and proprietor of the Pickering Press of Maple Shade, New Jersey. Anderson began his first press in 1932 and established Pickering in 1942. They met in 1951 and worked together for nearly forty years. Their first collaborations were done while Anderson was working for the Lanston Monotype Corporation in Philadelphia producing advertising material for corporate clients. They continued to work together producing pamphlets, chapbooks, broadsides, keepsakes, Christmas cards, letterheads, and ephemera. In the 1980s, after DePol's retirement from commercial illustration, they taught together at workshops for Fairleigh Dickinson University and produced advertising broadsides for the workshops. Their friendship continued until Anderson's death in 1997. Their mutual dedication to fine printing and shared sense of humor can be seen in their collaborations.

Rappaccini's Daughter

The Allen Press

John DePol began working with Lewis and Dorothy Allen of the Allen Press of Greenbrae, California, in 1987. Rappaccini's Daughter was the second of their three collaborations. The Allens had begun publishing limited edition, handmade books in 1940. They sought out major artists who could interpret a significant literary work without dominating it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864.
Rappaccini's Daughter; Reflections on Hawthorne. Greenbrae, Calif.: Allen Press, 1991.

Mark Twain

The Buttonmaker Press

Donald Knoepfler was a student in one of John DePol's wood engraving workshops at Fairleigh Dickinson University. They developed a friendship through what Knoepfler describes as "the nightly sipping seminars." DePol's visit to Knoepfler's summer home in Indiana resulted in their discovery of a Mark Twain manuscript in the Lilly Library and their first collaboration.

Mark Twain, 1835-1910.
The Quaker City Holy Land Excursion: An Unfinished Play: 1867. Omaha: The Buttonmaker Press, 1986.


Yellow Barn Press

Neil Shaver, proprietor of the Yellow Barn Press of Council Bluffs, Iowa, met John DePol in 1983 at the Book Arts Program of Fairleigh Dickenson University. Since then they have produced over a dozen books illustrated with over seventy DePol engravings. The subjects of the books have varied widely and include printing history, memoirs, poetry, biography and architecture.

John DePol, 1913-
Not Barn Again. Council Bluffs, Iowa: Yellow Barn Press, 1997.

The Cyclist

Stone House Press

John DePol began working with Morris Gelfand, proprietor of the Stone House Press of Roslyn, N.Y., in 1982. Between 1982 and 1994, DePol created more than 100 wood engravings for the press. He contributed to so many of the press's publications that he once stated, "I was privileged to be the principal illustrator for The Stone House Press." The Press, in turn, paid tribute to DePol with From Dark to Light; Wood Engravings for the Stone House Press, which describes and shows his work for the Press.

William Jay Smith.
The Cyclist. Roslyn, N.Y.: Stone House Press, 1995.

Traveling at Home

Press of Appletree Alley

Barnard Taylor first met John DePol in 1951 through their mutual friend, John Anderson. A few years later Taylor, a salesman and graphics designer, commissioned illustrations from DePol for his university clients. These included campus scenes and portraits for Lycoming College, Juniata College, and Bucknell University. Their friendship continued through the years. When Taylor began to set up the Press of Appletree Alley in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 1982, he attended DePol's engraving workshops at Fairleigh Dickinson University. DePol contributed to four books published by the press.

Wendell Berry.
Traveling at Home. Lewisburg, Pa: Press of Appletree Alley, 1988.

Father Abraham

Red Ozier Press

Steve Miller founded the Red Ozier Press in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1976. Red Ozier is a fine press devoted to publishing literary first editions in handmade limited editions. In 1979, Miller moved the press to New York City where it became known both for the craftsmanship of its books, and for the importance of the authors published, including William Faulkner, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Allen Ginsberg, as well as young previously unpublished writers and artists. In 1987, Miller closed the press and moved to the University of Alabama, where he later started the Red Hydra Press.

William Faulkner, 1897-1962.
Father Abraham. New York: Red Ozier Press, 1983.

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