New Additions to the AP/RC: Ex Libris Prints for Henry Klein

Henry Klein has for decades been an integral conduit between United States audiences and central and eastern European printmakers. Through kleinprint, his Los Angeles-based business, he has had a particularly long interest in what he describes as “small format” graphic arts. Over many years, Klein commissioned ex libris  prints (also known as bookplates) from a wide range of artists in Europe. Potentially marking books from Klein’s personal library, the range of artists who created these images represents well the diversity and creative energy of the graphic arts in central and eastern Europe. All of the works are quite small, most ranging in size from about 8×6 to 2×3 inches.

While artworks from central and eastern Europe are not a central focus of the AP/RC, the opportunity to include in this print collection a body of comparative works from elsewhere in the world was of critical significance to us. Klein’s gift of over fifty of his commissioned ex libris prints from artists working in Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Germany, Ukraine and other countries add rich and unexplored context to our core collections. The AP/RC is fortunate to have such a friend as Klein and we are grateful to him for his 2019 and 2020 donations.

Klein has long been active in American and European printmaking. He is a professor emeritus at Los Angeles Valley College where he directed the printmaking laboratory and served as head of the art department. In addition he has served on the boards of Southern Graphics Council International, the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at UCLA’s Hammer Museum and the American Print Alliance.


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