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Ediciones Vigía: The Art of Making Books

November 16, 2012, 6:30 PM

The Museum of Printing History is pleased to announce a very special weekend with Rolando Estévez, principal designer for the Cuban publishing collective Ediciones Vigía. Founded in 1985, Ediciones Vigía is located in the Plaza de la Vigía (Watchtower Square) in the city of Matanzas, east of Havana. Bound by hand, their limited-edition publications are mimeographed and hand colored. Artists take advantage of basic materials including scrap paper and decorate book covers with dried leaves, cloth, yarn, and cut out images.

Mr. Estévez will deliver a lecture on Friday, November 16th at 6:30 P.M. He will speak of the history and philosophy of Ediciones Vigía, in addition to materials and techniques of the collective’s unique publishing program. This event is free and open to the public.

Join Rolando Estévez on Saturday, November 17th for a unique bookmaking experience. Using a pre-selected, bilingual text, each student will complete his or her own bound book with unique illustrations, which will be cut, glued and subsequently colored, by hand. (Pre-registration is required). Please click here for more information on the workshop.

About Professor Rolando Estévez and Ediciones Vigía
Principal designer of Ediciones Vigía, Rolando Estévez was last year's recipient of Cuba's National Prize of Book Design. The publishing cooperative, Ediciones Vigía, uses the most basic printing techniques, thus highlighting the importance of craftsmanship. Ediciones Vigía concentrates on poetry, short stories, literary criticism, and literature for children. Some of the texts are published as the prize for first time authors, while others are existing works by famous writers including Rainer Maria Rilke, Dulce María Loynaz, and Jorge Luis Borges.

Ediciones Vigía was founded in April 1985. Its name comes from its location in the Plaza de la Vigía (Watchtower Square) in the city of Matanzas to the east of Havana, Cuba. Their publications are mimeographed, and the illustrations are cut, and subsequently colored, by hand. Two hundred copies of each are printed; they are numbered and generally signed by the author. Ediciones Vigía's publications include a variety of formats: books, magazines, loose sheets and scrolls. All are produced to the same standard and show the ingenuity of the group in the details as well as the concern for bibliographical accuracy, recording not just date and place of publication, but also listing who is responsible for design and manufacture.

Titles produced by Ediciones Vigía are currently held in special collections at prestigious US libraries such as the Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), University of Missouri at Columbia, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and University of Houston.


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