Vermont: Janus Press, 1993
Rare Book & Special Collections
Night Street, featuring the poetry of Barbara Luck and illustrated
by Lois Johnson, is a book in which the design truly bears the influence
of the content.
Published by the Janus Press, a small but important printing venture,
the book is an example of the creativity of the small press movement
in America--a movement devoted to the book as a product of collaborative
and intensely aesthetic energies on the part of several artists
and craftsmen, whether they be artisans of the word, of the visual
image, or of the printed and bound page.
The Janus Press was founded by Claire Van Vliet in 1955, and with
unflagging energy she has run the press for more than forty years.
The Library has collected her work from the press's inception, and
recently it received the entire Janus Press archives, comprising
drawings, proofs, layouts, and designs for each book Van Vliet has
produced. The press strives for a balance between various claims
to attention and affection that a book exerts upon the reader/viewer/handler.
The Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library
of Congress has long collected premier examples of the book arts,
from the Middle Ages to the present, and is the repository of the
collections of the early-twentieth-century book designers Frederic
Goudy and Bruce Rogers, as well as contemporaries of Van Vliet such
as Leonard Baskin of Gehenna Press and Timothy Ely.