Arthur Larson has always been an avid reader. He began his printing career in 1979, training with Harold McGrath and Barry Moser at The Hampshire Typothetae in Northampton, Massachusetts. Both men, he says, were patient and generous with him as he learned his craft. Most of this early work was for Moser’s Pennyroyal Press—notably the two Alice books and Frankenstein. Larson also acknowledges a debt of gratitude to many other fine printers/teachers who over the years have helped him learn his craft, including Bruce Chandler, Leonard Baskin, Michael Bixler, Dan Carr, and Carol Blinn.
From 1983 through 1987 Art trained with Daniel Keleher at his Wild Carrot Letterpress in Hadley, Massachusetts, a short bike ride from Northampton, where he lives. Much of this work was for The Limited Editions Club. Art founded his own shop in 1987, Horton Tank Graphics, chiefly to print fine press books for Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press. He went on to print thirty books for the Press until 2005, most notably Icones and Zapf’s Civilité Disclosed. Horton Tank takes its name from the water tower outside the building and is upstairs from Wild Carrot in the East Street Studios building.
Larson has printed fine press books for many publishers over the years in addition to Nawakum Press—Double Elephant Press, Granary Books, Khelcom New York, and Wiesedruck Press, to mention a few. More recently he has printed all the books for 21st Editions and Two Ponds Press.
Larson is especially adept at printing woodcuts and wood engravings. He also specializes in printing damp. He prints with Vandercooks (a No. 4 & a Universal IV) and a Heidelberg platen press. He does some commercial work and can print 10,000 cards a day with the best of them. He prints from Monotype, photopolymer plates, or hand set foundry type (his favorite). The shop is equipped with more than 200 fonts of wood type and more than 300 fonts of metal ornaments.
Art also teaches, gives workshops, takes on the occasional apprentice, and is an active member of the Book Arts community in the Pioneer Valley.