War to Peace: 1940—1955
New Mexico private presses that survived the Great Depression could hardly escape the crippling effects of World War II that dominated the early years of this period. Paper was rationed and metal type and labor were in short supply. Four well-established presses of the period closed their doors.
But with the help of federally funded arts programs, those presses that remained produced some of the finest illustrated books of the period. Many of them were handsomely bound at one of New Mexico’s first fine binderies that opened in Santa Fe despite the hardships of the Depression and the uncertainties of an approaching war.
At the end of the era, when the war had been over for a decade, New Mexico was well on the way to rejuvenating its tourism industry that had faltered, in part, because of war-time fuel shortages. The arts community flourished with increased national exposure, and another generation of private press printers began to arrive.