University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Limited Editions Club:

An Inventory of Its Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Limited Editions Club
Title: Limited Editions Club Collection
Dates: 1988-2001
Abstract: The collection includes eighteen signed artists' portfolios and one separate print, by seventeen different artists. Fourteen of the artists are American, including eight African Americans. Also included are portfolios by the French artists Balthus and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the Italian artist Francesco Clemente.
Extent: 18 portfolios, 1 folder (124 prints)
Repository: Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Company History

The Limited Editions Club—founded in 1929 by George Macy (1900-1956)—published fine, illustrated books in limited numbers for member subscribers. Designed and illustrated on fine paper by leading figures in the graphic arts, most titles were classics, limited to 1500 copies. After Macy's death in 1956, his wife continued the work of the firm until 1968 when son Jonathan assumed leadership. The firm was sold to the Boise-Cascade Company in 1970. Sidney Shiff, the current owner, purchased the Limited Editions Club in 1979.

Shiff, whose background was in Wall Street investments, transformed the Limited Editions Club by concentrating on livres d'artiste. He purposefully commissioned renowned artists—including many African-Americans—and commissioned master printers and fine presses to oversee a given book's design; artistic inspiration prevailed. Targeting print connoisseurs and contemporary collectors, Shiff raised the overall quality of the books and offered club members signed artists' portfolios. The book illustrations and signed artists' prints are one and the same.

Scope and Contents

The Limited Editions Club Collection comprises eighteen signed artists' portfolios of 123 prints, and one separate print, by seventeen different artists. Fourteen of the artists are American, including eight African-Americans. The collection also has portfolios by the French artists Balthus and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the Italian artist Francesco Clemente.

The works are listed alphabetically by artist. The descriptions include titles of the corresponding book, and for those books held in the Ransom Center's Library, the call number is listed. The date of the prints is the same as the corresponding book unless otherwise noted.

Additional portfolios are expected.



Open for research. A minimum of twenty-four hours is required to pull art materials to the Reading Room.

Related Material

The Art Collection also holds the George Macy Companies Collection, including art files of works by over 100 artists executed for the Limited Editions Club and the Heritage Press, circa 1930-1967. The Ransom Center has an additional five Limited Editions Club signed artists' portfolios in the Photography Collection. The archives of the George Macy Company are available in the Manuscripts Collection, as are numerous related published works in the Library.

Administrative Information


Purchases (R14122, R14350, R14826, R14873), 1998-2001, and Gifts (G10730, G11162, G11244, G11453), 1996-1998

Processed by:

Helen Young, 2002


Grossman, Carol. "East Side Story: Two Faces of the Limited Editions Club."  Biblio 4, no. 3 (March 1999): 30-39.

Fleming, Margaret W. "Limited Editions Club."  Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 46: American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980: Trade and Paperback, ed. Peter Dzwonkoski. Detroit: Gale Research, 1986.

Limited Editions Club Collection--Item List

13 [Illustrations for Octavio Paz's Sight and Touch]. 1994.
5 items: t.p., colophon, 3 prints (woodcut, col.); 57.1 x 43.2 cm., in case 63.2 x 59.8 cm.
Edition: 3/51. Book available as -f- PQ7297.P285 V57 1994 HRC
10 Fifteen Lithographs for Wuthering Heights [illustrations for Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights]. 1993.
17 items: t.p., colophon, 15 prints (lithograph); 56.3 x 48.3 cm., in case 60.1 x 51.5 cm.
Edition: 28/51. Book available as -f- PR4172.W7 1993 HRC
11 The Sonnets to Orpheus, Suite [illustrations for Rainer Maria Rilke's The Sonnets to Orpheus]. 1997.
5 items: t.p., 2 colophons, 2 prints (woodcut, col.); 40.3 x 40.3 cm., in case 44.5 x 43.5 cm.
Edition: 42/60. Book available as f- PT2635.I65 S613 1997 HRC
8 Beasley, Phoebe. Phoebe Beasley: The Langston Hughes Suite [illustrations for Langston Hughes' Sunrise is Coming after While]. 1998.
8 items: t.p., colophon, 6 prints (screen print, col.); 53.3 x 43.3 cm., in case 57.8 x 47.2 cm.
Edition: 10/99.
6 Biggers, John. [Illustrations for Maya Angelou's Our Grandmothers]. 1994.
7 items: t.p., colophon, 5 prints (lithograph); 61 x 45.8 cm., in case 63.8 x 48 cm.
Edition: 10/60. Book available as -f- PS3551.N464 O97 1994 HRC
12 Cartier-Bresson, Henri. [Illustrations for Arthur Rimbaud's Vowels]. 1996.
5 items: t.p., colophon, 3 prints (woodcut, col.); 46 x 46 cm., in case 48.3 x 48.8 cm.
Edition: 4/60. Book available as -f- PQ2387.R5 V6 1996 HRC
9 Catlett, Elizabeth. [Illustrations for Margaret Walker's For My People]. 1992.
8 items: t.p., colophon, 6 prints (lithograph, col.); 57.9 x 47.3 cm., in case 60.2 x 49.1 cm.
Edition: H/C III. Book available as -f- PS3545.A517 F6 1992 HRC
17 Clemente, Francesco. Cathay [illustrations for Ezra Pound's translation of Li Po's poems, Cathay: Poems after Li Po]. 1992.
9 items: t.p., colophon, 7 prints (woodcut, col.), on sheets with letterpress; 31.9 x 22.3 cm., in case 36 x 86.5 cm.
Edition: Arch 1/2. Book available as -q- PL3277.E3 P6 1992 HRC
5 Crite, Allan Rohan. [Illustrations for The Revelation of Saint John the Divine]. [1995], 1994.
17 items: t.p., colophon, 15 prints (engraving, relief); 51.2 x 43.3 cm., in case 56.1 x 47 cm.
Edition: 37/60. Book available as -f- BS2823 1995 HRC
18 De Kooning, Willem. [Illustrations and letterpress for Frank O'Hara's Poems]. 1988.
21 items: t.p., introduction, colophon, box, 17 prints (lithograph), 61.2 x 96.6 cm., in case: 68 x 102.9 cm.
Edition: VI/XII. Book available as: -f- PS3529.H28 A6 1988 HRC
14 Freilicher, Jane. [Landscape with shrubs, trees; illustration for John Ashbery's Description of a Masque]. [1998], undated.
1 item: print (woodcut, col.), image 29.1 x 22.8 cm., on sheet 44.6 x 38.1 cm.
Edition: 29/39.
1 Hejduk, John. Eight Lithographs [illustrations for Thomas Mann's The Black Swan]. 1990.
10 items: t.p., colophon, 8 prints (lithograph, col.), 33.2 x 24.2 cm., in case 35.3 x 26.1 cm.
Edition: 18/25. Book available as: -q- PT2625.A44 B4713 1990 HRC
7 Jones, Loïs Mailou. [Illustrations for Léopold Sédar Senghor's Poems of Léopold Sédar Senghor]. 1996.
8 items: t.p., colophon, 6 prints (screen prints, col.), 52.6 x 42.3 cm., in case 55.2 x 44.5 cm.
Edition: Arch I/II. Book available as: -f- PQ3989.S47 P6 1996 HRC
19 Kelly, Ellsworth. [Illustrations for Stéphan Mallarmé's Un Coup de Dés...]. 1992.
7 items: 2 t.p.s, colophon, 4 prints (lithograph, col.), 63.8 x 54.6 cm., in case 67.5 x 57.4 cm.
Edition: Archive II. Book available as: -f- PQ2344.C6 1992 HRC
15 Lawrence, Jacob. Eight Passages [illustrations for The First Book of Moses, called Genesis]. 1989.
10 items: t.p., colophon, 8 prints (screen prints, col.), 66 x 100.1 cm., in case 72.2 x 107.9 cm.
Edition: 4/22. Book available as: -f- BS 1233 L397 1989 HRC
2 Saar, Betye. [Illustrations for Zora Neale Hurston's Bookmarks in the Pages of Life]. 2000.
9 items: t.p., table, colophon, 6 prints (screen prints, col.), 37.4 x 27.8 cm., in case 41.2 x 31 cm.
Edition: 29/75. Book available as: -f- PS3515.U789 B66 2000 HRC
16 Scully, Sean. [Illustrations for Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness]. 1992.
6 items: t.p., colophon, 4 prints (etching, col.), 58.3 x 96.5 cm., in case 63.3 x 101.6 cm.
Edition: 9/12. Book available as: -q- PR6005.O4 H4 1992 HRC
4 Welliver, Neil. Two Etchings [illustrations for William Faulkner's Hunting Stories]. 1988.
3 items: t.p./colophon, 2 prints (etching, col.), 48.5 x 37.9 cm., in case 51.1 x 40.3 cm.
Edition: 59/75. Book available as: -q- PS3511.A86 H8 1988 HRC
3 Wilson, John. [Illustrations for Richard Wright's Down by the Riverside]. 2001.
9 items: t.p., table, colophon, 6 prints (etching, col.), 30 x 40.3 cm., in case 32.6 x 44 cm.
Edition: 5/60.