Brother in Elysium

When I lived in New York, my favorite weekend escape was the town of Beacon, just up the Hudson. DIA, fresh air, and a change of pace were always a draw for the family, but my favorite part of the trip was invariably the Hermitage bookstore. It was located on a hill off the main drag in a small house by a silo of some sort, and it specialized in poetry, mostly American small press editions of the 50s, 60s and 70s. There was usually a record playing in the back room, a small, but meticulously curated collection of books on the shelves and tacked to the walls in mylar bags. Jon Beacham ran the store with a then-girlfriend whose name escapes me. For a while it seemed that everyone was going up there to buy a few books and grab some soup with Jon. Jon had a Pilot press that he used to print a couple books and ephemera to accompany the exhibits—the Zephyrus Image and Auerhahan Press were most memorable. When a Vandercook 4 came up for sale, Dan Morris of The Arm in Williamsburg and me drove up to give Jon a hand moving it into his place.

Eventually Jon closed the shop and moved back to New York, and gradually, printing began to take precedence over book selling. Jon’s knowledge of artists’ books and private press editions is vast, and it shows in the work he produces under the Brother in Elysium imprint. Check out the work at:


PS: If you're looking for a tutorial in letterpress printing in New York, or you're in need of the facilities to print your own book, you couldn't do better than The Arm, located a couple blocks off the first L train stop in Brooklyn. Information about classes and studio time are available at: