, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“In the zoo we see, on a small scale, how different all animals are from each other…We have to live together whether we like it or not.”


George Kuthan (1916-1966)
Vancouver: Heavenly Monkey, 2003

Descriptive text about six animals – a raccoon, flamingo, anteater, penguin, monkey and peacock – each representing a different part of the world and each viewed by the artist at the Vancouver Zoo. Illustrated with multi-color linocuts by George Kuthan. Kuthan studied art at the University of Prague and in Paris before he moved to Canada.

Kuthan’s Menagerie of Interesting Zoo Animals was first published in an edition of one hundred and thirty copies by Nevermore Press, a single private enterprise by Robert and Felicity Reid, in 1960. Sixty of these copies were bound in quarter leather and Japanese paper over boards. Kuthan and the binder both died soon after this first publication. The remaining sheets were left unbound and unsold. Vancouver booksellers Stephen Lunsford and William Hoffer bought the unbound copies from the original binder’s estate in the late 1980s.

Heavenly Monkey issued the remaining sheets within a sheet of yellow Japanese paper (which served as the endsheets for the bound edition). New content (a title-page, preface and colophon) was set by hand in 18 pt. Perpetua and printed on blank and waste sheets of the original Golden Hind laid paper. The whole is in an outer wrap of St. Armand handmade paper and housed in a custom clamshell box covered in red Japanese fabric, with printed debossed paper labels, designed and made by Simone Mynen. The work is comprised of sixteen sheets loose, printed landscape on one side and folded folio, plus three sheets of additional matter. Printer Robert Reid explained that the folded sheets helped solve two problems: the translucent quality of the paper and to add to the bulk of the book when bound. Edition of fifty copies. University of Utah copy is no. 7, signed by Robert Reid.