Heavy Inspiration

Who is Richard Donin?

The logo for this website, as you will immediately recognize, was heavily inspired by an existing piece of art.

Ex Libris of Richard Donin

Ex Libris of Richard Donin [Unknown]

I took this picture in a used bookstore off of the markt in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Noord Brabant, The Netherlands (colloquially known as Den Bosch).

This was close to eight months ago so I don’t remember the name of the book but I’m fairly confident the bookstore was called Adr. Heinen, though I can’t confirm that because Google Maps doesn’t have Street View in that area.

Nevertheless, the book was a reproduction of a collection of bookplates, also called ex libris (latin for “from the books of”), which are small insignias placed usually on the inside front cover of a book to identify whose collection it belonged to. I have keenly surmised that this bookplate was used for the collection of a man named Richard Donin. To try and get to the bottom of this I looked around to see if I could simply find something online about this bookplate. I wasn’t able to find anything but I did find some other bookplates also featuring the name Richard Donin.

Ex Libris of Richard Donin

Ex Libris of Dr. Richard K. Donin [1]

Ex Libris of Richard Donin

Ex Libris of Dr. Richard Donin [2]

Ex Libris of Richard Donin

Ex Libris of Dr. R. K. Donin [Unknown]

You might have noticed a significant difference though between these and the one at the top of this post. These three all either featured his doctoral title, his middle initial, or both which brings into question whether Dr. Richard K Donin is the same person as Richard Donin. The first is specifically for New Years, the second for his Romantic collection, and the third for Easter, which explains why one man would have multiple bookplates. Additionally, the name Richard Donin doesn’t seem to be very common so the chances that two of them having their own bookplates is slim so for now I will assume they are one in the same.

There wasn’t a whole lot I could find out about him given my very limited German though there is a German Wikipedia article about him. He was trained as a lawyer and then later as an art historian, published nine books, and was, at least to some degree, a bookplate enthusiast, co-producing a couple of published collections.

That depth of inquiry has satisfied my curiosity for now so I’ll end it with thanking Richard Donin (maybe Dr.) for the inspiration.


  1. http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15602coll1/id/3298
  2. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/EX-LIBRIS-du-Dr-Richard-DONIN-par-Hubert-Woyty-Wimmer-Autriche-/141345685162