The Stinehour Press of Lunenburg, Vermont, has announced that it will cease operations as of Monday. Stinehour has a longstanding reputation as one of the best quality book printers in America. The Press has won more than 50 awards for its books and has a long and prestigious client list.
Stinehour published many photography books over the years (by itself or in collaboration with other printers, designers, and binderies) and enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for the superlative quality of its productions. "Printed at the Stinehour Press, Lunenburg, Vermont" was for decades virtually the stamp of excellence in photography book printing and design.
Founded by Roderick Stinehour in 1952, the Press was owned by the Stinehour family until it was sold to an Irish conglomerate in 1998. When the parent company decided to leave the printing business in 2001, Stinehour was purchased by a small group of its managers. The group now lacks the capital to modernize the press's physical plant and equipment sufficiently to enable it to compete for business.
A skeleton crew from among the current 21 employees will stay on to complete ongoing projects, and management says it will do all it can to help its highly skilled workforce to transition.
Really good reproduction of photographs in books has never been an automatic process, but requires care, attention, judgment, and craft. The artisans of Stinehour Press created many beautiful examples over the years, which remain as a testament to the company's devotion to the art of fine bookmaking.
Mike (Thanks to Oren)
Geoff Wittig comments: This is a genuine tragedy, the demise of one of the few genuinely artistic book printers in America. Stinehour was chosen by Joseph Blumenthal for his seminal works The Art of the Printed Book, and The Printed Book in America. Christopher Burkett, one of today's finest practicing color landscape photographers, worked at Stinehour Press in the late 1980s doing their 4-color offset printing.
Back in the 1920s–1930s, fine book printing was recognized as an art form in its own right. Truly gifted artisans like the Grabhorn brothers and Bruce Rogers printed books whose artistic qualities matched the words they carried. Stinehour Press was a living link to that artistic tradition, surviving in an age of giant publishing conglomerates grinding out multi-million copy first-printings of the latest Grisham thriller.
And now they're gone too.