Helen Elletson, Curator for The William Morris Museum holding two posters — the “Kelmscott Press” and the “Village Press,” each dramatic image integrates elements of the trusted Albion letterpress which William Morris used to create legendary Arts & Crafts impressions. These posters were created in celebration of the upcoming 115th Anniversary of the Village Press which Frederic W. Goudy established in Park Ridge, Illinois.
The first poster was inspired by the Kelmscott Press, founded by William Morris in Hammersmith,London, in 1891, where he produced the highly-regarded book, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1896). This poster is a tribute to William Morris and his Arts and Crafts ideas which inspired The Park Ridge Art Colony — from Frederic W. Goudy to Clara Barck Welles and her hand-wrought pieces by Kalo artists that were the preeminent silver of the American Arts & Crafts movement.
The second poster celebrates the artistry and craftsmanship of The Village Press, founded in 1903 by Frederic W. Goudy in Park Ridge, Illinois. The Village Press venture was modeled on the ideals of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. The first publication of The Village Press was the William Morris essay, Printing which was awarded prizes at the 1904 World Exhibition in St. Louis. The Village Press went on to publish The Door in the Wall & Other Stories by H. G. Wells, Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving and many other classic impressions.
It was Goudy’s international reputation for type design that made this private press so extraordinary. In 1924, Goudy purchased a model Albion letterpress used by William Morris himself. That press is now famously called the Kelmscott/Goudy Press and is in the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology.