elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Ralph Sylvester (born January 13, 1934)

Ralph Sylvester and Stathis Orphanos, booksellers and publishers operating as Sylvester & Orphanos, are partners in life as well as in business. They are best known for their beautiful, meticulously executed books, which are avidly collected by lovers of fine printing. The bulk of Orphanos' photography is portraits and includes images of his friends and mentors Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, as well as such distinguished figures as Claire Bloom, Paul Cadmus, David Hockney, Horst P. Horst, Graham Greene, and Julie Harris, among more than a hundred others. Sylvester and Orphanos met in 1960 in Los Angeles, where they continue to live. They now reside below the Hollywood sign in the Beachwood Canyon area of the city and own a home in San Marcos, California.
Together since 1960: 55 years.
Ralph Sylvester (born January 13, 1934)
Stathis Orphanos (born October 12, 1940)
We met in Los Angeles in1960, and have been together ever since. In the late 1950, Ralph came west from Pennsylvania when he was drafted into the army. He was stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey. My first visit to California (from Connecticut in 1959) was to visit a prep school friend. His mother was a celebrity press agent, and the first telephone call I answered at the Bel Air home was from Joan Crawford. California seemed the place to be! Ralph initially worked for Decca Records in Hollywood. Eventually, we became book scouts for legendary bookseller Peggy Christian. At the same time, I also pursued photography. My first literary subject was Christopher Isherwood. Over a hundred prominent authors followed in quick succession. With great skill, Ralph evolved our scouting into a successful book business, Sylvester & Orphanos, and subsequently into a publishing firm specializing in limited-signed press books. Christopher Isherwood launched our new ventures by allowing us to publish a deluxe edition of his autobiography, CHRISTOPHER AND HIS KIND, with original artwork by Don Bachardy. We have later published twenty-five similar press books, including works by Paul Bowles, John Cheever, Graham Greene, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, three Nobel Laureates, Odysseus Elytis, Nadine Gordimer, V. S. Naipaul, and others of equal renown. My first photography book, MY CAVAFY, with images relating to the poetry of Greece’s greatest modern poet, Constantine Cavafy, was published in 2006. The preface is by Gore Vidal. Our publications and my photographs have been exhibited at UCLA, The Beverly Hills Civic Center, The Benaki Museum in Athens, The Oceanside Museum of Art, as well at several art galleries, including New York’s Midtown and Charles Cowles galleries, etc. We own homes in California, both in Hollywood and San Marcos, and a home on the Greek island of Samos, where we have spent over thirty autumns. By becoming business partners as well as mates, we have broadened our relationship, with increasing interests and dedication, twice fold. I am convinced that it why this relationship remains as vital today as on that fateful day when we first met. -Stathis Orphanos

Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
ISBN-10: 1500563323
Release Date: September 21, 2014
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

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