Vermont Vigilance

Above: The Newsprint Edition

Printed by Minsky on the Kelmscott - Goudy Iron Handpress
at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology

In April, 2017 Richard Minsky was Artist-in-Residence at the RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection. He printed Vermont Vigilance and other works on the same Albion handpress acquired in 1895 by William Morris for his Kelmscott Press to produce the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. The press was brought to the USA in 1924 by artist and type designer Frederic W. Goudy. The Minsky residency was arranged by Dr. Steven K. Galbraith, Curator of the Cary Collection, and facilitated by Associate Curator Amelia J Hugill-Fontanel. RIT student Brendon Stowe assisted with the presswork.

Above: The K-G Albion Handpress

Vermont Vigilance

A fictional four page pamphlet in It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (1935), a novel in which a populist president is elected in the USA and becomes a demagogue. All laws were made to benefit corporations. After the 2016 election it became a best seller. Vermont Vigilance is published by the New Underground resistance on "an old hand printing-press" stolen from the basement of the newspaper office where the protagonist was editor, using 8 point type stolen a pocketfull at a time. One way of distributing the pamphlets was to surreptitiously insert them into other publications.
      Vermont Vigilance printed on the Kelmscott-Goudy Albion handpress
is not a reproduction, since the original never existed as a real artifact. It is set in typefaces that were popular at the time the story takes place (1938): Old English for the masthead, 8 point Times New Roman for the body, and Goudy Sans for the headlines. 

Above: The Newsprint Edition

The content of this pamphlet combines some text from the novel with some created by Minsky. There are two editions: six copies are on newsprint, signed on the blank last page  and numbered 1 to 6, and 32 copies on Mohawk Superfine 80# text signed and numbered 1-32.

The Newsprint and Superfine editions are split between Minsky and RIT Cary Collection, with Minsky having odd-numbered copies and Cary having the even numbers.

Newsprint Edition. 5½" x 7¾". Three printed pages. Edition of 6.

Vermont Vigilance


Above: The Superfine Edition

Mohawk Superfine Edition. 5½" x 7¾". Three printed pages. Edition of 32.

Vermont Vigilance



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