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Alan James Robinson [born 1950]


[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

ROBINSON, Alan James [born ca1950]

Songbirds I & Songbirds II


two folio volumes / Cheloniidae Press

Alan James Robinson is a renowned artist who has devoted much of his career to nature. From his Cheloniidae Press in Easthampton, Massachusetts have come several letterpress books focused on birds, sea turtles, fish (especially trout and salmon). These folios treat the North American songbird, as described on-line:

One of 150 copies each, both volumes with the same number, two portfolios of 15 hand water-colored etchings each, totaling 30 hand-colored etchings, signed and numbered by the artist, Alan James Robinson, with hand-written names of birds, all on cream Arches paper. Page size: 8-1/2 x 11-1/8 inches; 18 leaves. Bound: loose in 1/4 gray morocco leather and tan cloth over boards clamshell box with light blue label stamped in gold with the title and date and the sea turtle logo of Cheloniidae Press within a gilt rule; box by Grey Parrot, fine. Each etching is a portrait of the male and female bird, laid into a light blue Fabriano paper folder and is accompanied by a title page, half title, and colophon printed by Harold Patrick McGrath at Hampshire Typothetae. Each title page and colophon includes a hand-colored wood engraving by Alan James Robinson of one of the birds included in the portfolio (in another view of the species). In Volume I the birds included are: Blue Jay, Robin, Wood thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Chickadee, Titmouse, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Hooded Warbler, Goldfinch, Meadowlark, Red Crossbill, Mockingbird, and Bewick’s Wren. Included in Volume II are: Bluebird, Oriole, Towhee, Brown Thrasher, Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Ovenbird, Catbird, Starling, Kinglet, Yellow-throated Warbler, Evening Grosbeak, Junco, Bobolink, and White-throated Sparrow.
This remarkable addition to the collection is in a format not well represented here—the livre d’artiste or artist-illustrated book.


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