MercatorThe owner and only employee of MERCATOR PRESS is Willem Kramer, who was Chair of the Classics Department of Gymnasium Felisenum at Velsen 1968-1977; 1978-1990; 1991-2001 and Chair of the Classics Department of St Andrew's School, Middletown, Delaware, USA, 1977-1978; 1990-1991. The greater part of the publications are translations from Greek, Latin or English.
illustrationsLex ter Braak
Some early publications appeared with illustrations by Lex ter Braak, who was first a teacher and later the headmaster of Gymnasium Felisenum at Velsen, The Netherlands. In this respect the following publications are worth mentioning: Two Poems by Menno Wigman, in those days still a student at Gymnasium Felisenum, and already a budding poet on his way to becoming the great poet he is now; Mimnermos's most famous fragment, Gouden Afrodite; Ida Gerhardt's poem Tuin van Epicurus; a new collection of priapic poems Toverstaf by Saul van Messel; Vitam Beatiorem, a selection of epigrams by Martial with a facing Dutch translation. All these show the creative genius of the artist and his amazing versatility.
Three publications of first editions of poems by the Dutch poet Arie van den Berg contain illustrations by the famous Dutch painter and graphic artist Jörg Remé: Grasmaand, Zo and Orenblik. Zo could be labeled as typical for the styles of artist and printer and their cooperation. The fine choice of paper, and the typografical design go very well with the two complementary illustrations. It is a happy combination and is arguably one of the finest Mercator Press publications. Andrew Marvell's satire, The Character of Holland contains a masterly drawing by Remé, printed from a block. Special mention should be made of the large publication Janus, in which 5 marvellous etchings by Remé made in the 1960s and not printed before are accompanied by lines from Ovid's Fasti.
For the special publication of Slauerhoff's poem, Japansche danseres, Peter Lazarov was commissioned to make a wood engraving. This young artist hails from Bulgary, but has lived in Groningen, the Netherlands, for over ten years now. In these years he has built up a select group of admirers of his art, at first only of bookplate collectors, but later also in other circles. He is one of the few people in this country that are able to achieve technically perfect wood engravings. On top of that he boasts great artistry and a phenomenal creativity. This is best seen in his free productions. In addition to being a wood engraver he is a painter and an etcher. His wood engraving for The Cattle Problem may be described as exceptionally beautiful, which makes this publication worth having.
collectionsNearly the complete collection of Mercator Press publications can be found in the following libraries and museums:
linksDrukwerk in de Marge