Lessons of the Hour is a poetic meditation on the life and times of Frederick Douglass, the ten-screen film installation proposes a contemplative journey into Douglass’ zeitgeist and its relationship to contemporaneity. The film includes excerpts of Douglass’ most arresting speeches and allusions to his private and public milieus.
This lush and ambitious 272 volume pays homage to the lessons of Frederick Douglass as interpreted by Isaac Julien. As an object, it captures the dual atmospheres of historical importance and modern context from cover to cover: tipped-in portraits of Douglass and the actor that plays him (Ray Fearon) are centered between the title, set in a classic treatment of Didot borrowed from the masthead of Douglass’ antislavery newspaper, The North Star (1847) and Martin (Vocal Type), drawn from protest signage used in the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968. The book, like the artwork, weaves in and out of historical and contemporary contexts including richly illustrated essays, documentation of the installation at various venues, extended visual and textural experiences, and recurring object lessons in photography and representation.
This book is accompanied by incredible scholarship by Kass Banning and Warren Crichlow, Celeste-Marie Bernier, Jonathan P. Binstock, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Paul Gilroy, Cora Gilroy-Ware, Jennifer A. González, John G. Hanhardt, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., Susan Solt, Vron Ware, and Deborah Willis.
Trim Size: 9.5 x 11.75
Number of Pages: 272
Binding Method: Hardcover, smythe-sewn, special edition slip-case with blind deboss and foil stamp
Paper: Condat Matte Perigord, Munken Polar, and Plano Plus
Typefaces: Didot HTF (Hoefler & Co.), Engravers Old English, Graphik (Commercial Type), Martin (Vocal Type Co.), and SangBleu Republic (Swiss Typefaces)
Creative Director: Kimberly Varella
Art Director: Kimberly Varella
Book Designer: Kimberly Varella
Jacket/Cover Designer: Kimberly Varella
Photographer: Henrik Kam
Production Coordinator: Sarah Nelson
Production Artist: Sam Wagner
Other Credits: Color separations by Echelon (Tony Manzella; Color retouching by Act Two-Um (Paul Ingram)
Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour
Book and Cover
Book Title: Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour
Design Firm/Agency: Content Object
Publisher: Isaac Julien Studio; Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester; Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery
Author/Editor: Edited by Cora Gilroy-Ware, Isaac Julien, and Vladimir Seput
“The use of brilliant color is what strikes me first, it helps hold a powerful topic and discussion. The use of images on the color and the understanding of typographic history is brilliant. The grid is tight but also flexible. The essay is legible and the pull quotes/captions balanced effortlessly." —Brian Johnson
- 50 Books Winner