For those who have received the book - we're excited to hear what you think about it! Please tag us with @centuryguild on social media, and once you've had a moment to absorb the book please leave a quick review on Amazon or GoodReads!
Review the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0990949524/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_wNODDbAFK47EY
Review the book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47522686-le-pater
Thank you again for your incredible support of this book project!
The books are on a boat crossing the ocean, headed to Los Angeles. Here's a quick peek at one of the advance copies!
They're SO heavy! And so beautiful. I can't wait for you guys to have them in your hands, thank you so much for your support!
The dummy book (a book bound to the specifications, but blank) is SO heavy - I think everyone will be shocked at the size and weight of it. The postage costs are going to be more than double what everyone paid (we are covering the difference in cost), so there's another huge savings for our patrons who pre-ordered the book - in addition to the low pre-order price! I would love to see your faces when you open the box, and I hope you'll share photos and videos directly with us or on social media!
More news to come as we have it! I am very, very excited - thank you again for sticking with us and supporting this project, you'll be pleased and surprised, I am certain.
Both editions of the book are coming along - we hope to have firm dates for shipping soon! Tom thought you'd all want to see the book spine construction- we created hubs and a curved spine to mimic the most gorgeous books of the 19th century... all done by hand!
(The spine of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece and the Lineage of Mysticism will have foil stamping, this example is just to show the shape and color of the bound book!)
Exquisite End Papers for the Clamshell Edition of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece and the Lineage of Mysticism
A peek at the incredible process of master artist and craftsman Renato Crepaldi, as he creates hand marbled end papers for the clamshell edition of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece and the Lineage of Mysticism. Renato is one of the most talented paper marbling artists on the planet, and we are thrilled with his custom design!
Clamshell Edition of 200
- Alphonse Mucha's "Eye of Providence" archival cloth clamshell box
- Alphonse Mucha's "Amen/Ainsi-soit-il" facsimile
- Signed and numbered vellum title page
- Hand-marbled end papers by Renato Crepaldi
- Full vegan leather cover with foil stamping
Twenty years of research. Two years of writing. From Albrecht Durer to the Invisible College, William Blake, the Exposition Universelle, and the Slav Epic; the printer's proof of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece and the Lineage of Mysticism has arrived, and it is perfect! We are so excited to share this moment with you, please join author Thomas Negovan for a preview detailing the massive size and scope of the book!
Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece and the Lineage of Mysticism
AVAILABLE IN TWO DELUXE EDITIONS
DELIVERY SPRING 2019
Click here to visit the pre-order page for more information, and to reserve your book at the pre-order discount price!
Happy New Year!
We're wrapping up our remaining projects and gearing up for everything we have planned in 2019. The (long-awaited) release of the Le Pater book is at the top of our list, and we are SO excited to get this book into your hands and out into the world!
By our last estimate the books would have started shipping out to you already, and it's both sad and embarrassing to report that they haven’t yet arrived. Why are they late? I tend to not broadcast many personal things, so it’s uncomfortable for me to admit that due to health problems I dropped the ball on a number of steps across the past few months. I'm still not physically back to 100%, however I have caught up on all of the things that required my attention to keep the production process in motion. There have been so many delays at this point that I feel like any explanation seems hollow, but now that we are past all of the academic, creative, and many production issues, we are working with an outstanding printer who has the process under control and will make sure the books arrive expediently.
The books will arrive in Los Angeles in late April, and we'll begin shipping them out to you immediately once they land. The book will make its first public debut at the Oddities Flea Market in Los Angeles on May 18 and 19th, and on July 1st it will be available in select bookstores and other retail locations.
Once all of the books have been shipped, I look forward to reviewing the entire campaign, development, production, and fulfillment process with you. I'm honored to say that the kind people at Kickstarter have asked me to be one of their Thought Leaders, and part of that responsibility includes speaking about the crowdfunding process and its possibilities. This book will definitely be the project I reference most when championing the potential of Kickstarter: this is a major academic achievement that would not have happened without the support of a community. Each step of making this book, from research to design to production, looked simple on paper, but as things were revealed became so vast that in practice it proved to be a Herculean task. I can't tell you how many times I thought my brain was going to bleed out of my ears from days of treatises on Pythagorean sacred geometry, or on the nuances of Rosicrucian symbolism- however the end result is that for the first time since Mucha imagined Le Pater, his masterwork is being presented with the background, context, and insight needed to allow everyone to truly understand what he was attempting to communicate, in the most convenient manner possible.
It would have been impossible to complete this project without your patronage, so when I say that each of you are directly responsible for the existence of this book, please understand that I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It’s hard to express how much your support of this project means to me, but it’s my hope that once you hold the book in your hands, we’ll be able to discuss the finer details of the work and honor both the artist and his creation.
I am so thankful for your patience, your kindness, and your support throughout this process, and I'm very much looking forward to being past all of the waiting, and into the physical experience of the book being in our hands.
Thank you again,
Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece: October Update
Chandra is in the process of writing to each person who pre-ordered a copy of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece, in order to confirm every shipping address. To expedite the process, if your shipping address has changed since your order was placed please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your new address.
We expect the survey, reception, and packing process to take three months, and that including transit times the books will be shipping in January.
There’s no question that this is far and away the best book that we’ve ever made. I took Medieval spirituality, sacred geometry, the Art Nouveau movement, the mythologies of Moravian Christianity, The Salon Rose+Croix, Freemasonry, and Alphonse Mucha’s personal masterpiece and wrapped them all up into a story line that explains not only what Le Pater is… but why. Add in all of the massive image files I located, and previously unseen artworks, and I’m incredibly proud of it. There is no question that any Art Nouveau or Symbolist art fan on the planet is going to be talking about this book all year.I admit completely and with apology that this book is later than I ever expected; it took an incredibly long time to put together, so much longer than I ever imagined - I had started on it a year before the campaign! Offline, I am completely and totally focused on getting the book into everyone’s hands, and I know that this presentation will be unparalleled in the world of Art Nouveau books.
Side note: I don't like when I get a book with low resolution images. I love crisp images, I love beautiful books, I love being able to dive into the details or artworks and photographs. Making a gloriously detailed book at this very large scale was a large part of the time spent!
Thank you again to everyone who has believed in this project: you are sincerely appreciated, and this book would not have happened without you!
With deep sincerity and appreciation,
A quick update on the Fall 2018 release of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece
- The books will arrive in late October - Melissa and I will have the packing materials and other rewards ready and waiting, so that we can immediately start the process of inspecting each book and packaging it safely for shipment.
- In September, you will receive an email from us to confirm your shipping address If you have moved since placing your order, you can provide your current shipping address at that time.
A few notes on the upcoming release of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece:
- Everything is on track for the Fall 2018 book release. As the time gets closer we will have more details regarding the delivery time frame.
- Approximately one month before the book begins to ship, we will contact each patron via email to update/confirm the shipping address we have on file. If you have emailed us with an update to your shipping address, you will still receive an email to confirm that our records are correct.
If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com for a speedy response. We are incredibly excited to get this book into your hands!
As a countdown to the release of Le Pater: Alphonse Mucha's Symbolist Masterpiece we are sharing snippets of the content included inside our expanded, oversized hardcover; this first post is to introduce you to the ideas of Robert Fludd.
Robert Fludd worked in the early 17th century as physician, and was a major contributor to the advancement of occult philosophy, astrology, mathematics, and Hermeticism, a religious and philosophical tradition that believes in a single, transcendent God, with other beings (angels and elementals) populating the universe. (More on Hermeticism later!)
What makes Fludd relevant to our study of Le Pater is that he took these philosophical ideas and translated them into visual diagrams, much in the manner that Alphonse Mucha would two centuries later. Fludd's work was far more mathematical, and brimming with fascinating and important ideas, clarifying them in diagram form.
Robert Fludd's 1617 diagram of the Macrocosm/ Microcosm
Fludd bases his view of the cosmos on the presence of one single, unnamable God, represented in the form of the unpronounceable YHWH. The world is present in three forms: the archetype (the invisible idea), the non-celestial body (the universe as we know it), and man.
Robert Fludd's diagram of the Threefold Manifestation of God
God's intentions are borne into these three worlds by his agents: angels (serving his light aspect), and devils (his dark aspect).
To properly address the works of Robert Fludd would be an entire volume unto itself; each illustration rewards hours and years of study and contemplation. For the purposes of our book, we present Fludd's basic ideas, and the idea of diagramming the metaphysical by an artist who Mucha certainly would have studied and found as intellectual and spiritual inspiration.
A very succinct and thorough overview of the ideas and illustrations of Robert Fludd is the 1979 book Robert Fludd: Hermetic Philospher and Surveyor of Two Worlds by Joscelyn Godwin. The original hardcover sells for upwards of $400-$500, but it's very affordable as a 1991 softcover reprint for only $21.93 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Fludd-Hermetic-Philosopher-Surveyor/dp/0933999690/
We are closing in on the one year mark of the date we initially believed the Le Pater book would be in our hands. Our "stop the presses" moment of halting the printing to work on the fold-over was a hard call, and it deeply upset and offended a handful of patrons (and cost ourselves a fair amount of time and money). Yet we know it was the right thing to do, as the mission is to make this a definitive art volume on an incredibly important subject. During the time spent working out the mechanics, whether coincidence or kismet, we were connected with a few important research sources we had been pursuing since the project's inception (and had given up before on in order to get the book to the printer). Now with those last pieces in place, there is no doubt that we've done Le Pater complete justice.
The book will be available in retail locations Fall 2018. As a patron of the book, you will have your copy in hand before they hit bookstores.
I realize some of you may be disappointed that this update doesn't say that the books are shipping before the end of the year. While we have always offered refunds (and that remains the case), I encourage anyone feeling disappointed with the long production time to focus on the fact that as the scale of the book has increased, the price has had to also raise accordingly. Your generous, early support of this book has reserved a copy for you at an amount that is now below the wholesale price to bookstores. That being said, anyone who does not want to wait any longer can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a full refund, and my sincere apology.
Your sustained excitement for and support of this project has brought into being something that would never have existed otherwise. There is no better example than this of the positive power of crowdfunding!
Starting next month we will begin posting pages from the book (for your private viewing) as a countdown to the release- and hopefully instigating some interesting conversations about the fascinating content.
Thank you for your patience, passion, and continued support!
Chandra, Century Guild
It's been a while since I wrote to you personally, so I wanted to post an update on this project. It's a bit long, but I appreciate all of you and want to make sure I'm being present and communicative by covering all the points. Thank you!
Century Guild is a small, family owned company, and to say that we all appreciate your patience is an understatement. We are huge fans of Kickstarter and pre-order reservations, and the way it allows our gallery to create deluxe art books that are only possible under this beautifully non-traditional, patron-based publishing model. If we followed a more cookie-cutter approach to publishing we'd be able to consistently predict how projects would unfold, but in a world where next-day shipping has escalated to same-day delivery we are still clinging to the unpredictable journey of things being as hand-made, elegant, and unique as possible, and we are honored and grateful that you are taking that journey with us.
Because of our desire to make everything as mind-bendingly fabulous as we can, sometimes we are on time, sometimes we are early, and sometimes we are late. In all these cases, the effort on our end is exactly the same: constant pressure to move forward while never compromising the object that we want to send out. Clive Barker's IMAGINER book was painfully late (we used materials and a process for the cover that were very, very challenging), but when he had the first copy in his hands, he publicly announced that it was "the finest book to carry (his) name." When someone has had hundreds of editions of books from the largest publishers in the world, that’s high praise. We try and remember that people (like Clive) who are ultra-sophisticated and really, truly love beautiful books appreciate the time we spend to make these hardcover editions as fabulous as we can imagine.
In the case of this Mucha book, every time I thought I was finished something else incredibly important surfaced, a thread that I believe needed to be pursued. That decision would push the delivery date back, but I didn’t want to deliver a book that wasn’t the definitive volume regarding Le Pater. I can’t believe that anyone who is upset about the delay is really reading the updates, thinking about what we've expressed, and deciding they just want to take a pass on the expansions we've added. The hair on my arms stood up when I saw the preliminary painting for a work revising Le Pater at the end of Mucha’s life–it’s not in any other Mucha book, and in each case like this I did whatever I needed to do in order to get it photographed to include it. As a direct result of these delays, the book you’ll be receiving is double the page count and contains a vast number of materials unavailable anywhere else.
I want everyone to have the most magnificent book possible, even if it means that I am disappointing anyone in the short-term.
Supporting projects by placing a pre-order reservation or pledging on Kickstarter isn't like ordering on Amazon. Each one has its place, and I do both constantly. In one venue, I want it as soon as possible, and in the other I want the person I'm supporting to take their time and create what they can to the best of their ability. My experience as a patron has been the same as a creator: some projects are early, some are on time, and a great, great many are late. I have at least one book I've supported which is as overdue as Le Pater, and from the other books they've created I'm confident it will be magnificent. If you support us on Kickstarter or through pre-order reservations, there will be times that projects (like this one) are late. The reward–and we hope this feels like a reward–is that when a book is late it’s because the scope and scale is increasing, and you are locked in at the proposal price. Le Pater’s retail price at this point is twice the pre-order price because the page count has increased so much, but your copy is already paid for in full. Following those paths means a book like this loses SO MUCH money on our end, but it’s incredibly important in my opinion to make sure that this book stands as tall as all the others we’ve created and receives the same accolades. These books mean the world to me, and I don’t want to send out anything that isn’t absolutely the best that it can be. When you support us through pre-order reservations and Kickstarter, you are joining us on that creative journey. When you buy from us at retail on Amazon, you are not.
BUT- if anyone doesn't want to be with us on the boat of the creative process, this isn’t intended in any way to be a hostage situation–you can write to email@example.com and get a refund immediately, and revisit the book when it’s available on Amazon.
I love Kickstarter (25 campaigns created, and 155 backed!) and I’m excited to be a part of this organic community. There are campaigns that I’ve pledged on that arrived right on time, and far more that were a little late, and even a few that went long, long overdue. Why do we love Kickstarter? Is it for a discount? Or because we want to see things happen that are outside of the norm, and to be a part of supporting that process? For me, it’s a bit of both, but primarily the latter.
You have to have a really thick skin to be a Kickstarter creator. I think that probably half of the questions I respond to from newer creators involves supporting and coaching them on that front. Raising money is one thing, being kind and present and also following the winding road of a creative project faithfully are very different muscles. I'll share that it's not uncommon for emails asking where the items are to begin literally the day a campaign closes. By the end of the first week, the angry ones start. I always remind other creators that most people understand the creative process, and that we need to remember that we are grateful for the opportunity we've been given to create something. My experience is that the people who have created the things I most respect are the most patient and offer the kindest words of support when I am late, and I try to pay that forward with the 100+ people I’ve backed when they hit their inevitable delays. No creator wants to be the one who is a year or more late on a project. Most people who post public comments are generally the ones who are upset and want to be heard, and the ones who are thrilled when something is early or just are generally happy and want to offer support tend to send private messages because they are focusing their kindness directly towards you. We've actually received flowers (which was really special!), and when people post images of themselves with one of our creations on social media it absolutely makes our day. I hope that our body of work inspires confidence in our process, and that when anyone has Thomas Negovan and Century Guild projects in their home they’re among the coolest books or objects they own.
Right now, I’m trying to sort out a mechanical problem with the Le Pater book. I want to have Mucha’s concept sketches underneath a fold-over next to the finished artworks so that you can see first the final work then look at them next to each other if you choose. I’m not going to give up on that just because it’ll make the book late, if it works it’s too magnificent to have been tossed in the bin for any reason other than it was pursued to its end point and didn’t create the experience we’d hoped. I generally don’t address these things directly on here because I don't want to advertise paths that might not come to pass, and I’m actively trying to solve any challenges so that I can hurry up and send books out. Chandra (bless her) helps me by posting updates to keep people aware of the general movements of the enormous beast that is each project, and when people comment “why are there other projects moving forward when this isn’t delivered” or "it's a shame" or "extremely disappointed" or things like that, she tries to give a kind and general reply; the more detailed answer is that if I’m waiting 24 hours for a paper sample or a week for a new proof to arrive, I’m using the down time to move other projects forward. When the boomerang with Mucha attached comes back across my desk, it’s top priority, and then I send it back out and wait for it to arrive with new data. If I negotiate with a museum to re-photograph an artwork at higher resolution, for example, there is a window while I wait for that file to arrive. In that time, I work on other points on the Le Pater list, and when everything related to that is out of my hands, I move on to the next projects on my list. There's no point when everyone here isn't working completely and totally towards pleasing every single patron at every level. (This paragraph is extremely boring and I feel like I'm whining, and is a clear example of why I don’t write the monthly updates.)
I can’t stress enough how much I love our patrons and the community that surrounds us. I’ve met people who have become some of my closest friends as a result of this community, and it’s made the creation of things I’d only dreamed of being able to see happen a tactile reality. I’m genuinely grateful for the support of each and every one of you, and knowing that people care about wax cylinders and Art Nouveau and mysticism and pirate girls and sideshow paintings and eccentric 19th century posters and all this GREAT stuff that I’m surrounded by is what fuels me finding ways to share it with all of you. Thanks to you, our projects have a 100% success rate; the body of work that’s being formed is entirely because of your support.
What is the delivery date of Le Pater? I hate estimating, and I tend to not do it because then the focus isn't it being done properly over all else. I'm working on Le Pater every single day, and right now the creative work is finished and it's just mechanical paths that need to be pursued. Once those are sorted out, advance copies of the book are sent to us, and once those are approved the rest get loaded onto a ship–at that point we can have a pretty clear delivery date barring customs issues. I'm asking for your patience so that I can make the book right and not quickly. To quote Adam Jones, "it's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good." If this sounds even remotely dismissive, it is absolutely the opposite: it's because I respect each of you so much that I want this to be perfect for every one of you, and I'll mention again that I hope our body of work inspires confidence in our process.
I feel like I need to end this on a creatively empowering note by changing the subject and mentioning something someone else is creating. What I love about Kickstarter is that it fosters such glorious and unique creative projects, and it’s why for every project I undertake I try and contribute to five or six. The one that I am most excited about right now is (brace yourself, this is absolutely the kind of thing you won’t find anywhere other than Kickstarter) a puppet film called The Haunted Swordsman. If you’ve read this far, do yourself a favor and check out this link: http://kck.st/2x9Xqkf. Kevin McTurk, the creator, is one of the kindest and gentlest artists I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet, and his films are an example of the kind of projects that require the unique platform of Kickstarter to bring them to life. Seeing the wax shavings surround his in-process sculptures reminds me that all these projects might be messy during their process, and that in the world of art many of the steps are fluid and chaotic, but the beautifully polished end results are something that we all hope you feel are well worth it.
With sincere love and even deeper respect,
Expressing gratitude; an original Mucha painting, one of the glorious and enchanting rarities from our upcoming book.
Link to project update on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/centuryguild/alphonse-mucha-reprinting-a-lost-art-nouveau-maste-0/posts/1995110