Bodoni, the Face Behind the Face

with Valerie Lester
Event detail
Add to my calendar

You are invited to a Type@Cooper West event. This lecture series is part of the Type@Cooper West certificate program and a partnership with the Cooper Union, the Letterform Archive, and the Book Arts & Special Collections Center which is home to the Grabhorn Collection on the History of Printing and the Harrison Collection of Calligraphy and Lettering at the San Francisco Public Library. This lecture series is free and open to the general public.

Valerie Lester is the author of the first English language biography of Giambattista Bodoni, the late 18th century Italian typographer, type-designer, compositor, printer, and publisher. Lester’s is an impressive feat of scholarship, both in her writing and research, and in the fact that she has made a book as lively and readable as it is impeccably researched. It contains some rarely-seen images of Bodoni’s work and is also beautifully designed and printed.

She delves deeply into Bodoni’s life, work, and milieu by providing the context of the time and place in which he lived. She introduces the people who deeply influenced him: his father in Saluzzo; Cardinal Spinelli in Rome; Fournier; his employers the Duke and Duchess of Parma; Guillaume du Tillot (the Prime Minister of Parma); the Amoretti family of printers; the Didots; his talented wife Margherita Dall’Aglio; and his two great patrons Nicolás de Azara and Joachim Murat (Napoleon’s brother-in-law).

Besides Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World (2014), Lester has authored Phiz, the Man Who Drew Dickens (2004); a biography of her great-great-grandfather, Hablot Knight Browne (Dickens's principal illustrator); and Fasten Your Seat Belts! History and Heroism in the Pan Am Cabin (1995.)

Please join us for this fascinating talk which is co-presented by the Book Arts & Special Collections Center, Type@Cooper West, and the Northern California Chapter of the American Printing History Association.

Take our survey