Felicia Rice – Commemorative Broadside


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Felicia Rice, 2011.

This particular piece combines my interest in printmaking as well as in different periods of letterpress design work. The image looks and feels like a letterpress illustration from a children’s book of my childhood. The conservative symmetry of the type handling, the choice of Garamond types, reflect much of 20th century design, limited as it was by the letterpress technology of the day. The content of the broadside is drawn from a 19th century illustrated travel book on California dating from 1855…

I was looking for woodcuts or engravings from early California that could be applied to the centenary of women’s suffrage, which we’re also celebrating here in California, or the annihilation of the native people of California, or possibly the demise of the Californios, the earliest colonizers of California of Mexican origin. In this image by the author of the book I found all three and the opportunity to riff on a print by 19th century Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada of the seven deadly sins…The self-congratulatory and complacent voice of the Yankee (the text) contrasts with a somewhat grizzly and humorous image of the three—Native Americans, women, and Californios—burning at the stake. And this fundamental part of California history must not be forgotten.

-Felicia Rice, The Book Club of California’s 99th Birthday Gala,
December 12, 2011, San Francisco

18” x 12”. An edition of 75 designed and printed by Felicia Rice of Moving Parts Press on the occasion of the 99th Birthday of the Book Club of California, December 12, 2011. The image and type were reproduced using photopolymer plates, the type is Garamond, the paper is Japanese Kasuiri. Signed and numbered by the artist. Available for a tax-deductible donation of $75.

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