About B. de B.
A few years ago we bought a large, antique scrapbook from the mid-1800s. Just about everything captivated us about the scrapbook: the beautifully weathered clippings, the spotty texture of the printing, the hand coloring, the elliptical, mysterious and sometimes morbid text, and of course, the strong, graphic illustrations. "B. de B. Russell Juvenile Album" stamped onto the disintegrating leather-bound cover led to the discovery of its long ago owner Blois de Blois Russell, a young man of privilege with a strikingly unusual name. We were inspired to create prints with what we found in his album’s pages. “B. de B.” became shorthand for the project, and the name stuck. Now, B. de B. has become a growing collection of historically-based designs that rescues ephemera from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and re-imagines it for the twenty-first
Gravestone Rubbings Collection The first of our gravestone rubbing prints: 29 versions of the word DIED from nineteenth-century gravestones in and around Wichita, Kansas. We made the rubbings during one very hot summer road trip in August 2014. What will be on your gravestone?
Chapbook Alphabet These alphabet prints with images and letters from a large, antique scrapbook we bought a few years ago. Inside it were hundreds of images from the early 1800s, all from British children’s chapbooks. Our scrapbook was made in England in the 1830s, probably by someone in the well-to-do Russell family for a boy given the unlikely name Blois de Blois Russell. B. de B. Russell later attended St. John's College, Oxford, and rowed crew. He died early, at 22, too young to leave much of a legacy besides the album, and, now, our collection of prints.