François Bernouard bibliophily fund

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This collection of bibliophily was built up over many years by the printer and bibliophile Gustave-Arthur Dassonville (1913-1998). The acquisition of this collection was carried out in 2004 by the Montolieu Village du Livre et des Arts Association thanks to Ginette Litt-Dassonville, Jacques Audebert and the contribution of the association’s members and the following institutions: The European community (Leader +), the State and the prefecture of the Aude, the Drac, the Languedoc-Roussillon Region, the General Council of the Aude, the Pays Carcassonnais, the Community of Communes of Cabardès to the Canal du Midi and the Town Hall of Montolieu.

Poet, printer and typographer, it is by receiving the copies of Les Roses sous la Bruine, his first publication, that François Bernouard (1884-1949) promised himself not to trust any more the contemporary printers and employed himself, in particular through the publication of booklets, his first love, to deploy the significant force of the rules of page-setting and typography.

In 1909, he created his publishing house, “A la Belle Edition”, which changed its name according to the publications: “François Bernouard”, “Typographie François Bernouard” and “A Schéhérazade”.

Thus, even if the rose, a “mark” designed by Paul Iribe, is constant on the covers of the catalog titles, it must be recognized that between the mischievous play on the identities of François Bernouard himself and the copies or forgeries that are present on the market, Gustave-Arthur Dassonville’s work of census and collection has a taste of quest.

At the crossroads of the decorative book -the book as an object of decorative art that must harmonize with an interior- and the poor book -not meeting the criteria of bibliophily- François Bernouard initiated a new type of publishing: the creative book. His taste for incunabula and the fonts Baskerville and Elzévir are the starting point for innovative typographic experiments (text colors, play with whites and solids, scripted dialogues between plates and texts).

Sources :

François Bernouard Poet, typographer, printer, publisher, bookseller, Claire Giovanangeli-Taoussi, Association Montolieu Village du Livre et des Arts, 2009. (catalog of the collection)

François Bernouard, L’éditeur à la rose, architecte (d’intérieur) du livre, Sophie Lesiewicz, in Les Architectes du livre, edited by Anne-Christine Royère and Julien Schuh, 2021.