Claire Van Vliet

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Claire Van Vliet (born 1933 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a fine artist, illustrator and typographer who founded Janus Press in San Diego, California in 1955. Van Vliet received the Bachelor of Arts in 1952 from San Diego State College, and the Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate School in 1954. In 1955 she moved to Europe, shortly after her first publications, then returned to the United States in 1957. She worked for John Anderson of Lanston Monotype Company in Philadelphia before moving to Madison, Wisconsin. She made several trips back to Europe and continued her education in hand typesetting and compositing. She taught drawing and printmaking classes at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and Philadelphia Museum College of Art from 1965-1966. In 1967 she established a typographic workshop in Madison, Wisconsin. The Janus Press has been based in Newark, Vermont since Van Vliet settled there in 1966.[1]

Janus Press[edit]

The Janus Press was named by Van Vliet for "the ancient Roman god (Janus) for the rising and setting sun, stood for balance in the Renaissance because of his ability to look both forward and backward…the book as a balanced and unified statement with all of its parts integral and serving to illuminate one another, is the ideal for which the press seeks.”[2] The press publishes collaborative works by contemporary writers, papermakers, printmakers and artists. The following is a list of some authors/creators: (authors) Ray Carver, Tess Gallagher, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, W. R. Johnson, Galway Kinnell, John le Carré, Denise Levertov, Sandra McPherson, W. D. Snodgrass; (artists) Ruth Fine, Lois K. Johnson, Susan Johanknecht, Jerome Kaplan, Ray Metzker, Peter Schumann, Helen Siegl; (papermakers) Kathryn Clark (Twinrocker), Amanda Degener, Mary Lyn Nutting, Katie MacGregor, Bernie Vinzani;[3](historians) Maureen Green (Hayle Mill)


Further reading[edit]

  • Claire Van Vliet. (1978?) Printmaker and Printer : a selection of prints and illustrated books from the Press at the Rutgers University Art Gallery in New Brunswick, New Jersey, from November 5 to December 17, 1978. [New Brunswick, N.J.] : Rutgers University Art Gallery,
  • The Janus Press . (1982) 1955-1980 : Silver Anniversary Miscellany: [finally all gathered together in 1982]. [West Burke, Vt.] : Janus Press
  • Van Vliet, Claire. (2002). Woven and interlocking book structures : from the Janus, Steiner, and Gefn presses / Newark, Vt. : Janus Gefn Unlimited.
  • Bright, Betty. (2005). “The Fine Press Book: The Janus Press: a new demeanor for fine printing.” No longer innocent : book art in America : 1960-1980 / New York City : Granary Books : Distributed to the trade by Distributed Art Publishers.


  1. ^ Fine, Ruth. (2006) The Janus Press, Fifty Years : Catalogue Raisonné for 1991-2005 : indexes for 1955-2005 / Burlington, Vermont: University of Vermont Libraries.
  2. ^ Fine, Ruth. (1975) The Janus Press, 1955-75 : catalogue raisonné / [Burlington, Vt.] : Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University
  3. ^ a b Janus Press. (2003?) Janus Press checklist 1992- / Newark, Vt. : Janus Press.

External links[edit]