Mallette Dean, A Printmaker and His Art / Deluxe Edition


2018. BCC publication number 237.

Written by John T. Hawk

A major figure in the history of the fine press book in California, H. Mallette Dean (1907–1975) was a prolific artist whose career as a printmaker, painter, muralist, illustrator, and letterpress printer spanned several decades. He designed, illustrated, and printed several titles for the Book Club of California and contributed initials and ornaments to dozens of books published by eminent California presses. Mallette Dean’s story is closely intertwined with that of the Grabhorn Press, the Colt Press, the Allen Press, and the Book Club of California. His story is also that of a successful artist and printmaker whose paintings, wood engravings, and linocuts were exhibited across the country and received widespread acclaim.

The illustrated bibliography, which includes more than 625 entries and 200 illustrations, records Mallette Dean’s creative work from his prints and paintings to the books he illustrated and printed. Additionally, the book has sections devoted to printed ephemera, bookplates, printers’ devices, and a chronology of Dean’s exhibitions including works exhibited. Contemporary wood engraver Richard Wagener has written a foreword. John Hawk’s biographical essay traces the arc of Dean’s career and provides context among his many projects and commissions.

In the tradition of other distinguished titles published by the Book Club of California, Mallette Dean, a Printmaker and His Art is a foundational bibliography and an important chapter in the history of printing in the West. The book also shines light on the Federal Art Project and printmaking in California in the 1930s, documenting the work of an engaged and active artist of the period. The book includes an index, making it especially useful as a reference for collectors, curators, researchers, and all those who wish to learn more about the artistry of Mallette Dean and the history of the fine press book in California.

John Hawk is Head Librarian of Special Collections & University Archives at the University of San Francisco. He is a graduate of Reed College and received his M.L.I.S. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a past president of the Book Club of California.

The Book Club of California’s 237th publication, Mallette Dean, a Printmaker and His Art,
was designed and produced by Peter Rutledge Koch with typesetting and pre-press
by Jonathan Gerken for the Book Club of California. The typeface is FF Quadraat
designed by the Dutch designer Fred Smeijers. The display typefaces are Greco
Adornado, an ornamental typeface originally of Spanish origin, and Copperplate
Gothic by Frederic W. Goudy. The printing and binding was accomplished by
Puritan Press in Hollis, New Hampshire under the direction of Jay Stewart.

The edition is limited to 350 numbered copies, signed by the author. 176 pp. 11 x
7½ inches. Of the edition, 25 deluxe copies numbered 1-25 are issued
in a special quarter leather binding by Claudia Cohen, bookbinder, and housed in
a slipcase. The deluxe edition includes a wood engraving printed from Mallette
Dean’s original block.

Publication date: September 17, 2018.

To view and print the order form, please click here. Completed order forms should be mailed to the Book Club of California, ATTN: Mallette Dean Order, 312 Sutter Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94108.

For international orders, please contact contact Quynh Nguyen at and include your full mailing address in the body of the email.

Napa Valley web design and development