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Guide to the Ann Rosener Papers M1946
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Preferred Citation
  • Access to Collection
  • Publication Rights
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Acquisition Information

  • Title: Ann Rosener papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M1946
    Contributing Institution: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 20.0 Linear feet (21 manuscript boxes; 10 flat boxes)
    Date: circa 1900-2013
    Abstract: The collection contains correspondence, photographs, posters, exhibition catalogs, subject files, drafts, and business records documenting Ann Rosener's career as a photographer, designer, and publisher.
    creator: Rosener, Ann.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Ann Rosener papers (M1946). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Access to Collection

    The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/spc/using-collections/permission-publish.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Biographical Note

    Ann Rosener in her long life was active as a photographer, designer, and private press publisher. She was a native of San Francisco, where her grandparents settled in the mid-19th century; her father was a civil engineer. She graduated in 1935 from Smith College, where she took poetry and literature classes that helped shape her lifelong interests.
    During World War II, Rosener worked as a photojournalist in Washington for the Office of War Information. One of her assignments was to photograph women at home to show their ability to help the war effort, whether repairing vacuum cleaners or salvaging cooking grease for bombs. Her postwar portraits of Walter Gropius, Richard Neutra, Patrice Munsel, and Tennessee Williams, among others, were published in Life magazine.
    In the early 1950s Rosener returned to California, settling in the Los Angeles area. She married briefly and through her husband, the art dealer Frank Perls, she met artists and collectors. She continued to work as a photographer, but in 1951 she designed a museum for the Pacific Coast Borax Company in Death Valley, and in 1956 was involved in the production of the film "Around the World in 80 Days."
    After moving to the Bay Area, she worked at Stanford University from 1964 to 1988, designing exhibition catalogues and posters for the Stanford Museum of Art, as well as library bookplates and invitations to University functions.
    In 1976 Rosener acquired a Vandercook press and Chandler & Price presses and began to set type by hand. Her earliest effort was the poem by W. B. Yeats "The Coming of Wisdom with Time." Only a photocopy survives, but it shows the "First proofs made on the Vandercook 4 at Occasional Works in Woodside" date from December of 1976. A few other small projects date from the late 1970s and early 1980s, when she first hand set Bembo, then bought monotype Bembo from Mackenzie and Harris. Bembo remained her favorite typeface, whether metal or digital. After she retired, Rosener became more ambitious. Four books printed on the Vandercook involved collaborations with artists, incorporating original prints or facsimile reproductions. From 1992 new projects demanded greater skills as a printer and as a publisher: a collection of poetry by C. P. Cavafy with etchings by William Brice; two complex illustrated accordion-fold books; and two anthologies of poems that not only showed her far-ranging reading but involved considerable correspondence about permissions.
    Her letters demonstrate her wit and way with words. Rosener collaborated with several Bay Area printers (notably Eric Holub); for Jeff Maser, her agent and colleague, she printed a series of broadsides. She often designed papers for her book covers, and T&J Graphics in Redwood City supplied color printing as well as technical advice. From 1993 her books were bound by the Foolscap Press in Santa Cruz. Her last publications, dating from 2007–08, were significantly poetry broadsides, the last a translation of an ode by Horace that recalls the subject of the Yeats poem of 1976.
    Biography from the 2013 Mills College Library exhibit, "Ann Rosener: Designer, Printer, and Publisher"— curated by Linda Brownrigg and Betsy Fryberger.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection contains correspondence, photographs, posters, exhibition catalogs, subject files, drafts, and business records documenting Ann Rosener's career as a photographer, designer, and publisher. It includes photographs from her work for the Office of War Information, portraits of artists such as William Brice and Rico Lebrun, and photographs of family, friends, and travels. Rosener's research for the film Around the World in 80 Days (1956) is also included in the collection, as well as her photographs and design work for the Borax Museum and the Frank Perls Gallery. Other materials of interest include posters and exhibition catalogs designed for the Stanford Art Museum, Art Department, and the Stanford Development Office. The collection also contains correspondence, drafts, and business records from her private press, Occasional Works.


    The Collection is arranged into seven series:
    Series 1. Personal
    Series 2. Correspondence
    Series 3. Travel
    Series 4. Professional
    Series 5. Stanford University
    Series 6. Photographs
    Series 7. Artwork

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was given by Nancy Packer to Stanford University, Special Collections in October, 2012.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Brice, William, 1921-2008
    Frank Perls Gallery.
    Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964
    Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
    Occasional Works (Firm).
    Pacific Coast Borax Company
    Rosener, Ann.
    Stanford University. Department of Art and Art History.
    Stanford University. Museum of Art
    United States. Office of War Information.
    Book design.
    Private press books--United States.