About Lumiere Press

Established in 1986 by Michael Torosian, Lumiere Press exemplifies the fine press tradition - the books are composed in lead type, hand printed, and hand bound. The press is devoted exclusively to the art of photography, and each book aspires in its concept, graphic design, and craftsmanship to be the reflection and manifestation of its scholarly and artistic content. The publishing program was launched in 1986 with the publication of Edward Weston: Dedicated to Simplicity.

As specimens of the book arts, as well as contributions to the literature of photography, Lumiere Press books have been acquired by more than 200 public institutions, among them: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; International Center of Photography, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Huntington Library, San Marino; New York Public Library; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; George Eastman House, Rochester; the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven; and The Morgan Library & Museum, New York.

The press's books have also been recognized for design and production excellence – notably, inclusion in the American Institute of Graphic Arts venerable “Fifty Books of the Year” and a succession of First Place Awards from the Alcuin Society. In recognition of his accomplishments as a photographer, writer, designer, and artisan, Michael Torosian has been awarded Senior Arts Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council; has been the recipient of two Chalmers Arts Fellowships; and in 2024, was awarded the Alcuin Society Robert R. Reid Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Book Arts in Canada.

Lumiere Press has been the subject of numerous profiles and reviews in publications including: The New York Times, The Village Voice, Canadian Art, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, International Architecture and Design, Art and Antiques, Applied Arts, Bloomsbury Review, Amphora, and Parenthesis.

Over the course of three decades, the press has preserved an archive of material chronicling the genesis of each project, providing detailed insight into the concept, design, and craftsmanship of the editions. The work product of these endeavors encompasses a wide array of artifacts, including: correspondence with authors and artists; manuscripts; galleys; design layouts; prototype bindings; offset sheets; production charts and over 100 hours of audio tapes of interviews with such renowned photographers as Aaron Siskind, Frederick Sommer, Gordon Parks, Paul Caponigro, Edward Burtynsky, Saul Leiter, and Dave Heath.

This material has now been preserved as The Lumiere Press Archives at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, an architectural masterpiece esteemed as the "largest repository of publicly accessible rare books and manuscripts in Canada." To commemorate the establishment of the press's archives, in 2019, the Fisher mounted a retrospective exhibition entitled - The Lumiere Press Archives: Photography and the Fine Press. This was followed by the companion publication Lumiere Press: Printer Savant & Other Stories.

For a sampling of artifacts from The Lumiere Press Archives view The Caponigro Papers.

The following links provide the documentary history of the press. More can be found in the title catalogue and picture galleries in the ARCHIVE section of the site.

LUMIERE PRESS BOOKS IN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS - a comprehensive list of the museums, universities and public libraries that have collected the press's titles. Collectors can use this resource to find collections in their area

MICHAEL TOROSIAN CURRICULUM VITAE - a compilation of the accomplishments of the proprietor in the fields of photography, writing, design and publishing

PRESS PROFILES - selected profiles from newspapers and magazines about the history, production methods and ethos of the press

PUBLISHED WRITING BY MICHAEL TOROSIAN - a selection from among the book reviews, profiles and occasional pieces that have been written for newspapers and magazines between writing assignments for Lumiere Press

OUR COLLECTORS WRITE - as part of the dialogue on photography and bookmaking our colleagues and collectors contribute their thoughts and commentary.

Intern Program - Since 1987 Lumiere Press has conducted a program to enable interns to learn about our unique approach to publishing. For information email or phone.
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