Friday, April 23, 2010

Allan Harrison and the Classic Bookshop Bookmark

Having recently written about the origins of the Classic Bookshops in Montreal, I mentioned that a series of their bookmarks had the name of Allan Harrison printed along the left edge near the top in small print. I assumed it was the artist responsible for the design and left it at that. Recently, however, I was looking at Miriam Waddington's third book of poetry, The Season's Lovers (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1958), and slipping off the dustwrapper I found the design replicated on the binding. It was only then that I noticed the name of Allan Harrison printed in the same manner as the Classic Bookmarks, along the left edge near the top. Somehow I didn't notice it on the dustwrapper. This led me to a casual search for information concerning Allan Harrison and concluded he was the Montreal artist whose interview in 1973 can be found here. (Interestingly enough, in the interview he mentions Classic Bookshop as a store where one could find a certain art book of a certain artist.) It seems my impression that the artist/designer of the Classic Bookshop bookmark--photos below--was a youthful 1960s hippie has to be re-evaluated. Allan Harrison (1911-1988) was a lesser known Montreal artist and designer who also did work for publishing houses such as Ryerson and Maynard Gertler's Harvest House among others.

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