Mont-Saint-Michel is a French islet on which stands an immense Benedictine abbey built, slowly, between the 11th and 16th centuries. This book portrays the Gothic beauty of Mont-Saint-Michel through Michael Kenna’s ethereal contemporary photography and Henry Adams’ stately turn-of-the-last-century prose. Adams, an historian and writer, originally printed Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres privately in 1904 and it was first published commercially in 1913. His essay discusses how cathedrals and abbeys such as Mont-Saint-Michel mirror the medieval worldview. An abridged version is reprinted here.

Fourteen platinum prints of Kenna’s work are tipped in to the book hors texte with an additional platinum print loose in a paper portfolio printed with the title and the artist’s name. The prints were printed by John Marcy and are all signed by Michael Kenna. The book features an introduction by John Wood and a critical essay by Lance Speer.

The book is bound in decorative heavyweight paper with the title stamped in silver on the cover. The text was set in Garamond by Michael and Winifred Bixler and printed by Michael Russem at Kat Ran Press. The binding was designed and executed by Sarah Creighton. The book and portfolio are housed in a dark grey silk-covered case with a paper label on the spine showing the title, author’s name, and artist’s name stamped in silver.

This out-of-print book is number 53 out of an edition of 60 numbered copies and 15 lettered copies hors commerce. It is signed by Michael Kenna, John Wood, Lance Speer, and publisher Steven Albahari at the colophon.

 

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