Three years ago, a year after the tragic and unexpected passing of Jean-François Danquin, a character that was very important in my scholarship but also in my life, I took care of the design of a book displaying his whole tribal art collection. The book had two goals: being a worthy memory of him and his collection and being the catalog of the auction sale that was about to happen to disperse his massive gathering of statues, masks (over 300 pieces without ever stepping a foot on the African continent) and books into the hands of other collectors (hence the date and prices indicated).
The book is an heterogeneous mixture of studio pictures of the pieces, texts, private photographies, stamps, paintings, lists… If I would have designed it in the 1970s or 1980s I would probably have used typefaces like Jacno, Vendôme, or Antique Olive, that were highly popular at the time. But as I was designing it in the 2010s I rather chose Framboisier (a typeface based on Jacno’s work designed with Dorine Sauzet for an exhibition) for titles and paratext elements, Duplicate Sans by Christian Schwartz for the numerous captions, and the still-unreleased Ganeau Book by Sandrine Nugue for written texts by or about Danquin.
Black and white pictures indicate pieces from his collection that weren’t for sale because they were offered to some of his relatives and friends, lost, or buried with him. A lot of time has been dedicated to make sure the black and white wasn’t too flat and paid proper homage to these pieces.
The endpaper was made out of some Danquin’s scribbles that we found on a loose sheet of paper. I shaped them to pay homage to Tintin’s endpapers (he was a big fan of it) and added his signature at the bottom.