Open books and papers from the Pananides collection at UCSB Library
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Courtesy UCSB Library

Dean and Kim Pananides donate their rare book arts press collection to UCSB Library

For his graduate research in the UC Santa Barbara Department of English, Dean Pananides ’67 ’75 studied the work of poet and artist William Blake, drawn particularly to the “illuminated books” featuring Blake’s own illustrations.

That interest led Pananides to discover the exquisite Trianon Press reproductions of Blake’s artful manuscripts. Though his professional life led him in a non-academic direction, he continued his scholarship as a committed collector of Trianon Press, the renowned Paris-based publisher of fine art books.

Now an expert in Trianon Press history, Pananides spent over 15 years creating an extensive and meticulous bibliography which will make the collection more accessible for readers and scholars. 

With his wife Kim Pananides, Dean over two and a half decades built a complete collection of Trianon Press first editions, which they are now donating to the UC Santa Barbara Library Department of Special Research Collections. The new collection will be established as The Dean & Kim Pananides Trianon Press Collection.

“With a deep commitment to making our Trianon Press Collection accessible to scholars, researchers and artists, we are delighted to team up with the like-minded and dedicated professionals at the UCSB Library,” Pananides said. “The irresistible appeal and beauty of these books is best realized when the opportunity exists to hold them in your hands. We are very grateful for the welcoming response we have received from everyone involved, and it gives us a sense of relief to know the collection will be cared for in a state-of-the-art facility as well.”

Founded in 1947 by Arnold Fawcus, Trianon Press is noted for its use of high-quality collotype image reproduction and pochoir stenciling processes. Though most famous for reproducing Blake’s illuminated books, Trianon printed a variety of image-based texts featuring artists such as Paul Cezanne, Marcel Duchamp and Ben Shahn.

Seeking to ensure that the collection and its related research materials — including deluxe copies which contain collotype proofs, guide sheets and stencils — would be cared for in perpetuity, the Pananides found the UC Santa Barbara Library to be the perfect “forever home.”

UCSB has a long history of book arts instruction in the College of Creative Studies and has fostered a dedicated community of faculty book artists who assisted in creating the library’s Skofield Printers Collection of fine art and book presses. Additionally, as a public institution, the library is committed to making all special collections available to researchers, scholars and the general public.

The Dean & Kim Pananides Trianon Press Collection, which includes the bibliography and research ephemera, is a significant contribution to the Skofield Printers Collection and will be a valuable resource for the book arts community at UC Santa Barbara and beyond.

With the donation of their collection, the Pananides also have created the Kim & Dean Pananides Book/Arts Initiative endowed fund, which will ultimately be fully funded by their estate through a generous legacy gift to the library. The initiative will support the care of their collections and create unique opportunities for the study of book arts and performing arts through collection development, preservation, digitization, teaching and programming.

The Pananides designed the initiative in concert with the library to support future researchers’ passion for book arts and the long history of book production that still shapes scholarship today. Dean Pananides’ personal archives of creative works also will be part of the library’s Special Research Collections and known as The Dean Pananides Archives. 

“Dean and Kim’s generous collection donations and legacy commitment are incredible gifts to the UC Santa Barbara Library that will have a transformative impact on scholarship and collection development,” said University Librarian Kristin Antelman. “We are thrilled to partner with them on this shared long-term vision.”

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