The Art of the Book: TU's McFarlin Library Acquires a Copy of Eric Gill's "The Four Gospels"

Mar 4, 2014

Last month, it was announced that the University of Tulsa's McFarlin Library had acquired a rare, well-preserved copy of a large, handmade, and lavishly decorated book that's seen by many experts as one the most handsome illustrated books produced during the 20th century. Published by Golden Cockerel Press in 1931, "The Four Gospels" is a sterling example of the renaissance in artistry and craftsmanship in British book design/production that occurred in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Created by the famed British sculptor, printmaker, and typographer Eric Gill, "The Four Gospels" had a print run of only 488 copies --- it's a remarkable work of art (and of publishing) that calls to mind the Arts and Crafts and Art Deco movements as well as the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Our guest on this edition of ST is Adrian Alexander, the R.M. and Ida McFarlin Dean of TU's McFarlin Library, who speaks in fascinating detail about this book, its life and times, its importance to TU, and its strange and troubled yet artistically brilliant creator. (Also, you can learn more about TU's newly acquired copy of Gill's masterpiece at this link from the University's website.)