Mont-Saint-Michel Portfolio by Michael Kenna
Unique Portfolio of 14 Signed Free Standing Platinum Prints by Michael Kenna
History: In 2007, renowned fine press photography book publisher 21ST Editions released Mont-Saint-Michel by Michael Kenna. This oversized handmade book, in an edition of only 60 copies worldwide, featured 14 bound original platinum prints and one free standing platinum print by Michael Kenna. Each of these bound platinum prints were signed in pencil by Michael Kenna. For the publication, Lance Speer, 21ST Editions Contributing Editor and Director of Marketing, wrote an original essay entitled “Memory as Muse: Michael Kenna at Mont-Saint-Michel” that appeared in all copies of 21ST Editions’ Mont-Saint-Michel. The book went on to win the prestigious Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Award Silver Medal in 2008 for “Best Book Arts Craftsmanship”.
In December of 2010, 21st Editions publisher Steven Albahari gave Lance Speer, then the Director of Marketing and a senior member of the 21ST Editions staff, a portfolio of 14 free-standing platinum prints from the Mont-Saint Michel book project. Each unmounted flush-trimmed platinum print measures 9” x 9” inches, is signed by Michael Kenna in pencil on print verso, and is inscribed (verso) with “21ST Editions reference print for author, Lance Speer, 2007” by Steven Albahari (21ST Editions publisher). Each unmounted platinum print is housed in a presentation folder with backing and archival interleaving tissue and is housed in a 21ST Editions embossed clamshell portfolio case.
This platinum print portfolio was not part of any version of the Mont-Saint-Michel book, as it was created and was reserved for “in-house” use by publisher Steven Albahari. To Speer’s knowledge, there are only 2 such sets in existence – Speer’s set and one currently owned by Steven Albahari.
Condition: All 14 of the original signed platinum prints are in perfect, unused and unmounted condition as is the accompanying 21ST Editions portfolio case.
Provenance: These platinum prints were in the possession of Steven Albahari, the publisher of 21ST Editions, until their delivery to Lance Speer in December of 2010. All 10 platinum prints have been in the direct possession of Lance Speer since then. A Letter of Provenance from Lance Speer will accompany the portfolio.
Photographs of the portfolio case, an example of the signature treatment on one of the photographs, the Letter of Provenance, and some of the platinum prints that are in the portfolio appear below. Please note that although the photographs appear digitized as thumbnails, they are viewable in the photo viewer by clicking your mouse on the thumbnail.