R.I.P., Mr. Goines

I learned yesterday that David Lance Goines died last Sunday, February 19. Goines was an internationally renowned printer and graphic artist who, after moving to Berkeley to attend theDavid Goines University in the 1960’s, remained in the city, producing posters and graphic work that became ubiquitous and iconic—an indelible part of Berkeley’s material culture. He was surely most famous for his 50 posters—one for every anniversary—created for his longtime friend Alice Waters’s restaurant, Chez Panisse.

You could say that, as a master printer, Goines ultimately imprinted himself, his artistic sensibilities, on the civic culture of his adopted city and on the minds of its citizens, and certainly on natives like myself. (A framer in this city since the ‘seventies, I can’t even guess how many of Goines’s posters I’ve framed. Some are in our inventory, here…)

Framed Alice Waters recipe by David GoinesGoines’s was a life to be celebrated. So I’m pleased that my last post on a work of his that came through the shop was the New Year’s Eve post about framing in especially celebratory fashion the recipe for cherries jubilee that he created with Alice Waters (as part of the set of Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing).

In another post last year, I recalled my first encounter with Goines, and it seems especially poignant now. The meeting occurred in my early years in business, when I thought it would be a good idea to pay a visit to a greatly respected local artist whose work I had often framed and could expect to see much more of. I shared with him my vision of being a picture frame shop set up as a real woodworking studio, making every frame from raw hardwood lumber. Somewhat self-conscious about how ambitious it sounded, I cited Robert Browning’s wisdom that “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp,” to which Goines replied with a smile, completing the quote: “Or what’s a heaven for?” It was early encouragement that I will always remember and treasure.

I have to believe that in his difficult final days after suffering a stroke, Goines was comforted by the knowledge of every artist and artisan—that through and by his work he had earned some measure of immortality, some share of heaven.

Rest in peace, Mr. Goines.

Read David Lance Goines’s obituary in the online newspaper, Berkeleyside, here…

David Goines

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