International Biennial Book Art Fair & Symposium
February 4–7, 2024
Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, 10 10th Street, Oakland, CA
The first volume in a collection exploring themes of colonial greed and manifest destiny during the early nineteenth century. Through successive treaties with the U. S. government, indigenous tribes were coerced into selling and relinquishing their ancestral homelands.
The Ho-Chunk’s displacement from their lands in Wisconsin and Illinois territories led them to the "Neutral Ground" in northeast Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and eventually Nebraska. Throughout this forced migration, a few of the Hocąk persistently made their way back to Wisconsin, amid profound adversity.
1829:Treaty 156, examines in detail a treaty in which the Ho-Chunk (known then as the Winnebago) relinquish the resource-rich "Lead Mine Region" – around 2.76 million-acres, for a paltry 0.195¢ per acre. Letters exchanged between the organizers, together with the official journal of the council or “talk”, before the treaty is drafted, shed light on the political intricacies of the time and the struggles facing the Ho-Chunk.
Within this narrative, the story exposes an array of characters – on the one hand, the “Great Father” (the president of the United States), generals, governors, Indian agents, fur traders and many others who play significant roles in the treaty’s orchestration, revealing a tapestry of power, wealth, familial connections and influence that extended well beyond the council fire – on the other, the chiefs, head men, families, and friends of the Ho-Chunk.
With maps (both old and new), portraits, documents and Esslemont’s artwork.
February 2023 || Thirty copies: $400
Following recent cataract surgery I now see a brighter, sharper world with great clarity.
Curiosity led me to the medical treatise De Medicina, written around 30 AD by Aurelius Cornelius Celsus. Thought to be part of a larger encyclopedia it includes a chapter on the description and treatment of cataracts: ‘De Cataractis’.
I am pleased to present three pages from a fifteenth-century copy of De Medicina in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence, together with a Latin transcript and an English translation.
MrBeast didn’t pay for my surgery but I can wholly recommend the procedure. I hope the curious will find Celsus’s description an interesting read and enjoy lifting the veils of Gampi paper to reveal the effect of phacoemulsification with intraoculaur lens Model DCB00 implantation.
30 copies: printed inkjet
May 2022 || Thirty copies: $800 – out of print
Original unique copy, please enquire
David Esslemont responds to Simon Armitage’s poem written in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. "It’s war again", writes the British Poet Laureate, and Esslemont’s illustrations remind us of the recurrent and ubiquitous nature of war. Based on contemporary and archive images he weaves calligraphic words drawn not only from the poem but also transcripts of Pathé newsreels, a list of wars spanning two thousand years, Putin’s menacing declaration of his mission (in Russian), the Ukrainian national anthem, news headlines, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech to the British parliament. The poem is set in Genau, a typeface designed by Aleksey Popovtsev. Solmentes Press will donate 5% of net sales to Ukraine TrustChain whose teams are helping families in Ukraine.
30 copies: printed inkjet
March 2020 || Regular edition: $1800
Deluxe edition: $4800
In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice climbs through a mirror into another world where she finds many strange things including a book written in mirror-writing. David Esslemont illustrates each line of this classic nonsense poem with linocuts. His calligraphic text is printed in reverse.
September 2017 || Regular edition: $2400
Deluxe edition: Out of print
This visual narrative tells the story in woodcuts and linocuts of how Esslemont literally grew a pizza on his farm in rural Iowa. Wholly embracing the farm-to-table movement, he grows wheat, garlic, tomatoes and basil; designs and builds an adobe clay oven (scale plans included); gives instructions on how to make the dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese; fire up the oven, assemble the pizza and cook it in less than three minutes.