The Wilson Limited Editions Collection was donated to the Nashville Public Library by local author and book collector Dr. Sadye Tune Wilson in 2001, through the Nashville Public Library Foundation.
The Limited Editions Collection includes over 800 books, dating from 1929 to the present, most published by the Limited Editions Club and Arion Press, as well as separate portfolios of some of the fine artwork that illustrates many of the beautifully-bound books. Books and artwork from the collection are on display in the East Reading room at the Main Library during regular hours.
What is a Limited Edition book?
A limited edition book differs from regular books in that the publisher limits the printing to a specific number, typically fewer than 1,000 copies. Because the publisher is focusing on a smaller number of books, they can include artwork, high-quality paper, hand printing, and beautiful or unusual bindings. In some cases, the publisher will also print the same artwork from the books in editions of separate prints, suitable for framing. Often the author and the artist sign the books. Limited editions, not to be confused with first editions, allow the reader to enjoy the art of the book as well as the content.
About the Limited Editions Club
George Macy founded the Limited Editions Club in 1929 as a fine press book-of-the-month club. Publishing in New York City, the Limited Editions Club has never owned a press of its own. Instead, the books have been designed, illustrated, and produced by artisans in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 1978, Sid Shiff bought the club, bringing more emphasis to the artistic value of the books. Over the years, such renowned artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Betye Saar, Robert Motherwell, and Willem de Kooning have illustrated the club’s books. Mr. Shiff has worked with talented modern writers, such as Octavio Paz and Seamus Heaney, who each had works published by the Limited Editions Club prior to receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1983, the Limited Editions Club began featuring great African-American artists and authors, including Jacob Lawrence, Derek Walcott, and Maya Angelou. It continues to publish beautiful, unique books and prints.
About Arion Press
In 1974, Arion Press was formed by Andrew Hoyem in San Francisco, a city with a long tradition of fine printing. The Press was named after the legendary Greek poet, Arion, who was saved by a dolphin when lost at sea. Arion Press produces all of its own books, which are crafted primarily by hand, using materials such as hot metal type, handmade paper, and leather bindings. Titles range from ancient literature to modern classics, from Bible selections to Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. Authors include Sigmund Freud, Herman Melville, Gertrude Stein, and Arthur Miller. Prominent artists, such as Jim Dine, Wayne Thiebaud, Ida Applebroog, and Richard Diebenkorn often illustrate the books. In 2001, Arion Press moved to the San Francisco Presidio, where they continue to produce their extraordinary books.
Viewing the Collection
Individual appointments to view materials not currently on display may be arranged by calling +1-615-862-5804 x6092.