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Guide to the Mallette Dean Ephemera
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mallette Dean ephemera
    Dates: 1915-1975
    Repository: The Book Club of California
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Book Club of California has not been assigned copyright of the collection. Requests for permission to publish or quote must be submitted in writing to the Club Librarian and pertains only to the use of the physical item. For materials still under copyright, users are also responsible for obtaining permission from the rights holder.

    Preferred Citation

    Mallette Dean ephemera, The Book Club of California, San Francisco, CA.


    Harold Mallette Dean (1907-1975), was born in Spokane, Washington where he lived until 1927. He then moved to San Francisco where he studied at the California School of Fine Arts for three and a half years. Between 1929 and 1940 he received many awards for his painting and prints. From 1934 to 1941and from 1945 to 1950 he illustrated books for the Grabhorn Press and others. In 1950 he started working as a free-lance artist and printer at his home in Fairfield, Marin County. He provided illustrations for books by the Colt Press, the Allen Press, Taylor & Taylor, Dawson's, James Beard, and others. He bought a Colt's Armory press in 1939 and used it mainly for printing greeting cards and bookplates. In late 1951, Lewis Allen suggested he illustrate and print a book of beasts, plants, and stones, translated from Greek and in 1953, his first book, 'Physiologus,' was completed and became the Book Club of California's Christmas book that year. He went on to print several other books for the Book Club. In addition, he did other printing including stationary, announcements, and cards.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Two archive boxes, one containing wood blocks, the other containing 6 file folders.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Dean, Mallette, 1907-1975
    Letterpress printing
    Private presses--California
    Printed ephemera

    Related Material

    "Mallette Dean, a Printmaker and His Art," written by John T. Hawk and published by the Book Club of California, will also be of interest to Dean researchers. The illustrated bibliography, which includes more than 625 entries and 200 illustrations, records Mallette Dean’s creative work from his prints and paintings to the books he illustrated and printed. Additionally, the book has sections devoted to printed ephemera, bookplates, printers’ devices, and a chronology of Dean’s exhibitions including works exhibited. Contemporary wood engraver Richard Wagener has written a foreword. John Hawk’s biographical essay traces the arc of Dean’s career and provides context among his many projects and commissions.
    In the tradition of other distinguished titles published by the Book Club of California, Mallette Dean, a Printmaker and His Art is a foundational bibliography and an important chapter in the history of printing in the West. The book also shines light on the Federal Art Project and printmaking in California in the 1930s, documenting the work of an engaged and active artist of the period. The book includes an index, making it especially useful as a reference for collectors, curators, researchers, and all those who wish to learn more about the artistry of Mallette Dean and the history of the fine press book in California.