175 Years of a Bloomsbury Publisher

batsford general.JPGThe small but interesting exhibition celebrating 175 years of the London publisher Batsford (now an imprint of Pavilion, based in nearby Bloomsbury) is fittingly being held in the capital's Holborn area where Bradley Thomas Batsford first set up shop in 1843. The last of the 18th-century publisher-booksellers, Batsford initially concentrated on medical titles but quickly focused on art, architecture, fashion, and heritage. The exhibition--sadly, all displayed in glass cabinets--features a wide range of its highly illustrated titles including Architectural Works of Inigo Jones (1901) by Henry Tanner and Inigo Triggs, Cecil Beaton's Scrapbook (1937) and Gertrude Stein's memoir Wars I Have Seen (1945) as well as the iconic colorful artwork produced for the travel titles by Brian Cook, one of the Batsford family himself. There is also a copy of J.K. Colling's English Medieval Foliage and Coloured Decoration (1874) on show, the first publication released under the Batsford imprint, plus more recent unusual titles including the guidebook London and the Single Girl by Betty James (1967) and The Cat-Lover's Bedside Book edited by Grace Pond (1974). 


batsford beaton.JPGCurated by Frida Green, Vaughan Grylls, Helen Lewis, and Tina Persaud, Batsford: 175 Years of a Bloomsbury Publisher runs until June 28 at the Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre


Images: (Top) Installation view of the Batsford exhibition featuring Cook's imaginary Scottish scene incorporating Eilean Donan Castle from the dust jacket of The Face of Scotland by Harry Batsford and Charles Fry, 1933; (Middle) Beaton's Scrapbook (under glass). Courtesy of the author