The engaging, lost story of an influential, 1920s Western New York private press is told in a newly released book, The Aries Press of Eden, New York pub- lished by RIT Press. A young Buffalo businessman channels his wide-ranging appreciation for art, fusing it to a high-profile printing press renowned for pro- ducing books valued as much for their art, as for their contents.
Spencer Kellogg Jr. founded the Aries Press in a small village south of Buffalo. The Press raised the aesthetic and technical standards for trade book pro- duction. Honor and recognition came immediately with its first book, The Ghost Ship, earning inclusion into the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ prestigious “50 Books Award of 1926.”
Kellogg was an active and visible presence in the Buffalo art world. He served as director of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in the early 1900s, today known as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
Before launching his private press, Kellogg’s love of books manifested itself at his Aries Book Shop, begun in 1921, in downtown Buffalo. The shop served as a comfortable retreat into a world of books and where noted speakers held infor- mal talks and small exhibitions were presented.
In his foreword to the book, Burchfield-Penny Art Center director Anthony Bannon describes Kellogg: “Wherever he went, people of like minds gathered. That he made art, one way or another, and through it created platforms for dis- course, is worthy of our attention.”
Author Richard Kegler hones in on both his hometown as well as his professional experience in print and publishing to tell the story of the quirky, enigmatic Kellogg and the Aries Press’s significant contributions to printing his- tory. Readers will gain unique insights on the emerging world of fine art photog- raphy and the world of book lovers in 1920s Western New York.
The book reports “a curious chapter in a long history of printing and inde- pendent publishing,” says Kegler. With many connections to renowned figures in the art, printing, and typographic scene of the 1920s, The Aries Press of Eden, New York is an essential read for those interested in Western New York history as well as print historians, private press movement scholars, typographers, print media scholars and appreciative lovers of books-as-art.
Title: The Aries Press of Eden, New York
Author: Richard Kegler
Pub. Date: May 2016
ISBN: 978-1-939125-21-7 96
Size: 6 x 9 in.
Binding: Hardcover with foil stamp
Images: 39, some color