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A Rare Gift

Dean and Kim Pananides Donate Rare Book Arts Press Collection to UCSB Library

Over the last 25 years, Buellton residents Kim and Dean Pananides ‘67,’75 have built a complete collection of first editions of the renowned Trianon Press, a Paris-based publisher of fine art books, which they are 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.

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

For his graduate research in the UC Santa Barbara Department of English, Dean studied Blake’s work, which led him to the Trianon Press' exquisite reproductions. Although his professional life led him in a non-academic direction, he continued the scholarship as a committed collector of Trianon Press. Dean became an expert in the Trianon Press’ history and spent over 15 years creating an extensive and meticulous bibliography of the press so that researchers and scholars can access its contents accurately.

The Pananides wanted 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 and found the UC Santa Barbara Library to be the perfect “forever home.” UC Santa Barbara 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 arts 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 Library’s Skofield Printers Collection of fine arts and book presses, and is a valuable resource for the book arts community at UC Santa Barbara and beyond.

It was these characteristics that drew Kim and Dean to the UC Santa Barbara Library for their collection donation and for the creation of 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. In addition to the endowed fund, Dean’s personal archives of creative works will be part of the Library’s Special Research Collections known as The Dean Pananides Archives.

“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,” said Kim and Dean. “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."

The initiative will fund the care of their collections and also create unique opportunities for the study of book arts and performing arts through collection development, preservation, digitization, teaching, and programming. Kim and Dean 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 and Kim’s generous collection donations and legacy commitment are incredible gifts to the Library that will have a transformative impact on scholarship and collection development,” says University Librarian Kristin Antelman. “We are thrilled to partner with them on this shared long-term vision.”