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On Books

Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996.

Coloring book about Romanov art by two Minneapolis artists prompts pop-up exhibit at TMORA

Twin Cities writer R.D. Zimmerman -- who also writes under the pen name Robert Alexander -- lived for many years in Russia, and his newest book is an homage to the artwork, architecture, clothing, gardens and beauty of Imperial Russia. 

"Vanished Splendor: The Colorful World of the Romanovs," published by Pegasus Books, is a coloring book, with historically accurate line drawings by Minneapolis graphic artist Christopher Bohnet.

The Faberge eggs, delicate teacups, tiny postage stamps and pearl-and-diamond crowns look odd and empty in black and white, but that of course is where you come in, with your crayons and watercolors.

Each illustration is accompanied by context from Zimmerman. "In my decades of traveling to Russia, I have come to understand that Russians are drama queens from the get-go," Zimmerman writes in the book's introduction. "They create buildings, music, art, ballet, fashion and more with mind-boggling creativity."

Some of the original illustrations from the book will be on display from Feb. 22 to 27 at the Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Av, Mpls., in conjunction with the museum's "Unknown Faberge" exhibit. The opening reception will be at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 22.

Zimmerman's novel "The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar," is being made into a movie starring Kristin Scott Thomas. He studied at Leningrad State University and has traveled and worked throughout Russia.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts to rename its type library for Allan Kornblum

Allan Kornblum, setting type

Allan Kornblum, setting type

Allan Kornblum was a master of the letterpress, an expert on fonts and type, a scholar of the history of publishing. The founder of Coffee House Press, Kornblum, who died in November 2014, was known for his elegant hand-set broadsides, which he gave away by the hundreds, a labor of love.

This month, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts will rename its typesetting library in honor of Kornblum.

The type library at the center is stocked with all kinds of resources for writers, poets, artists and printers, including tens of thousands of pounds of antique type and more than 500 unique typefaces. Kornblum collaborated with the MCBA throughout his career in the Twin Cities, once donating a press and metal type to be used in the center's studios.

The library dedication in Kornblum's honor will take place from 3-5 p.m. on Feb. 25 in the center's lower print studio. The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is in the Open Book building, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls.

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