Exhibit | September 30, 2020
© 2018 Jason Chin

Left: Jason Chin, Childhood art at age 7, 1986. Collection of the artist. Right: Jason Chin, Illustration for Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard (Roaring Brook Press). Collection of the artist.

Amherst, MA – The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art launched its second online exhibition today, September 30, 2020. Now & Then: Contemporary Illustrators and their Childhood Art debuted last year at The Carle, but closed early due to the pandemic. The Museum is now pleased to offer this popular exhibition online.

What can the art of childhood reveal? Does it show burgeoning talent, exciting potential or, perhaps, simply the beginning of a love to create? These are some of the questions explored in an exhibition co-curated by award-winning illustrators Grace Lin and Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Together, with 17 other artists, they honor childhood creativity in Now & Then: Contemporary Illustrators and Their Childhood Art. Viewers see examples of each artists’ childhood drawings and how they foreshadow their current artistic interests. From stick drawings and crayon animals to beautiful watercolors and digital illustrations, the pairings inspire young viewers to make connections to their own creations--and their future potential.

In addition to Lin and Krosoczka’s own work, the featured artists include Cece Bell, Nidhi Chanani, Jason Chin, The Fan Brothers, Julie Flett, Jeff Kinney, Elisa Kleven, Barbara Lehman, Rafael López, Oge Mora, Juana Martinez-Neal, Raúl the Third, Shadra Strickland, Don Tate, Evan Turk, and Tillie Walden. Lin and Krosoczka selected artists working in myriad formats—picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels—and chose contemporary artists since “one of the purposes of the exhibition is to show kids where their own artistic journey could take them, and if the artists are familiar to them, then the pairings of childhood and professional artwork becomes much more resonant,” notes Lin, “That said, I also hope the exhibition introduces people to some new favorite illustrators too.”

Despite the different book forms and artistic styles, certain similarities among the artists soon became evident to the curators. Lin observes that many of the artists made books as children. “As someone who was folding and stapling sheets together for a book as a child,” she said, “I find it charming that so many of us were already in love with bookmaking.” Krosoczka makes another connection: “It’s amazing how much work from childhood was archived by these artists and their families.”

Planning for the exhibition proved a trip down memory lane for several of the featured artists. Oge Mora, author and illustrator of Thank You, Omu!, recipient of a 2019 Caldecott Honor Award, pairs a cut-paper collage from the book with a self-portrait completed in first grade. Mora recalls how proud she felt seeing her six-year-old brown face on the page: “My skin, my story, were things to be celebrated,” she observes. “It is interesting looking back at this early class project and reflecting on how much a later class project [in college] became my very first picture book, Thank You, Omu!”

Jeff Kinney, best known for his cartoon-style illustrations in the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, may have the most dramatic change from childhood. Kinney submitted a hyper-realistic graphite drawing of Bedouins that he made at age 11, although it looks executed by a much older artist. He pairs it with a humorous, frenetic scene from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown, in which Kinney deliberately adopts a childlike style.

Brothers Terry and Eric Fan illustrated their dinosaur story, Many Years Ago, when they were ages four and five. Their mother helped them spell out the text and staple the book together. “Mom always encouraged us to tell stories, even as kids. She was our biggest champion as far as our art,” said Terry in a Publisher's Weekly interview. Terry and Eric include a facsimile of Many Years Ago in the exhibition paired with an artwork depicting dinosaur topiary from The Night Gardener, their first published picture book. “A lot of time has passed between the two books, but I like to think they share a common thread,” says Eric.

Elisa Kleven’s childhood artwork, done at age eight, is a birthday card for her mother. It shows a pastoral landscape of farms and horse-drawn wagons. Kleven says, “Growing up in sprawling, smoggy, 1960s L.A., I often wished I could live in the worlds of the books I loved, where animals talked, humans were closely intertwined with nature, cars had not yet been invented, and seasons changed. Because I couldn’t live in these places, I created them in my drawings.” Kleven’s adult illustration, from her recent publication Hiro’s Hats, is a masterful, textural collage of snow monkeys frolicking in cherry blossom trees. She observes, “A visual echo of my mother’s birthday card can be seen in the top right corner, where a mother snow monkey and her child sit happily in a blossoming tree.”

Lin and Krosoczka are former classmates at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). As alumnae, they curated two shows at RISD, including one on the same premise. “Every artist has their own journey to travel and there is no way to know where the path will go,” say the artists. “But by connecting these childhood works to those made in adulthood, we hope to show young artists what is possible, and what could be just beyond the horizon.”

The Carle’s chief curator Ellen Keiter says, “The pandemic has forced us to rethink the ways we present exhibitions like Now & Then. We were disappointed to close the show early, but this virtual version is evergreen and will be able to engage many more people over time. We are grateful to the artists for their enthusiasm and support to re-envision the exhibition in a digital format.”

Auctions | September 30, 2020
Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Dallas, TX – “The most spectacular contribution of the book-maker's art to sixteenth-century science was without doubt the Astronomicum Caesareum of Petrus Apianus.”

This is how Owen Gingerich begins his 1971 essay on Apianus’ folio presented to the Emperor Charles V in 1540. Gingerich certainly knows better the most the folio’s import and worth: He is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

Gingerich reiterates in plain language the countless encomiums that preceded his essay. Even a brief glance at the resplendent folio by Apianus – or Apian, as he was also known – verifies all that Gingerich and countless other academics and collectors have penned about Astronomicum Caesareum over centuries: Seldom has a work of scholarship ever possessed more vivid, spellbinding beauty.

In his 1995 survey of the Astronomicum Cæsareum, Gingerich himself collated more than 100 copies and could account for 111 copies (including one lost during World War II). He estimated there were another 25 copies, perhaps fewer, he did not see – among them the copy being offered by Heritage Auctions in October (estimate: $150,000+). Of the folios Gingerich did inspect, very few – perhaps fewer than 10% – contained all the printed leaves and a relatively complete complement of rotating volvelles, threads and pearls.
A superb, nearly complete copy of Astronomicum Caesareum is the fitting centerpiece of Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Signature Auction, which takes place Oct. 15-16. Its estimate of $150,000 and beyond Is still a relative bargain for a 480-year-old folio that took eight years to produce, from 1532 to 1540, and whose few remaining copies are mostly shielded from the public’s view in libraries, museums and universities. The National Library of Scotland notes that the Astronomicum Caesareum “is one of the finest printed books” in its collection.

The copy in Heritage’s upcoming Rare Books event lacks several of the rotating volvelles in addition to some threads and seed pearls, used as sliding indicators, that Gingerich suggests would comprise a relatively complete copy. But Heritage’s offering is textually complete – and, just as significantly, remains in the contemporary bindings.
Apianus’ magnificent tome “is scarcer than the first edition of Copernicus's De revolutionibus, which was published only three years later,” Gingerich wrote, “and it is considerably rarer than the much-sought 1687 Principia of Newton.”
The Astronomicum Caesareum was usually found in the collections of counts and countesses, the elite and affluent, where they remained for centuries. Copies this good, in the original bindings, appear for sale but once every decade or so. If that.

“It’s such a rare book – and such a complicated book you could write a dissertation on it, as many people have,” says James Gannon, Heritage Auctions’ Director of Rare Books. “But just as amazing is the fact that one is on the market at all, and that a private person can buy it.”

The Astronomicum Caesareum is an astronomical text that doubles as fine art, the handiwork of a cartographer, cosmographer, mathematician and astronomer who had his own printshop in Ingolstadt. Almost every page is hand-painted, including each of the dozens of rotating volvelles – “a kind of paper computer,” wrote Lund University’s Lars Gislén, “that, using the detailed instructions and examples in the text, allowed readers to calculate astronomical, chronological and also astrological phenomena.”

It described five comets – among them one we would come to call Halley’s comet. Apian, too, observed that a comet's tail always points away from the sun, a discovery for which he is credited. As the University of St. Andrews in Scotland notes on its website, “Astronomicum Caesareum delighted Charles V who, on the strength of the work, appointed Apian court mathematician and he knighted Apian and his three brothers.”

As Gingerich wrote, “A triumph of the printer’s art, the Astronomicum Caesareum truly remains an astronomy fit for an emperor.”

Or, now, anyone else.

News | September 29, 2020
Courtesy of the Manhattan Rare Book Company

Writing in a neat cursive hand, Albert Einstein strongly condemns racism and segregation in the United States. The words are still relevant today – nearly 80 years later.

New York – A letter handwritten in English in 1943 by Albert Einstein – in which he strongly condemns racism and segregation in the United States – is for sale through The Manhattan Rare Book Company at a fixed price of $85,000. The letter is especially relevant now, in today’s racially and politically charged climate, even though it was written nearly 80 years ago.

Dated September 22nd, 1943 and handwritten on his embossed Mercer Street, Princeton (N.J.) stationery, the letter is addressed to Walter F. White, the influential African American Civil Rights leader who led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP) from 1929-1955. Einstein praises White for his work battling racism and prejudice.

Writing in a neat cursive hand, Einstein begins, “Dear Mr. White, I have been quite impressed by the address you delivered some years ago at a meeting of the Princeton Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. I know how hard it is to awaken the conscience even of good-hearted and well-meaning people when deep rooted prejudices are in the way.”

He concludes: “It is a great work indeed which you are doing relentlessly for the betterment of the living conditions of our Colored fellow-citizens, for justice and for the accomplishment of national unity of the American people.” The letter ends, “With sincere respect and kind wishes, Yours, Albert Einstein.” The letter is handsomely matted and framed, with a photo of Einstein.

“Einstein, writing in 1943, notes that he heard White speak ‘some years ago’. Something clearly must have deeply impressed him about White’s speech for him to write this thoughtful letter to White over three years after the event,” said Michael DiRuggiero of The Manhattan Rare Book Company. “It’s also one of the few letters Einstein hand-wrote in English. German was his preferred tongue.”

According to the Princeton Herald, on April 28, 1940 Walter White was the keynote speaker at “an inter-racial meeting sponsored by the Princeton branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,” where his topic was “What Happens to Democracy When it Encounters the Color Line”. This is the speech that inspired the letter, albeit three years later.

At the time, Princeton University did not admit African Americans, and the community was debating the question as to whether to end segregation at the school. Princeton finally did admit its first African American student, but not until the fall of 1947 – seven years after White’s speech and four years after Einstein’s letter.

In his book Albert Einstein, author Walter Isaacson observed, “To protect the rights of the individual...was Einstein’s most fundamental political tenet. Individualism and freedom were necessary for creative art and science to flourish. Personally, politically, and professionally, he was repulsed by any restraints. That is why he remained outspoken about racial discrimination in America…. As a Jew who had grown up in Germany, Einstein was acutely sensitive to such discrimination. ‘The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me,’ he wrote in an essay called The Negro Question for the January 1946 issue of Pageant magazine. ‘I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.’” Even more directly, in his 1946 commencement speech to Lincoln University, the first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the United States, Einstein strongly denounced segregation as “an American tradition which is uncritically handed down from one generation to the next,” noting that, “There is separation of colored people from white people in the United States... That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.” The remarkable letter from 1943, apparently unpublished, is one of the earliest examples of Einstein’s interest in condemning racism in the United States. His words are strong and prescient, and resonate just as strongly today as when they were first written. The letter would make a fine and important addition to anyone’s collection. Or, it could also be proudly displayed in a museum.

The Manhattan Rare Book Company is located at 1050 Second Avenue (Gallery 90) in New York City. The firm is always in the hunt for rare and important books, especially ones having to do with literature, history, science, art and photobooks, and illuminated manuscripts. To inquire about buying or selling a rare book, you may call them at 212-326-8907; or, you can email them at [email protected] To learn more, please visit www.manhattanrarebooks.com.

Auctions | September 29, 2020
Courtesy of Swann Galleries

Jean Dupas, Where is this Bower Beside the Silver Thames?, 1930. Estimate $15,000-20,000

New York — Swann Galleries’ Thursday, October 15 sale of Rare & Important Travel Posters can be described as celebrating “America the Beautiful” as a vast segment of the sale features posters showcasing premier destinations around the country. Also on offer is a top selection of international images, from London to Latvia, Bangkok and beyond.

New York City is on display with Chesley Bonestell’s New York Central Building / At the Gateway to a Continent, circa 1929 ($6,000-9,000); a rare first printing of David Klein’s 1956 TWA poster featuring a vibrant abstract view of Times Square ($5,000-7,500); and Joseph Feher’s ad for United Air Lines, in which a Douglas DC-6 can be seen flying over Central Park with the Plaza Hotel in the background ($1,500-2,000).

East coast summer destinations are among notable American travel posters. Highlights include a circa-1929 image for travel to Montauk Beach ($10,000-15,000); John Held, Jr.’s bird’s-eye view of Nantucket, a 1925 image that has not been at auction since 2006, ($6,000-9,000); travel to Atlantic City by way of the Pennsylvania Railroad, represented by Edward M. Eggleston’s circa-1935 advertisement showcasing the beach and boardwalk ($5,000-7,500); Walter L. Greene’s lush image of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Placid ($4,000-6,000); and Anthony Hansen’s New England / America’s Historic Summerland, circa 1930s ($1,000-1,500).

Notable west coast lots include Jon O. Brubaker’s 1925 California / America’s Vacation Land—the second ad ever issued for the New York Central Line ($8,000-12,000) and Jo Mora’s 1927 pictorial map California / The El Dorado, offered here in the rare first state ($1,200-1,800). Early air travel to and from San Francisco can be seen with Paul George Lawler’s 1939 Pan Am ad for travel to Hawaii via the Honolulu Clipper ($10,000-15,000), and a circa-1950s TWA poster with a view of Presidio Ave and a Market Street cable car running down California street through Chinatown towards the Ferry Terminal, with a tower of the Oakland Bay Bridge appearing in the distance ($1,200-1,800). Also of note is a previously unrecorded poster for the Northern Pacific Railway from 1920, featuring Lewis and Clark by Seaverns W. Hilton ($5,000-7,500); and two 1928 Southern Pacific Railway designs by Maurice Logan, one featuring Lake Tahoe ($1,200-1,800), and the other showcasing Redwoods ($2,500-3,500).

Other American highlights include Hernando Villa’s poster for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, which has not been seen on the auction block stateside in nearly ten years ($4,000-6,000), as well as Villa’s 1931 The Chief is Still Chief poster for the Santa Fe Railroad ($5,000-7,500).

Celebrated images from Continental Europe, the United Kingdom and more include a poster promoting early aviation in the south of France, with Charles Leone Brosse’s Meeting d’Aviation / Nice, 1910 ($10,000-15,000); a graphic representation of one of the most famous mountains in the Alps in Emil Cardinaux’s Zermatt, 1908 ($6,000-9,000), as well as Cardinaux’s Winter in der Schweiz, 1921 ($12,000-18,000); and a truly exceptional Art Deco gem for travel to the Seaside of Riga in Latvia-the Baltic Coast, circa 1930 ($1,200-1,800). An Art Deco design for the London Underground is seen in Jean Dupas’s Where is the Bower Beside the Silver Thames?, 1930 ($15,000-20,000). Scotland can be seen in a circa-1910 Caledonian Railway advertisement promoting the golf courses served by the line ($5,000-7,500). A scarce, atmospheric view of the temples of Bangkok is displayed in Michael Rudolf Wening’s Siam, circa 1920s ($2,000-3,000), and a Gatsby-esque evocation of holiday makers in Jasper, in the Canadian Rockies by Fred Powis complete the offering ($2,000-3,000). Further advertisements for rail lines, ocean liners and aviation round out the sale.

Limited previewing (by appointment only) will be available from October 12 through October 14, to be scheduled directly with the specialist in advance and conforming to strict safety guidelines. Swann Galleries staff will prepare condition reports and provide additional photographs of material on request. Advance order bids can be placed with the specialist for the sale or on Swann’s website, and phone bidding will be available. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, and Live Auctioneers. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Auctions | September 25, 2020
Courtesy of Freeman's

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible sold for $81,250.

Philadelphia, PA — Freeman’s is delighted to announce the results of its inaugural Ritual and Culture auction. Kicking off the house’s Fall/Winter 2020 fine auction season, the 240-lot sale achieved a sell-through rate of 89% and realized nearly $680,000, well surpassing its pre-sale low estimate, and with 95% of bidding taking place online. A new addition to Freeman’s fall auction schedule, Ritual and Culture is one of four new, themed auctions that present art and objects from across specialist departments in compelling and unexpected ways.

Said Head of Sale, Tessa Laney: “This sale featured a series of jewel-like collections that worked in tandem to tell a compelling story about the richness of human culture.  Each group was assembled thoughtfully by dedicated collectors who were knowledgeable and passionate about their respective fields. The fantastic results of this sale demonstrate that well-curated collections resonate strongly with a range of buyers.”

The 20-lot Books & Manuscripts section achieved a 100% sell-through rate and realized nearly $200,000. The sale included 15 incunabula, led by the highly anticipated Leaf From the Gutenberg Bible (Lot 26), which sold for $81,250—soaring past its pre-sale estimate of $40,000-60,000. Another highlight from this section was Biblia (in West Low German With Glosses According to Nicolaus de Lyra’s Postils) (Lot 31) which realized $32,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000.

Said Head of the Books & Manuscripts Department, Darren Winston: “Rarely does a collection such as this come to market. These 20 lots represent over 9,000 years of printing history. Led by an exquisite Leaf From the Gutenberg Bible, several of these titles haven’t seen any examples come to auction in over 100 years. It was a magnificent day in the book world today.”

Recent Publications | September 24, 2020

London — The Folio Society is thrilled to publish the first ever illustrated edition of Mario Puzo’s genre-defining The Godfather, a brilliant and brutal story of Mafia feuds in post-war New York.This sensational new title is lavishly illustrated with atmospheric artwork by Robert Carter and an exclusive introduction by Jonathan Freedland.

Courtesy of the Folio Society

One of the best-selling novels of all time, The Godfather’s impact on popular culture since its publication in 1969 is immeasurable. From Francis Ford Coppola’s phenomenally successful film trilogy, to gangland parlance and schoolyard banter, its legacy is global. This Folio edition is printed in two colours throughout and packed with design details that pay homage to Puzo’s epic story and its era.

Award-winning artist Robert Carter has produced a series of spectacular illustrations, each depicting different iconic scenes and transforming them into a contemporary gallery of atmospheric portraits. The edition is bound in cloth printed with a design of a bleeding upside-down New York skyline, encapsulating the drama of the novel. This is echoed throughout in the part title illustrations and on the striking blood-red slipcase.

In a newly commissioned introduction, author and journalist Jonathan Freedland explores the eternal legacy of the The Godfather. A hugely successful thriller author who writes under the pseudonym Sam Bourne, Freedland’s passionate and expert critique of Puzo’s masterpiece is a fascinating prelude to the novel itself.

This is the edition that every Godfather aficionado has been waiting for.

Product information
Bound in screen-printed cloth. 12 colour illustrations including 2 double page spreads. 480 pages. Decorative part titles. Printed in black and red throughout. Coloured page tops. Ribbon marker. Pictorial slipcase. 10" x 6 3/4". UK £79.95 US $130.00 Can $155.00 Aus $185.00

News | September 23, 2020
© The Courtauld

The manuscript of "Avant et après" by Paul Gauguin.

London — The Courtauld has acquired one of the most significant artists manuscripts ever to enter a UK public collection – a unique and richly illustrated text by the highly influential French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin.

Part-memoir and part-manifesto, the 213-page manuscript, titled "Avant et après" (Before and After) reveals important insights into Gauguin’s life, relationships and thoughts, and includes numerous  drawings and prints by the artist.

Offered to The Courtauld as part of the Government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme administered by the Arts Council, "Avant et après" is the last major manuscript by Gauguin in the world outside a public collection, and now the only example in the UK. It was written in 1903, the year of the artist’s death, at his home on the Marquesas island of Hiva Ova, French Polynesia. It has never been exhibited publicly and remains unstudied by scholars in its original form.

"Avant et après" is an important addition to The Courtauld’s collection of works by Gauguin, the most significant in the UK, joining amongst other works the masterpieces from his Tahitian period, Nevermore and Te Rerioa – and further strengthens The Courtauld’s resources for Gauguin scholarship.

In addition to anecdotes about his friendships and opinions on the work of leading contemporary artists such as Degas, Pissarro, Signac and Cézanne, one of the key sections in the manuscript reflects on the brief yet tumultuous period that Gauguin stayed with Vincent van Gogh in Arles. Gauguin describes the incident in which Van Gogh severed his own ear after a violent quarrel with his fellow artist, a passage that was long regarded as the primary source of information about that fateful and infamous event.

The manuscript is also studded with examples of Gauguin’s opinions on literary figures and caustic comments on those art critics who did not understand (or appreciate) the modernity of his art. Gauguin’s hatred of hypocrisy and bourgeois morality is a constant theme. The text also includes excoriating attacks on the French colonial and church authorities in Polynesia, alongside examples of his own exoticist racial stereotyping.

By late 2020, the manuscript will be available to view and study as a scroll-through document online, accompanied by a revised transcription and new English translation that remains as close to the original French as possible with an honest and unfiltered representation of Gauguin’s language that will aid research on the artist and his legacy.

The manuscript will be displayed alongside Gauguin’s paintings and sculpture in The Courtauld’s Gallery’s Great Room when the gallery reopens in 2021 following our major Courtauld Connects transformation project.

Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, Head of The Courtauld Gallery, said: “Having been lost from view for almost a century, the re-emergence of the original manuscript for "Avant et après" is a sensational event. Richly illustrated with drawings and prints, the odds were stacked against it surviving intact. Although he was one of the most influential artists of the 19th century, Gauguin is also a highly controversial figure.  We will now ensure that this important manuscript is fully researched and made widely available as part of the reappraisal of Gauguin’s debated legacy. It has found a fitting place in The Courtauld’s pre-eminent collection of the artist’s work. We are extremely grateful to the Acceptance in Lieu Panel, to the owner and to Sotheby’s Tax, Heritage and UK Museums Team for bringing about this remarkable acquisition”

Edward Harley, OBE, Chairman, Acceptance in Lieu Panel, said: “I am delighted that this important manuscript in Gauguin’s hand containing many original sketches and drawings has been allocated to The Courtauld Gallery through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme. "Avant et après," written shortly before Gauguin’s death, is richly illustrated and is the last major manuscript of Gauguin’s written works to be held in private hands. I hope this example will encourage others to use the scheme to make art and culture accessible by enriching our national collections.”

Auctions | September 23, 2020
Courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions

Los Angeles – A beautiful collection of 81 hand-colored aquatints by the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer from the complete collection of the illustrated travelogue, ''Prince of Wied's Travels in the Interior of North America,'' will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on September 24, 2020. Bodmer, who journeyed with the German Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied from 1833-34 along the Missouri River, produced what is considered the best depictions of the indigenous peoples and landscapes during the frontier era, an America then still unspoiled by western migration. Of the Native American tribes of the Great Plains that they encountered, Bodmer's depictions of the Blackfeet and Mandan tribes are especially important as the populations of these tribes were greatly affected by the smallpox epidemic of 1837, thus making Bodmer's work the last visual testament to their culture.
Prince Max, as he was called, chose Bodmer to accompany him on the expedition along the Missouri River to visually depict the scenes that the Prince would write about. The result is this collection: three volumes of text by the Prince and two volumes of aquatints by Bodmer, in the first Paris edition published by Chez Arthus Bertrand, 1840-43 (''Voyage dans l'interieur de l'Amerique du Nord''). Text volumes in French also include 37 wood-engraved illustrations, only lacking the map in completeness. The two complete volumes of illustrations include the large folio volume with 48 oversized hand-colored aquatints measuring approximately 24.5'' x 18'', and the quarto volume with 33 hand-colored aquatints measuring approximately 12.5'' x 10.25''. The complete set of 81 aquatints is magnificent in their display, a time capsule with their hand-coloring evoking the sense of awe and discovery of the expedition. All volumes are bound in half black morocco and blue paper-covered boards with gilt accenting, and with black morocco labels to illustrated volumes. Minor handling wear to volumes, with a few small repaired tears to plates, minute toning and foxing, a few plates beginning to separate from binding. Overall a very good plus set with excellent display quality.

Bidding begins at $150,000.

Additional information can be found at: https://natedsanders.com/81_Beautiful_Hand_Colored_Aquatints_by_Karl_Bodmer-LOT58618.aspx

Auctions | September 22, 2020
Courtesy of RR Auction

One-page letter signed "Edgar A. Poe," August 31, 1847. Estimate: $100,000+

Boston — RR Auction's October Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction is filled with rare and remarkable pieces, including extraordinary letters from Martin Luther, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, James Dean, and Abraham Lincoln.

Highlights include; a Martin Luther letter critical of Jews. In German, the one-page handwritten letter is signed "Martinus Luther D," circa September 1, 1543. An extensive, uncommonly well-preserved letter to Georg Buchholzer, Provost of St. Nikolai in Berlin, regarding the latter's altercation with the Brandenburgian court preacher Johann Agricola from Eisleben (also known as 'Magister Eisleben') about the treatment of the local Jews. Prince-Elector Joachim II, who in 1539 had introduced the Reformation to Brandenburg and whose tolerant politics toward Jews enraged the population, had long desired reconciliation between Luther and his former disciple Agricola, and he must have suspected that Provost Buchholzer was poisoning Luther's mind against his court preacher. Buchholzer, therefore, wrote to Luther requesting an interpretation of some Biblical verses by which Agricola justified his pro-Jewish stance. In his answer, Luther insists that Buchholzer has done well to preach against the Jews shall continue to do so, ignoring the habitual liar Agricola. (Estimate: $250,000+)

Edgar Allan Poe handwritten letter with Poe, hoping to publish in the year of 'Ulalume'. The one-page letter signed "Edgar A. Poe," August 31, 1847. Poe's final letter to the Philadelphia lawyer and playwright Robert Taylor Conrad, editor of Graham's Magazine. In part: "It is now a month since I wrote you about the two articles I left with you—but, as I have heard nothing from you, I can only suppose that my letter has not reached you—or, at all events, that, in the press of other business, you have forgotten it and me." Accompanied by an engraved portrait and an export certificate from the French Ministry of Culture.

Poe had been editor of Graham's from February 1841 to April 1842, but continued to contribute after leaving the magazine's employ. It was where 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' first appeared, along with several other Poe short stories and literary reviews. Graham's eventually began rejecting Poe's submissions, and infamously passed up the chance to publish 'The Raven' in 1844. A beautifully preserved letter directly associated with Poe's career as writer and critic—an immensely desirable autograph.(Estimate: $100,000+)

Henry David Thoreau signed letter. The extremely rare, early handwritten letter by "D. H. Thoreau"—his given name, before becoming 'Henry David.’ The one-page handwritten letter signed "D. H. Thoreau," Cambridge, June 22, 1837. Letter to John, in part: "I can write you nothing definite with regard to a room. I spoke with Mr. Lavering upon the subject, and he tells me that he has already received a number of applications, but is so circumstanced as not to be able to return any positive answer at present. However, he says he will remember you, and inform me of the result.

As Thoreau was completing his studies at Harvard in 1837, childhood friend and former Concord Academy classmate John Shepard Keyes was just about to begin his. Helping Keyes secure residence in the bustling college town, Thoreau penned this quick note and signed "D. H. Thoreau"; shortly after graduation, he inexplicably reversed the order of his first and middle names, signing himself 'Henry David' or 'H. D.' from that point forward. Upon his return to Concord that summer, he began his lifelong friendship with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who introduced him into the local literary scene and encouraged him to contribute essays to The Dial, where he began to make a name for himself. This letter to Keyes (who would also connect with Emerson years later, when his daughter married Emerson's son Edward) highlights a crucial year in the renowned author's life and has never before been published. Anything signed by Thoreau is highly sought after and incredibly rare; but even rarer are the few pieces signed "D. H. Thoreau," before unofficially changing his name. This letter is the only such example we have ever seen, an extraordinary literary treasure. (Estimate: $20,000+)

Thomas Jefferson letter to Madison on Jeremy Bentham and Czar Alexander I. The one-page handwritten note signed "Th: Jefferson," May 12, 1822. Letter to James Madison, "Mr. Madison," written from Monticello. In full: "I thank you for the communication of Mr. Rush's letter which I now return. Mr. Bentham's character of Alexander is I believe just and that worse traits might still be added to it equally just. He is now certainly become the watchman of tyranny for Europe, as dear to its oppressors as detestable to the oppressed. If however he should engage in war with the Turks, as I expect, his employment there may give opportunities for the friends of liberty to proceed in their work. I set out for Bedford tomorrow to be absent three weeks. I salute you with constant and affectionate friendship and respect.”

In early March, Richard Rush had sent a letter to Madison discussing several significant subjects, one being the tense situation between Turkey and Russia, fomented by the Greek War of Independence. Rush related philosopher Jeremy Bentham's criticism of the Russian leader, Emperor Alexander I, writing: 'Mr. Bentham says, that Alexander, unhappily for the power which he wields, is both a fop and a hypocrite, the most so that Europe has seen for ages. He anticipates nothing advantageous, but much of harm, to human liberty, from his reign.' A keen observer of international affairs, Jefferson's expectation of war between Russia and the Turks would be proven correct at the end of the decade: though Alexander I died in 1825, his successor, Nicholas I, went to war with the Ottoman Empire in 1828. A fantastic letter connecting the great political minds and figures of the 18th and 19th centuries. (Estimate: $20,000+)

Albert Einstein signed photograph. The magnificent vintage matte-finish studio portrait of Einstein in a pleasant bust-length pose, signed neatly in the lower border in fountain pen, "Albert Einstein, 1931." The reverse bears a credit stamp attributed to The New York Times Studio. A decidedly scarce soft-focus portrait of Einstein. (Estimate: $10,000+)

Abraham Lincoln signed letter where Lincoln petitions Sumner for a Spanish-speaker. The one-page handwritten letter as president, signed "A. Lincoln," Executive Mansion letterhead, March 11, 1863. A brief letter to Senator Charles Sumner. In full: "I still have no name for Solicitor to go to Peru. Have you?" Matted and framed by Goodspeed's Book Shop with four images to an overall size of 12 x 16. An ardent abolitionist, Charles Sumner was also chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A recently approved treaty with the South American country authorized the appointment of a solicitor 'learned in the Spanish language.' A desirable piece of correspondence demonstrating Lincoln's ability to balance the domestic tumult in the Civil War while keeping an eye toward American foreign relations. (Estimate: $10,000+)

Other top lots include a rare Adam Smith document, a stunning George Washington appointment, a Beatles album inscribed to George's sister, and an early document signed by Sun Yat-sen.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale by RR Auction began on September 12 and will conclude October 7. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.

Exhibit | September 22, 2020
Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

Ilse Bing, Self-Portrait with Leica, 1931, gelatin silver print. Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg

Washington, DC — During the 1920s, the iconic New Woman was splashed across the pages of magazines and projected on the silver screen. As a global phenomenon, she embodied an ideal of female empowerment based on real women making revolutionary changes in life and art. Featuring more than 120 photographers from over 20 countries, the groundbreaking exhibition, The New Woman Behind the Camera, explores the diverse "new" women who embraced photography as a mode of professional and personal expression from the 1920s to the 1950s. The first exhibition to take an international approach to the subject, it examines how women brought their own perspectives to artistic experimentation, studio portraiture, fashion and advertising work, scenes of urban life, ethnography, and photojournalism, profoundly shaping the medium during a time of tremendous social and political change. Accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, this landmark exhibition will be on view from February 14 through May 31, 2021, in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, Washington. It will then travel to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where it will be on view from July 12 through November 7, 2021.

In an era when traditional definitions of womanhood were being questioned, women’s lives were a mix of emancipating and confining experiences that varied by country. Many women around the world found the camera to be a means of independence as they sought to redefine their positions in society and expand their rights. This exhibition presents a geographically, culturally, and artistically diverse range of practitioners to advance new conversations about the history of modern photography and the continual struggle of women to gain creative agency and self-representation.

"This innovative exhibition reevaluates the history of modern photography through the lens of the New Woman, a feminist ideal that emerged at the end of the 19th century and spread globally during the first half of the 20th century," said Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art. "The transnational realities of modernism visualized in photography by women such as Lola Álvarez Bravo, Berenice Abbott, Claude Cahun, Germaine Krull, Dorothea Lange, Niu Weiyu, Tsuneko Sasamoto, and Homai Vyarawalla offer us an opportunity to better understand the present by becoming more fully informed of the past."

In conjunction with the exhibition, the National Gallery of Art Library presents a new installation of some 30 photographs ranging from cabinet cards to digital prints from the department of image collections that explores the rise of women photographers from the late 19th century to the present day. Among the artists featured are Jessie Tarbox Beals, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogen Cunningham, Judy Dater, Laura Gilpin, Lillian Baynes Griffin, Lotte Jacobi, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Vivian Maier, and Sarah Choate Sears. An example of a Rolleiflex camera will also be displayed.