Meet the presses: Museums Press, Glasgow, UK

Jessica Susan Higgins started Museums Press in 2009. Her very first publication, Museums I, was a 50-page, 12-inch-square format book featuring artwork from numerous artists from around the world that was housed in a pizza box along with a 32-page comic, a 22-song tape, and a set of three screenprinted posters

While looking for somewhere to exhibit this ambitious publication, Higgins met Matthew Walkerdine who, after helping with her show, joined Higgins in her Museums Press endeavours early last year. “We both wanted to do very similar things in terms of releasing the work of artists that we liked in simple formats,” says Walkerdine.

As well as producing publications through Museums Press and Museums Small Press, the duo also founded and run Glasgow’s Good Press bookshop and gallery which opened in October last year and now acts as Museums Press HQ.

“We work mainly with small presses and our stock is entirely independently published,” says Walkerdine. “We mostly sell books, zines, comics and newspapers with a few artist prints too.”

Perhaps unusually for such an outfit, the duo outsource all of their printing. Whilst they do make regular use of the Riso printer at nearby Clydeside Press and more  occasionally the services of Hato Press in London, they do so sparingly, staunchly refusing to jump on what they feel is increasingly becoming a Riso bandwagon.

“We feel that there are lots of people in the UK now using Risograph printers and we don’t want to add to the saturation,” says Walkerdine. “Doing justice to the work of the artists that we collaborate with is our main concern and simply producing Riso stuff because it’s popular wouldn’t feel genuine,” he continues.

“Some of our Museums Press releases have included Risograph prints, or incorporated Risographic dust jackets or covers, and we use Riso happily whenever a particular aspect of a publication requires the qualities that Riso printing produces,” he continues. “It’s a nice machine and has a great quality to it, but it’s definitely just one of several print processes we’re interested in using.”

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