Weekend Heller: Machiavelli on a Well-Ordered Republic

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Before you read this document below, here’s the backstory: Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus fame had a love of books, design “and all things aesthetically elevated,” writes Fort Worth–based designer Jack Summerford and friend of Marcus. He had a small publishing entity called “Nonesuch Press” and “small is the operative word. Most of his publications were miniature books.”

Summerford designed one of the books for him, and they became friends for about the last 10 or 12 years of his life (he lived to be 98). “Almost every time we met (usually for lunch, but occasionally in his office) he would give me a small gift; this piece is one of those gifts.” In the footnote on this tragically prescient piece [pictured below] you will see that it was actually a gift to Stanley and his wife from Bill Wittliff, a well-known Texas screenwriter, novelist, publisher, photographer, etc.

“Now comes the six degrees part. My dear friend Jack Unruh illustrated a couple of Wittliff’s books and became a friend. Wittliff provided the foundation for the Southwestern Literature Studies program at Texas State University, and Mark Busby, the director of that program is a friend. I do not know Wittliff, however.”
Summerford recently found this beautifully designed piece — a warning to live by in the current era by Nicola Machiavelli from his icon “The Prince“. It is with Summerford’s permission that I present Wittliff’s gift to Marcus for the current generation to ponder.


The deadline for the Regional Design Awards has been extended, but only until April 30.

Your judges: Sagi Haviv, Rebeca Méndez, Nancy Skolos, Alexander Isley, Chad Michael, Gail Anderson and Justin Peters.

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