New York: Limited Editions Club, 1939
[S.L.] III [Limited Editions Club – 1933]
The Limited Editions Club of New York, established in 1929, was perhaps the most prestigious fine-book publisher in America in its time. In 1937 its founder and head, George Macy, conceived the scheme of an illustrated Shakespeare to be the “most beautiful Shakespeare of modern times” and “the most ambitious plan to illustrate Shakespeare in history”. He chose leading book designer Bruce Rogers to oversee production and London theatrical figures Herbert Farjeon to edit the text, which follows the spelling and punctuation of the First Folio. The 37 large quarto volumes appeared over 1939 and 1940. The artwork was commissioned from leading artists across Europe and America, to capture what Shakespeare meant to various countries on continental Europe as well as to the English-speaking world, with each play illustrated by a different artist. The methods of illustration included colour drawings, lithography, watercolour paintings, sketches, and wood engravings. Artists included Gordon Craig, John Austen, Eric Gill, Robert Gibbings – all well known for private press illustration – German-American Fritz Kredel, and Greek Demetrios Galanis (a friend of Picasso).