Ninety from the Nineties

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Ninety from the Nineties: A Decade of Printing was an exhibition held at the New York Public Library from November 7, 2003 through May 28, 2004.

Ninety from the Nineties showcased a selection of ninety books made in the 1990s that were chosen on the merit of book arts. Note that the books were not necessarily written in the 1990s; some were older texts that were used to make special books in the 1990s. And, the books were not selected on literary merit.

In a contemporary review, The New York Times described the concept of the selection like this: "books, which we are accustomed to thinking of as containers — and conveyers — of information, are placed in a context in which form is valued over content. Language is less important than the type that impresses it on the page. The paper counts for more than the story told on it. The illustrations and the binding might be the story."

The books were divided into five categories: binding, paper, type, illustration and "inspiration." The exhibition was curated by Virginia Bartow.

Books in the exhibition[edit]

Following is a list of the ninety books selected and shown in the exhibition. The source for this list is the exhibition catalogue.

Number Section Book title Author Press Year
1 Binding Bon Bon Mots Julie Chen
2 Binding Doubly Bound: A Tool Kit [and] a Tackle Box Diane Fine and Tracy Honn
3 Binding Howards and Hoovers Indigo Som
4 Binding The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain
5 Binding The True Collector Frederic Postman and Bonnie Stone
6 Binding Baucis and Philemon from Ovid's Metamorphoses Lois Morrison
7 Binding Tea: Time in Korea Greta D. Silbey
8 Binding Phantasies of a Love Thief Bilhana
9 Binding Where I Live: Environments Jim Gelfand
10 Binding The Blues and Jives of Dr. Hepcat Alan B. Govenar
11 Binding New World Saints
12 Binding Exquisite Horse: A Printer's Corpse
13 Binding Rush Job
14 Binding Vorkuta Poems Sara Karig
15 Binding The Dam Domino Book Carol Schatt
16 Binding Anatomy Alice Jones
17 Binding She Pushes with Her Hands Dale Going
18 Binding Kokopelli Terry Horrigan
19 Binding Voyelles Arthur Rimbaud
20 Binding In Praise of Patterned Papers
21 Paper Dard Hunter & Son Dard Hunter II and Dard Hunter III
22 Paper Fine Papers at the Oxford University Press John Bidwell
23 Paper Song of Changes Adrian Frutiger
24 Paper The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms J. P. Donleavy
25 Paper The Pool Toby Olson
26 Type Portraits of Presses of Fleece
27 Type Gifts of the Leaves Dan Carr
28 Type LETTERpressworkBOOK James Trissel
29 Type A Printer's Dozen: Eleven Spreads from Unrealised Books Sebastian Carter
30 Type She Who Saw with Her Heart Roni Gross
31 Type Zapf's Civilite Disclosed Leonard Baskin
32 Type Rex Reason, elements Simon Patterson
33 Type Prove Before Laying Johanna Drucker
34 Type Bad News Lynne Tillman
35 Type Le Roi Francois da Ros
36 Type The Architetextures Nathaniel Tarn
37 Type Specimens of Wood Type Held at the Alembic Press Alembic Press
38 Type Ten Sonnets John Keats
39 Type Twenty-three Poems from the French of Max Jacob Max Jacob
40 Type Odes Horace
41 Type Keeping Going Seamus Heaney
42 Type Loaded References (2) Champe Smith
43 Type Ornamented Types
44 Type Poetry through Typography
45 Type The Officina Bodoni and the Stamperia Valdonega Grolier Club
46 Type The Old-fashioned Snow May Sarton
47 Type Lin He-jing Pu Lin
48 Type A Printer's Dozen Philip Gallo
49 Type Die Ringparabel Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
50 Type The Steadfast Tin Soldier of Joh Ernst Braches
51 Type The Six-cornered Snowflake John Frederick Nims
52 Type Acts of Devotion William Bronk
53 Type Within the Walls H. D.
54 Type Late Fire, Late Snow: New and Uncollected Poems Robert Francis
55 Type Poems for the New Century
56 Type The Valentine Elegies Tess Gallagher
57 Type Night Lake Jean Valentine
58 Type Song of the Andoumboulou: 18–20 Nathaniel Mackey
59 Type Le chevallier Tondal: Gloss Written by the Fall(en) Typography Students
60 Type Deborah, One of the Earliest Heroic Epics Elaine Galen
61 Type The Book of Revelation
62 Illustration Wood Engravings June Paris
63 Illustration Phisicke against Fortune Francesco Petrarca
64 Illustration Waterfalls of the Mississippi Richard Frey Arey
65 Illustration Ein Nilpferd in New York Anke-Sophie Mey
66 Illustration Towers David Moyer
67 Illustration Trout & Bass
68 Illustration Mr. Derrick Harris, 1919–1960 Simon Brett
69 Illustration The Players and Paradigms of the Commedia Dell' Arte Russell Maret
70 Illustration North Pacific Lands & Waters Gary Snyder
71 Illustration Buddha's Bowl: A Dreamed Folktale Alisa J. Golden
72 Illustration John De Pol: A Celebration of His Work by Many Hands
73 Illustration A Canticle to the Waterbirds William Everson
74 Illustration A Canticle to the Waterbirds William Everson
75 Illustration The Bread of Days
76 Illustration 36 Drawings Sarah Peter
77 Illustration Pochoir Vance Gerry
78 Illustration Das Mittagsmahl = Il Pranzo Christian Morgenstern
79 Illustration One-handed Basket Weaving Maulana Jalal Al-Din Rumi
80 Illustration Palms John Ridland
81 Illustration Gleichmass der Unruhe
82 Inspiration David Jackson: Scenes from His Life David Jackson and James Merrill
83 Inspiration All My Relations Susan Lowdermilk
84 Inspiration Aliens in the Big Apple Zofia Zaremba
85 Inspiration As from a Fleece Gael Turnbull
86 Inspiration Agrippa William Gibson
87 Inspiration Batterers Denise Levertov
88 Inspiration The Red Ozier: A Literary Fine Press Michael Peich
89 Inspiration Cartesian Dreams Judith Mohns and Francois Deschamps
90 Inspiration Notebook Used Along the New Jersey Coast Walt Whitman


  • Books as Art Objects (Reading Is Optional). Michael Frank, The New York Times, January 2, 2004. [1]
  • Ninety from the Nineties: A Decade of Printing. (Catalogue of the exhibition at The New York Public Library.) Text by Virginia Bartow, curator, 2003.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Books as Art Objects (Reading Is Optional). Michael Frank, The New York Times, January 2, 2004. [2]
  • Ninety from the Nineties Showcases a Decade of The New York Public Library's Contemporary Rare Books Acquisitions, [3]