David Esslemont is an award-winning British artist, designer, printer, bookbinder, and publisher. Born in Northumberland, England, and a graduate of the Central School of Art and Design in London, Esslemont established his Press in 1978 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Printing and binding by hand he published a number of books with wood engravings by the eighteenth-century engraver Thomas Bewick and his contemporaries. From 1985–97 he was Controller of the Gregynog Press in Wales, and won the Felice Feliciano Award for Book Design in 1991.
Esslemont now lives in Iowa and works from his studio north of Decorah. “I am passionate about books – my aim is to make books that are not only a pleasure to read, but a delight to all the senses. In my painting I am continuing an exploration of scale: the relationship of detail to the macroscopic.”
Esslemont has lectured widely in the U.K. and U.S.A., and his work can be found in both private and public collections worldwide. His archive is held at the University of Iowa. His recent work includes illustrated editions of John Keats’ poem “To Autumn”, Wordsworth’s “The Prelude”, and Barack Obama’s inaugural address.
Esslemont’s exhibit of watercolours, paintings, prints and books span a period of forty years to compliment the Library’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
There will be a reception for Esslemont in Hovde Lounge Wednesday, September 30th from 3:30 – 5:30pm, which coincides with the Feast Day of St. Jerome, the patron saint of librarians, libraries, and archivists.