April 2019 Archives

Hunter S Thompson Letter 56115b_lg.jpegLos Angeles - An pair of extraordinary letters by Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on April 25, 2019.

Thompson sent the letter being auctioned to his friend Paul Semonin in early June 1961 from Big Sur. Semonin was Thompson’s Louisville, Kentucky childhood friend.

The letter reads in part, “now midnight - up at 6:30 tomorrow for hard shot at $3.22 per hr. highway const. Job...am working fitfully on Great PR novel - The Rum Diary. Also building windows, skinning deer, scaling fish, raising one motherless fawn, building swimming pool, stalking boar & generally raising hell. Playboy bounced B.S. & it is now circulating for the booby prize...Anyway, pay your debts & come by for a visit. The Jew…”

Bidding for the letter begins at $2,500.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Hunter_S__Thompson_Autograph_Letter_Signed___The_J-LOT52055.aspx

Thompson wrote the  second letter being auctioned on the opposite side of a typed satire debate entitled ''THE GREAT DEBATE'', with a fictional exchange between Kennedy and Nixon. Thompson wrote regarding Kennedy's Presidential victory, ''Ok weedsucker - we got the touchdown - where do we go from here?'' 

Bidding for the letter begins at $2,000.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Hunter_S__Thompson_Autograph_Letter_Shortly_After_-LOT52056.aspx

 

 

Lot 113-Wilson copy.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries’ Printed & Manuscript Americana sale on Thursday, April 16 was the house’s third straight sale is the category to finish over $1,000,000, bringing several significant records. Institutions made up the bulk of the buyers. Specialist Rick Stattler commented: “The market remains vigorous for scarce and important material, with five-figure highlights in all of our main subject areas: early American imprints, the American Revolution, Civil War, Mormons, the West, and Latin Americana.”

Mexican imprints proved to be popular with six earning top prices in the sale. Highlights included a first edition 1674 pamphlet by famed Mexican poetess Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, consisting of Christmas carols to be sung in honor of the thirteenth-century St. Pedro Nolasco. It set a record for the author at $45,000. Juan Navarro’s 1604 Liber in quo quatuor passions Christi Domini continentur, the first music by a New World composer printed in the Americas, earned $32,500, and a first edition of Alonso de Molina’s 1565 full-length confessional manual with instructions on the administration of the sacraments, written in Nahuatl and Spanish, brought $21,250. Mexican manuscripts featured an extensive illustrated file detailing a land dispute between a ranch owner and his Nahua neighbors, with 350 manuscript pages ($30,000).

“The successful sale of the Holzer Lincolniana collection last fall brought in a strong group of related material for this auction, including our top lot, a beautiful portrait of Lincoln by Matthew Henry Wilson,” said Stattler-the artist’s copy of the last portrait rendered from life set a record for Wilson at $55,000. Other Lincoln and Civil War material of note included a newspaper extra from Detroit announcing Lincoln’s assassination, which topped its high estimate at $15,000, a likely record for any newspaper with that news, and Benson Lossing’s Pictorial History of the Civil War of the United States of America, 1866-68, ($15,000). 

Texas material was led by the manuscript diary of William Farrar Smith documenting the 1849 Whiting-Smith Expedition to form a trail from San Antonio to El Paso ($47,500) and a first edition of Batholomé Garcia’s Manual para Administrar los Santos Sacramentos, 1760, the only early work published in the Pakawan language ($13,000). 

Lots relating to the early days of America included the May 6, 1775 issue of the Virginia Gazette which reports first-hand accounts of the battles of Lexington and Concord, at $12,500, and a journal of contemporary manuscript notes dated 1788, from the Massachusetts convention to ratify the Federal Constitution, emphasizing the need for a Bill of Rights and for sovereignty of the states, at $16,250.

Additional auction records included a rare corrected variant of the 1852 Liverpool Book of Mormon, which brought $41,600, a record for any European Mormon publication, as well as an 1850s whaling diary kept by captain’s wife Alida Taber, which earned the highest known price for a woman’s whaling dairy, at $15,000.

The next auction from Swann Galleries’ Books & Manuscripts Department will be 19th & 20th Century Literature on May 14. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquires.          

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 113: Matthew Henry Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, oil on canvas, an artist’s copy of the last portrait rendered from life, 1865. Sold for $55,000.

Albert Einstein Letter Signed 57934b_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A fascinating letter by Albert Einstein on the Jewish People’s rights to defend themselves will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on April 25, 2019.  
Albert Einstein wrote the June 10, 1939 letter, postmarked from Princeton to E.J. Brown of the famed Arnold Constable & Co. department store, who worked on behalf of the refugees during Dedication Week. Einstein wrote in full, “May I offer my sincere congratulations to you on the splendid work you have undertaken on behalf of the refugees during Dedication Week.  The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness. In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test. May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us. We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity and our knowledge that the cause for which we are suffering is a momentous and sacred cause. It must be a source of deep gratification to you to be making so important a contribution toward rescuing our persecuted fellow-Jews from their calamitous peril and leading them toward a better future...[signed] A. Einstein.''

Einstein had long worked to save European Jews by issuing affidavits.

Bidding for the letter begins at $20,000. In March, Nate D. Sanders sold a similar Einstein letter for $134,344. https://natedsanders.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=51535

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Albert_Einstein_Letter_Signed_During_WWII______The-LOT51535.aspx

2010_4_125.jpgAmherst, MA --The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the golden anniversary of William Steig's seminal book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig's famous fable tells of Sylvester Duncan, a donkey who discovers a magic pebble and accidentally turns himself into a rock. With humor and pathos, Steig illustrates an emotional tale of discovery, loss, and reunion. Above all, it is a story about the love of family. William Steig's Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary is on view from May 4 to December 1 in The Carle's Central Gallery. 

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble has held a special place in readers' hearts for 50 years. Contemporary illustrators often cite the book as one of their greatest influences. The Carle is fortunate to have in its permanent collection Steig's preliminary sketches and dummy books related to the publication, thanks to the generosity of Jeanne Steig who donated over 1,000 art works by her late husband. The artist's daughter Maggie Steig has generously loaned the original published illustrations--along with her father's paints, tools, personal family photographs, and his prized Caldecott Medal--to the exhibition. 

"We have deep holdings of work by Steig in our collection," says chief curator Ellen Keiter. "It is an honor to care for his art and to share it with our guests, particularly during a special anniversary year." In addition to Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, The Carle holds Steig's art for 39 other titles, such as The Amazing Bone (1976), a Caldecott Honor book; Abel's Island (1976) and Doctor De Soto (1982), both Newbery Medal honor books; and Amos & Boris (1971), Dominic (1972), and Caleb & Kate (1977), all National Book Award honorees. Other favorites include CDB! (1968), Brave Irene (1986), and Shrek! (1990), an adaptation of which won an Oscar for best animated film of 2001.

Steig had a prolific and acclaimed career in the arts. Hailed as the "King of Cartoons," he produced a staggering 1,600 drawings and over 100 covers for The New Yorker during his lifetime. At age 61, Steig embarked on a second career as a children's picture book author and illustrator. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble was the third of his 40 books for children. 

The Carle has featured Steig's art in numerous exhibitions, most recently in Treasures from the Collection: A 15 Year Celebration. In 2004, the Museum organized the retrospective Heart and Humor: The Picture Book Art of William Steig. For this presentation, The Carle designed a charming tableau vivant of Steig's picnic scene--including a "Sylvester rock"--to engage visitors of all ages.

About The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: 

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture-book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Bobbie's Meadow is an outdoor space that combines art and nature. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at www.carlemuseum.org.

Image: William Steig, Preliminary illustration for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1969). Gift of Jeanne Steig. © William Steig.

 

Lot406 copy.jpgPhiladelphia — On Wednesday, April 10, Freeman’s had the privilege of auctioning nearly 500 lots from the Collection of Ambassador & Mrs. Alexander Weddell, deaccessioned by the Virginia House Museum to benefit future preservation, acquisitions and care of collections. With an impressive 98% sell-through rate and unprecedented registration from online bidders, the single-owner sale nearly doubled its pre-sale high estimate, totaling $1.57 million. 

Though originally chosen to describe the diverse contents that were collected by the Weddells during their personal and professional foreign travels, the auction’s overarching title: Across Continents equally befits the strong international interest that the sale ultimately generated. After a comprehensive marketing campaign targeted to a global audience, both new and established bidders from around the world actively participated in the sale, vying to acquire the fresh-to-market furniture, decorative arts, paintings, textiles and books from this time-capsule collection.  Members of the trade, private collectors, and institutions alike expressed serious interest in the collection, either with the intent of bidding or of furthering academic studies and contributing to existing scholarship.  

“This sale provided a rare opportunity to combine rigorous art historical research with the client service and global outreach that Freeman’s is known for,” says Head of Sale Tessa Laney, “Working on this extraordinary and important collection was a true dream for any auction specialist and an honor for us at Freeman’s.”

Success with Ottoman Decorative Arts

Top price was achieved just over eight hours into the marathon auction by Lot 406: A book of various types of Ottoman dress. Exciting a full bank of active phone and internet bidders, the rare book — containing 148 original watercolors by a follower of the artist Fenerci Mehmed — sold to a prominent private collector in the room for an impressive $137,500 (estimate: $4,000-6,000).  Costume albums by Mehmed are in the Istanbul University Library, the Topkapi Palace, and the Rahmi Koç Collection.  This climactic moment crowned a series of strong prices achieved for Ottoman decorative arts, preceded by the back-to-back sales of Lots 155: A large pair of 17th/18th century Ottoman cast and turned brass candlesticks, which realized $25,000 (estimate: $1,000-2,000)  and 156: An early 19th century Ottoman gilt-copper (tombak) ewer and basin that sold for $48,750 (estimate: $4,000-6,000). Decorative arts from the Far East also performed well, led by Lot 199: A finely cast and engraved Tibetan gilt copper alloy figure of a seated Buddha, 16th/17th century or earlier, that realized $42,500 (estimate: $8,000-12,000).  

Furniture Highlights

In spite of a market that is all too frequently bemoaned, furniture from the Weddells’ collection performed remarkably well, with many lots exceeding their estimates. Lot 49: A Nasrid-style early marquetry and ivory inlaid cassone, Venice or Barcelona, late 15th century, skyrocketed past its pre-sale estimate of $6,000-8,000 to sell for $59,375. Bearing similarities to examples found in notable institutions such as the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, this early and extraordinary chest elicited strong interest from national and overseas parties.  Other furniture highlights included Lot 296: An impressive Spanish Renaissance carved walnut refectory table, 17th century, that sold for $37,500 (estimate: $5,000-7,000) and Lot 309: A fine Spanish Baroque iron-mounted and velvet-lined parcel-gilt walnut Vargueño on stand, 17th century, that realized $28,750 (estimate: $8,000-12,000).

Strong Prices for the Arts of Colonial and Latin America

The arts of Colonial and Latin America emerged as a particular area of interest to collectors. Many of the lots the Weddells acquired during their time in Mexico City and Argentina with the help of Austrian art dealer Rene d’Harnoncourt, the former director of MoMA, sparked competitive and lengthy bidding wars. The pattern emerged early when Lot 40: A Spanish Colonial polychrome lacquer tray, second half 18th century, made over thirty-six times its estimate to sell for $11,050. This was succeeded by the lively sale of Lot 234: A Mexican biombo with emblems from Otto Van Veens Horattii Emblemata, 18th century, that brought $17,500 (estimate: $2,000-3,000) and Lot 242: A Mexican silver eight-light votive lamp in the Spanish Colonial style, bearing marks for Cayetano Buitrón, likely late 19th century, that achieved $17,500 (estimate: $2,000-3,000). 

Fine Art hailing from the region also fared well, with Lot 260: Cuzco School (18th century), The Death of the Virgin, selling for $26,250 (estimate: $12,000-18,000) and Lot 232: Mexican School (18th century), The Virgin of Ocotlán, realizing $15,000 (estimate: $3,000-5,000). The highest price for a work of art in the collection was achieved by Lot 253: Le Désenchanté  (The Disillusioned), a root wood sculpture by Stephen Erzia (Russian 1876-1960), which sold for $71,500 (estimate: $15,000-25,000). The Weddells purchased the work directly from the artist, whom they met in Argentina in the 1930s. Alexander and Virginia purportedly purchased three other sculptures by Erzia, which they donated to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 

Institutional Acquisitions

Numerous lots from the sale will be finding new homes in institutions, both within the United States and abroad. Most notably, several objects - including Lot 79: A Flemish mythological or historical tapestry, mid to late 16th century - will be returning to their former neighborhood of Windsor Farms in Richmond, Virginia, having been acquired by Agecroft Hall and Gardens - the historic mansion directly adjacent to Virginia House.  Additionally, Lot 78: Portrait of a Court Lady, Bust-Length by Franz Kessler (1580-1650) will be presented in a couple of months to the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, Germany, where the artist was born and spent most of his life.  

Concluding Statements

The consistently strong performance of this varied collection that spanned countries, centuries and collecting-genres is testimony to Freeman’s success with single-owner sales, to its commitment to the proper and careful handling of institutional de-accessions and to its truly international reach. “It was a great pleasure working with the Virginia Museum of History and Culture on this de-accession,” remarks Freeman’s Vice President and Southeast Representative Colin Clarke, “This collaboration and the opportunity to handle such rare, first-rate material has definitely been one of the highlights of my professional career. It resulted in a beautiful exhibition, an in-depth and scholarly catalogue, and an exciting sale with results that speak for themselves."  

Image: Lot 406: A book of various types of Ottoman dress containing 148 original watercolors by a follower of the artist Fenerci Mehmed, sold to a private collector for $137,500 (estimate: $4,000-6,000). 

Brady Portrait copy.jpgDallas, TX - Consignments from five private collections, including one of the most comprehensive private compilations of Robert E. Lee photographs (many of which are signed by Lee) ever assembled, will be among the highlights in Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Auction May 4-5 in Dallas, Texas.

“The Dr. Donald A. Hopkins collection of Lee photos is remarkable both for its depth and breadth,” Heritage Auctions Americana Director Tom Slater said. “The auction includes some 100 lots, many of which contain multiple images, and includes numerous signed photos, rare poses, and images by noteworthy photographers both North and South.”

A diligent scholar of his subject, Dr. Hopkins authored the book Robert E. Lee in War and Peace, which is extensively illustrated with examples from this collection.

Among the top lots in the auction from the collection of Dr. Hopkins:

·         Robert E. Lee: Mammoth Mathew Brady Photograph is a double-matted and framed photo showing a full view of Lee seated next to a table topped with an elaborate clock. This is not the same pose as the commonly seen “clock portrait” because of the position of Lee’s elbow in relation to the clock on the table, and other details.

·         Robert E. Lee: Full Standing "Blockade Portrait" Carte-de-Visite [CDV] by Vannerson & Jones is a post-war printing of the 1864 studio portrait by Vannerson, one of two taken for use by 19th-century artist E.V. Valentine as models for his sculpture. The offered image was printed from Vannerson’s original negative after he entered into a partnership with Jones.

·         Robert E. Lee: Unpublished, Boldly Signed Carte-de-Visite [CDV] is a vignette bust of Lee, taken during fall and/or winter of 1865-66 by Isaac N. White and Joseph Kelley, who took one outdoor view of Lee atop Traveller, Lee’s most famous horse during the American Civil War, and two indoor shots. It has a cancelled two-cent stamp on verso, and is inscribed “White & Kelley.” The offered CDV was kept by the Alexander family in Stuart’s Draft, Augusta County, Virginia from 1866-2013. It descended through the family and was found secured in the Alexander library inside a copy of General Lee: Great Commander Series by Fitzhugh Lee.

Other diverse categories strongly represented in the auction include political and presidential collectibles, Old West artifacts, items from the early days of the Woman’s  Suffrage movement, and antique advertising.  A rare Punch Cigar Store Advertising Figure Cast in Zinc, Circa 1885. Fashioned in the form of one half of the Punch and Judy puppet show, the Punch figurine remains the most elusive for collectors, and rarely comes to the auction market in such exceptional condition. Depicting Punchinello, the Lord of Misrule, with cigars in his right hand, the figure has “Wm. Demuth & Co. Manufacturers New York” cast in the base. A notorious distributor of pipes and cigar store trade figures, Demuth entered into a partnership in 1863 with Brooklyn-based foundry operator Moritz Seelig, to produce cast metal trade figures to sell through Demuth’s catalog.

In addition, General George Washington’s “Christmas Miracle” Crossing the Delaware and the Stunning Victory at Trenton is one of what is believed to be only three known copies of this exceptionally rare broadside hand-bill, titled “Fresh Advices from the Westward…” from the office of The Providence Gazette. American newspapers traditionally did not print Sunday editions in the 18th century because of the Sabbath, but the magnitude of the news in this rarity justified an exception to the rule. The only two other known copies are housed in the Rhode Island Historical Society and at the American Antiquarian Society. This is believed to be the only copy ever to sell publicly, having appeared in the American Art Association’s 1921 sale, “Americana Rarissima: A Notable Selection of Books, Broadsides, Letters.”

Other noteworthy offerings include:

Henry Clay: A Marvelous Rare and Highly Distinctive 1844 Campaign Flag Banner is the first example of this flag seen other the one pictured in Threads of History, which now resides in an institutional collection. The flag features a unique “folk art” portrait of Clay, and each corner of the canton contains part of the slogan “A Natural Currency / Revenue and Protection / Encouragement to Agriculture / Manufactures and Commerce.”

James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok: Perhaps the Most Important Known Autograph Letter Signed from this Old West Legend set a world record when it was purchased for $190,400 at auction by the consignor in 2003. Hickok wrote the letter to his wife, Agnes, in June 1876 at Omaha, Nebraska, where he was trying to put together a prospecting expedition to the Black Hills. He wrote the letter just a month before he was fatally shot by Jack McCall while playing poker, as he held a hand - aces and eights - that became known as the “dead man’s hand.”

John A. Sutter: A Superb Engraved Sword Presented to this Famous California Gold Rush Figure by the Sutter Rifles Militia Group is one of the great early California relics, having sold in 2008 for $172,000. Sutter owned the mill where James Marshall first discovered gold in 1848, and rose quickly to prominence, becoming one of the faces of the California Gold Rush and then becoming a (perhaps honorary) general in the California state militia. A unit known as the Sutter Rifles presented him with this sword, the scabbard of which was engraved with “Presented to Major General John A. Sutter / by Captn / A. Andrews / Sacramento City 1853.”

Zachary Taylor: Only Known Example Campaign Banner for the 1848 Whig Candidate and 12th President is in the style of campaign banners that attained extreme popularity in the 1840 and 1844 political seasons, but many seemed to disappear during the following two presidential elections. They enjoyed a resurgence in 1856 and rode the new wave of popularity through the remainder of the 19th century. This is the only example that Heritage Auctions ever has seen, in private or public collections, making this one of the most important political flags ever to reach the auction market. The flag is emblazoned with “Brave Old Zach” on the front, and “He protected the children” on the back - almost certainly a reference to the first event which brought Taylor national attention - as an officer in his first battle in the War of 1812, he commanded Fort Harrison, which came under attack by Indians who were siding with the British. Taylor rallied the troops, fending off the attack while allowing no harm to the women and children.

Among the 995 lots in the auction are more than three dozen Texana lots, including:

·         William Barret Travis: Legal Document Signed "W B Travis"

·         G. Woolworth Colton. Colton's New Map of the State of Texas

·         Texas: Circa 1840 Map by George Conclin

·         Sam Houston: Receipt Signed as President of the Republic of Texas

·         Texas and Rio Grande Land Grant Certificate

In the  Woman’s Suffrage category, the auction features the widely respected collection of Jeannine Coup of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the founder and editor of The Political Bandwagon, which reports on activity in the world of political items collecting. Highlights include:

·         Boldly Colored Trumpeter Button

·         Angelic Trumpeter Slogan Button

·         Rare Enamel Brooch

·         Susan B. Anthony Birthday Teaspoon

·         Billowing Pennant Enamel Brooch

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Cox & Roosevelt: An Almost Certainly Unique Black and White Variant of the Customarily Brown Whitehead and Hoag 7/8" Jugate

·         Jordan B. Noble: African American Drummer in the War of 1812 Personally Owned Snare Drum

·         George Washington: A Superb, Large, Signed Oil on Canvas Portrait by Philadelphia Artist Robert Street

·         U. S. Flags: Circa 1845 27-Star Flag

·         Sam Houston: Fabulous Life-Size Pastel Portrait by Harriet Anderson Stubbs Murphy

Young-Whitman.jpgThe Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of American poet and changemaker Walt Whitman’s birthday in spring 2019 with a series of exhibits, public programs and a digital crowdsourcing campaign to showcase the Library’s unparalleled collections of Whitman’s writings and artifacts.

The Library’s Whitman Bicentennial series will be part of the citywide Walt Whitman 200 Festival and other commemorations in the Mid-Atlantic where Whitman spent most of his life. Whitman was born May 31, 1819, and died March 26, 1892. He spent about 10 years living and writing in Washington. During the Civil War, he volunteered in military hospitals in the city to provide emotional support to wounded soldiers.

Whitman worked as a schoolteacher, printer, newspaper editor, journalist, carpenter, freelance writer and civil servant, but he is best known as one of America’s most famous poets - and as a poet of democracy.

The Library holds the most extensive array of Whitman and Whitman-related collections in the world, including manuscripts, rare books, prints and photographs. Collection items range from handwritten drafts of poems and early prose writings to rare editions of “Leaves of Grass,” Whitman’s eyeglasses and walking stick and the most famous studio portraits taken in his lifetime. The manuscript collections are digitized and available online, as are many photographs.

The Whitman Bicentennial series is part of a yearlong initiative in 2019 inviting visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers.
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By the People Crowdsourcing Campaign
April 24 - June 

The Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” will launch a campaign April 24 to enlist the public to help transcribe more than 121,000 pages of Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online. Documents selected for transcription will include samples of Whitman’s poetry, prose and correspondence, including versions of poems such as “Oh Captain! My Captain!” and fragments of poems Whitman published in more finished form in “Leaves of Grass.”

This is also a special opportunity for teachers and students to engage with Whitman’s creative process. Drafts and portions of his poems at various stages of composition reveal his active, creative mind, as well as his innovative ways of seeing the world and wordsmithing poetic expressions.

The Library will collaborate with the National Council of Teachers of English to host a Transcribe-a-Thon webinar on April 24 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The one-hour event will bring together experts from the Library, NCTE and educators to discuss how students can analyze, transcribe, review and tag the Whitman papers. Registration is open to all and available here.
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Whitman Bicentennial Display
May 16 - Aug. 15

To mark the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth, the Library will display poetry, images and ephemera from Whitman’s life in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Five cases will display Whitman’s handwritten drafts, published poems, original letters, portraits and other rarely seen materials.

The display will retrace Whitman’s life, from his birthplace on Long Island, New York, his rise as an American poet, his life in Washington - including his intimate relationship with Peter Doyle, his care for Civil War soldiers and his admiration for Abraham Lincoln - his hands-on involvement with the design and publication of his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” and pop culture references to Whitman and his legacy. It was “Leaves of Grass,” his break-through work of free verse celebrating democracy, sexuality, human potential, universalism and the natural world, that would earn Whitman worldwide fame.
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Whitman in Culpeper
Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Packard Campus Theater, Culpeper, Virginia.

For two months in early 1864, Walt Whitman resided in Culpeper, Virginia, while serving as a volunteer in the Army of the Potomac’s nearby field hospitals. Despite the ravages the war had visited upon the area, Whitman described Culpeper as “one of the pleasantest towns in Virginia.”

Local historian Bud Hall will present a talk at the Library’s Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper about Whitman’s time in the area, followed by a screening of “Shenandoah” (Universal, 1965). Jimmy Stewart stars as a Virginia farmer intent on keeping his family out of the Civil War, but with the battles being fought almost literally on his doorstep, struggles to maintain his neutrality.
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Happy Birthday Walt! - Digitized Walt Whitman Collections from the Manuscript Division
Thursday, May 30, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Manuscript Division historian Barbara Bair will host a webinar highlighting the content and research use of three digitized manuscript collections: the Walt Whitman Collection of miscellaneous manuscripts; the Charles Feinberg collection of Walt Whitman Papers; and the Thomas Harned collection of Walt Whitman Papers. She will also discuss programs celebrating Whitman’s birthday at the Library of Congress. More information is available here.
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Walt Whitman’s Birthday Party
Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Young Readers Center will host a day for families that will celebrate Whitman and his legacy on June 1 in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Activities will include an author talk from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., featuring author Robert Burleigh and illustrator Sterling Hundley discussing their book “O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War;” a birthday party for Whitman at 11 a.m.; and a book signing at 11:15 a.m. A Whitman butterfly maker activity and handouts of “Walt Whitman’s Guide to Nature Walking” will be available all day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., visiting families are also invited to participate in the Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” and help transcribe selections from Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online.
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Walt Whitman Open House
Monday, June 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Library of Congress will present a Walt Whitman Open House display in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, supplementing the ongoing Whitman Bicentennial Display with even more treasures from the Library’s collections. The Open House will feature a special array of rarely seen Walt Whitman collection items from the Manuscript, Rare Book, Music, and Prints and Photographs divisions, as well as Serials and General Collections. The display will include items pertaining to Whitman’s time in Washington, but also other materials from throughout his life, including the walking cane given to him by nature writer John Burroughs, draft poems, artistic renderings of Whitman and rare editions of “Leaves of Grass.”

As part of the celebration, the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center will host a special showing of the new documentary short film “Walt Whitman: Poet Citizen,” directed by Haydn Reiss and Zinc Films and produced in association with the Poetry Foundation. Filmed in part at the Library of Congress, “Walt Whitman: Poet Citizen” features Poets Laureate Tracy K. Smith and Robert Hass, among other poets, discussing Whitman’s life, poetry and legacy.

A reading of Whitman’s poems from his Washington years will follow at the Folger Shakespeare Library that evening.

Image: Walt Whitman in his younger years, as shown in this 1854 engraving by Samuel Hollyer used in the 1855 first edition of "Leaves of Grass." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. 

 

Compass of the Ephemeral, aerial photograph by Will Roger.jpgSmallworks Press, an independent publishing company specializing in limited edition, exquisitely-printed books focusing on contemporary art and culture, has announced it is producing and distributing the highly-anticipated Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger, the first book of aerial and drone photography by cultural co-founder of Burning Man, Will Roger.

Compass of the Ephemeral includes a collection of Will Roger’s photographs chronicling the ever-changing cityscape and transformation of Black Rock City, home to Burning Man and one of the harshest climates in the continental U.S. The book traces the history and transition of Black Rock City from a few thousand people in the late 1990s to the growing metropolis required to support over 70,000 citizens today.

As the first Director of Operations of the Burning Man event,Will Roger worked alongside the other five founding board members and all others involved to ensure that Black Rock City becomes a reality each year and then vanishes without a trace. He was instrumental in creating numerous foundations for the event, including: established the Department of Public Works (DPW), a workforce of volunteers dedicated to building and deconstructing the physical infrastructure of Black Rock City; actualized an FAA approved airport, and conceived traditions such as the Gold Spike Ceremony, a pre-event commemoration for the builders of Black Rock City, as the first stake is placed in the ground to survey and build the future city.

Roger says: “Burning Man is a blank canvas for people to come and create on. Burning Man creates a human empathy, then serendipity and creativity happens. Burning Man is the real world; everything else is the default world. People come away with changed lives and a changed culture because at Burning Man, everyone is human . . . there is no class, no color. You become family: human family, world family, global family.”

Compass of the Ephemeral also includes interpretive essays by William L. Fox, director of the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment; Alexei Vranich, American archeologist at the University of California, Berkley; Tony “Coyote” Perez-Banuet, city superintendent of Black Rock City; Crimson Rose, cultural co-founder of Burning Man; and an introduction by Harley K. DuBois, cultural co-founder of Burning Man. Each essay explores the physical, cultural and artistic context and impact of the Burning Man event.

A preview of the book will take place at the Nevada Museum of Art on May 23, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Reno, Nevada. Will Roger,William L. Fox and Crimson Rose will discuss aspects of the book with the panel moderated by Smallworks Press publisher, James Stanford.

Stanford comments, “I could not be more delighted that Will Roger chose Smallworks Press as his official publisher. Since 2006, Smallworks Press has been producing exceptional visual and interpretive works that reflect the interconnectivity of art and community, a vision that Roger has made tangible each year for the past 14 years, by visually documenting the uniqueness of Burning Man and Black Rock City and by his involvement and contributions to the Burning Man culture and infrastructure.” The book is scheduled for release June 18, 2019.

About Smallworks Press

Founded in 2006, Smallworks Press specializes in arts and culture publications and treats each book with a commitment to impeccable production, design and marketing. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Smallworks Press team has enjoyed collaborating with a wide-spectrum of artists, authors and talent to create works with beautiful chromatic illustrations and stimulating interpretation with the finest print quality. Smallworks Press has international fulfillment through IPG and Gazelle, subsidiaries of Ingram Content Group.

For information, visit www.smallworkspress.com, email info@smallworkspress.com or call 702-577-6592.

ImageCompass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger, the first book of aerial and drone photography by cultural co-founder of Burning Man, Will Roger

Life magazine copy.jpgMiami Beach, FL — In a focused installation, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University will highlight the transnational legacy of Cuban graphic designer, illustrator, publisher, and caricaturist Conrado Walter Massaguer—a leading voice in shaping early 20th-century Cuban culture who is often credited for bringing modernism to the island nation. Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer, on view June 8, 2019 through February 2, 2020, presents selections from a new gift of Massaguer material from collector Vicki Gold Levi in addition to loans and other Wolfsonian collection objects. Featuring magazine covers, advertisements, original paintings, rare sketches and personal letters, and caricatures of famous figures from Hollywood stars to royalty and presidents, the nearly 100 works on view call attention to Massaguer’s profound influence on design in both Cuba and the U.S. over his 40-year career.

“Conrado Massaguer’s art left an indelible mark on Cuba, helping to define not only what Cubans considered ‘in vogue,’ but also informing day-to-day culture and politics,” said Frank Luca, Wolfsonian chief librarian and the installation’s curator. “Though he won his international acclaim a century ago, his style remains fresh and imaginative in a way that still feels incredibly modern to us today.”

Added Gold Levi, “I first discovered Massaguer through his magazine Social when I began research for Cuba Style, a book I wrote with Steve Heller—I was immediately captivated! As I continued studying, collecting, and traveling to Cuba over the years, I only fell deeper in love with Massaguer’s witty graphics and simple, pure, evocative lines. I’m honored to collaborate with The Wolfsonian on raising awareness about such a versatile, talented artist.”

Born in the Cuban city of Cárdenas, Massaguer (1889-1965) was educated in both Cuba and America and frequently traveled back and forth, simultaneously building his reputation as a premier artist and art director in Havana and New York City. Over the course of four decades—and particularly during a brief exile in the U.S. during Gerardo Machado’s dictatorship—Massaguer became a prominent trendsetter in America by designing covers and illustrations for many of the leading magazines of the time, including Vanity Fair, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, and Literary Digest. While he took many cues from American publications and artists for these commissions, Massaguer put a distinctly Cuban stamp on a 1931 exhibition of his work at Delphic Studios, a New York gallery. There, Massaguer’s impressions of his native country were placed front and center, with a uniquely Cuban flavor evident in the style and themes.

Back in his homeland, Massaguer likewise cemented his role in publishing by founding and art directing his own lifestyle magazine, Social, in which he nurtured the careers of numerous Cuban illustrators and caricaturists. From the 1920s into the 1950s, Social set the tone for Cuban values and taste, heavily publicizing the idea of the liberated and sexualized “new woman” (or flapper) and incorporating a bold Art Deco aesthetic. Massaguer was also central to Cuba’s tourism campaigns, creating striking advertising art that packaged Cuba as a product and sought to lure Americans south through vibrant visions of a tropical playground. His status in Cuban society brought him in close proximity to foreign dignitaries, politicians, and visiting celebrities, many of whom he parodied in his signature, New Yorker-esque caricatures.

Key works in Cuban Caricature and Culture are:

  • A humorous self-caricature used by Massaguer to announce his arrival in New York in the 1920s and introduce himself to the American art scene;
  • A sketch of Walt Disney paired with a photograph of Massaguer and Disney;
  • Several illustrations of the artist’s “Massa-girl” types, fashionable women with bobbed hairstyles that popularized the “new woman” ideal in Cuba;
  • Come to Cuba, a vibrant, early-1950s brochure produced for the Cuban Tourism Commission that touts the various attractions (dancing, beach-going, gambling, and horse racing) of “the loveliest land that human eyes have ever seen”;
  • A Social cover showing a Deco-style evolution of the “new woman”; and
  • A Christmas holiday advertisement for Esso made in the aftermath of the Allies’ victory in the Second World War, with caricatures of Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle, Chiang Kai-shek, and Santa Claus.

Massaguer’s immense popularity is reflected in a robust market for fakes that Cuban Caricature and Culture will address through a counterfeit illustration of Albert Einstein. By displaying this fraudulent piece beside a genuine version, The Wolfsonian will reveal the forger’s tactics for, and missteps in, mimicking the designer’s trademark flair.

The installation coincides with the publication of Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction, a new companion book to a 2016 Wolfsonian exhibition of the same name also drawn from Vicki Gold Levi’s gifts. Touching upon many of Massaguer’s groundbreaking works, the book is the culmination of twenty years of Gold Levi’s interest in Cuban memorabilia and photography, and a capstone to almost two decades of Wolfsonian support and ongoing gifts.

“The Wolfsonian’s collection is renowned for its examples of graphic design, yet until Vicki’s gifts just a fraction demonstrated the mammoth impact of Cuban culture on its northern neighbor,” said Wolfsonian director Tim Rodgers. “This new material marks an exciting addition that proves how our cultural exchange was indeed a two-way street paved in large part by Cuban artists and tastemakers. Sharing Massaguer’s story right here in Miami—the gateway to Latin America—is remarkably fitting.”

Image: Magazine, Life, January 19, 1928. Conrado W. Massaguer (Cuban, 1889-1965), cover illustrator The Wolfsonian-FIU, The Vicki Gold Levi Collection 

 

WHAT: The New England Society in the City of New York (NES) is pleased to announce the finalists, or the “shortlist,” for the 2019 New England Society Book Awards, which recognize books of merit that celebrate New England and its culture. The NES Book Awards are presented annually to authors of books published in the previous year. Following tradition, the winning authors will be selected from this shortlist and announced to the membership at the annual Founders’ Day Celebration on May 15. The winners will then be lauded at a special evening at the National Arts Club on  June 27.  “Given the remarkable roster of Finalists and the broad range of categories and subjects explored by them, we look forward to naming the Winners of the 2019 New England Society Book Awards,” said Roland Foster Miller, the committee co-chair. “They will be stellar.” 

THE FINALISTS:  

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY

  • The Art of Curating: Paul J. Sachs and the Museum Course at Harvard
    by Sally Ann Duncan and Andrew McLellan (Getty Publications)
  • Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting
    by Dan E. Byrd and Frank H. Goodyear III (Yale University Press)

FICTION

  • Still Life With Monkey by Katharine Weber (Paul Dry Books)
  • The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith (Penguin Random House, Viking)
  • The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller (Penguin Random House, Viking)  

CONTEMPORARY NONFICTION/BIOGRAPHY

  • Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman (Pantheon Books)
  • Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World by Eileen McNamara (Simon & Schuster)

HISTORICAL NONFICTION

  • After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet
    by Julie Dobrow (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War by Lisa Brooks (Yale University Press)

SPECIALTY TITLE

  • Seaweed Chronicles by Susan Hand Shetterly (Algonquin Books)
  • A Naturalist at Large by Bernd Heinrich (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

WHERE & WHEN: The June 27 event is open to the public, offering all NES members and literary enthusiasts a chance to mingle with winners. This year’s event will be held at New York’s venerable National Arts Club and include a panel discussion with the winning authors, book signings and the awards ceremony. To purchase tickets, visit www.nesnyc.org/upcomingevents or call 212.297.2194.

WHO: Founded in 1805, The New England Society in the City of New York is one of the oldest social, charitable and cultural organizations in the United States. For more than 100 years, prominent writers such as Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louis Auchincloss, William F. Buckley Jr., David McCullough, Dominick Dunne and Nathaniel Philbrick have been honored by NES. The New England Society Book Awards carry on these literary connections and recognize books of merit that celebrate New England and its culture.

Wolfson copy.jpgLondon — The shortlist for the Wolfson History Prize 2019 is revealed today, celebrating the best new historical non-fiction books in the UK.

From a major new biography of Oscar Wilde, to an entirely fresh take on Queen Victoria as Empress of India, and from a history of the human impact of the Holocaust, to an exploration of the role of birds in the Ancient World, the books shortlisted for the most prestigious history prize, and most valuable non-fiction prize in the UK, each combine excellence in historical research with readability.

The Wolfson History Prize 2019 shortlist is:

  • Building Anglo-Saxon England by John Blair
  • Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice by Mary Fulbrook
  • Trading in War: London's Maritime World in the Age of Cook and Nelson by Margarette Lincoln
  • Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words by Jeremy Mynott
  • Oscar: A Life by Matthew Sturgis
  • Empress: Queen Victoria and India by Miles Taylor

Chair of the judges and President of the British Academy, David Cannadine, commented: “The great strength and depth of history writing in the UK is demonstrated by this year’s shortlist. It brings together a range of authors, writing very different types of history across many periods and from divergent perspectives. The unifying element is a commitment to share their meticulous research and passion for their subject with as wide an audience as possible. The task of the judges - although difficult - was a delightful one, and it is with great enthusiasm that we announce the shortlist for 2019.” 

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive at the Wolfson Foundation, which awards the Prize, said: “The Wolfson Foundation awards the Wolfson History Prize to make a public statement about the importance of history writing to society. The Prize celebrates wonderful books - books that break new ground in understanding the past and which are written in an engaging and accessible style, attributes which each of this year’s shortlisted works skilfully demonstrate.”

Individual and personal histories feature prominently in this year’s shortlist, which includes works offering fresh insights into influential historical figures Oscar Wilde and Queen Victoria, and books exploring the impact of global conflict on ordinary people.

Oscar: A Life by Matthew Sturgis - the only work by a non-academic historian to be shortlisted - is the first major biography of Oscar Wilde in thirty years. Offering a wealth of new material to create a rich and moving portrait of Wilde and the era in which he lived, Oscar: A Life demonstrates why Wilde is as relevant today as ever and presents him as an inspiration to all those who seek to challenge convention. Empress: Queen Victoria and India by Miles Taylor is an entirely original account of Queen Victoria’s relationship with India, highlighting not only her cultural, political and diplomatic influence on India, but also how passionately involved with the country she was throughout her reign.

Two of the shortlisted works examine the impact of war, persecution and conflict on an individual, human level, bringing untold and forgotten histories to the fore. Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice by Mary Fulbrook explores the lives of both the victims and the perpetrators of the Holocaust, illuminating the stories of those who have previously remained outside the media spotlight, while exposing official myths about dealing with the past, and the extent to which the vast majority of Nazi perpetrators evaded justice. Trading in War: London's Maritime World in the Age of Cook and Nelson by Margarette Lincoln is a vivid account of the forgotten citizens of maritime London who sustained Britain during the Revolutionary Wars, harnessing little-known archival and archaeological sources to highlight the pervasive impact of war.

Offering fresh perspectives on ancient history and exploring humankind’s relationship with nature, Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words by ornithologist Jeremy Mynott, uses representations of birds in Ancient Greece and Rome as a prism through which to explore the similarities and differences between ancient conceptions of nature and our own. Meanwhile, Building Anglo-Saxon England by John Blair is a radical rethinking of the Anglo-Saxon world that presents the latest archaeological discoveries to reappraise the origins of towns, villages and castles, highlighting how the natural landscape was modified for human activity.

Judges’ Comments on the Wolfson History Prize 2019 Shortlist:

On Building Anglo-Saxon England by John Blair: “A guide to a world now almost utterly lost and wholly unrecognisable. Drawing on decades of research and richly illustrated, Blair's book provides us with a panoramic view and a startling new interpretation of the Anglo-Saxon world.”

On Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice by Mary Fulbrook: “Quoting many moving accounts from victims of the extreme cruelty perpetrated by the Nazis, Fulbrook moves through the generations to trace the legacy of Nazi persecution in postwar Germany. A masterly work which explores the shifting boundaries and structures of memory.”

On Trading in War: London's Maritime World in the Age of Cook and Nelson by Margarette Lincoln: “Covering crime and punishment, shipbuilding and repair, smuggling and much more, this lively account recovers the forgotten people of maritime London, the commercial centre which sustained a global empire.”

On Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words by Jeremy Mynott: “Charming, quirky, and lavishly detailed, this beautifully illustrated book helps us to understand ancient cultures from the unfamiliar angle of the ornithologist.”

On Oscar: A Life by Matthew Sturgis: “An authoritative and tremendously readable biography of Oscar Wilde by an author who brings to life a man whose anarchic genius never fades. A superb, original and balanced study.”

On Empress: Queen Victoria and India by Miles Taylor: “It is hard to write something new and original about Queen Victoria, but Miles Taylor succeeds triumphantly. An engaging and impeccably researched account that throws fresh light onto the British Raj. Victoria will never seem the same after this.”

The winner of the Wolfson History Prize 2019 will be named at a ceremony at Claridge’s Hotel, London, on Tuesday 11 June. The winner will be awarded £40,000, with each shortlisted author receiving £4,000.

The Wolfson History Prize is run and awarded by the Wolfson Foundation, an independent charity that awards grants in the fields of science, health, education, arts & humanities.

The Wolfson History Prize 2019 Shortlist will be showcased at a live recording of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking, hosted at the British Academy in London, on Tuesday 7 May. Chaired by Professor Rana Mitter, the 2019 shortlisted authors will debate history writing and offer an insight into each of their books. Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/events/wolfson-history-prize-2019-shortlist

654_397_1 copy.jpgChicago — Hindman LLC announces the May 1 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction, featuring significant collections of presidential and first lady free frank covers, important aviation manuscripts, and a selection of science and medical books. These sessions, along with additional items in the categories of literature, including a collection of works by Dickens, artist’s books, travel and exploration, and other exceptional Americana, books and manuscripts will be offered in the auction and on preview in Chicago from April 26 to April 30. 

The collection of free frank covers most significantly features notes from George and Martha Washington. The free frank note from Mrs. Washington (estimated at $30,000 - $40,000) is exceptionally rare, as she died shortly after her franking privileges were granted. This example is one of only four of her franking signatures that are known to exist. The cover from George Washington dates to the year 1779, when he was serving as commander of the Continental Army, and has a presale estimate at $4,000 - $6,000. Additional franking signatures from James Monroe, Dwight Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Julia Grant, and Sarah Polk will be offered in the sale.

Significant aviation materials to be featured include a signed photograph of Orville and Wilbur Wright and the certificate of incorporation for the Wright Company. The signed photograph of Orville Wright in flight is one of only three known examples with the signatures of both Orville and Wilbur to appear at auction in the last 40 years (estimated at $8,000 - $12,000). It was taken at Fort Myer, Virginia, in 1908, while Orville Wright completed the first ever hour-long flight. The certificate of incorporation for the Wright Company, a founding document in the history of aviation signed by Orville and Wilbur Wright and their business partners, will also be offered at an estimate of $20,000 - $30,000.

Highlights from the session of science and medical books include an early edition of Galileo’s Systema cosmicum, and a rare copy of Alhazen’s OpticaeThesaurus...eiusdem liber de Crepusculis & Nubium ascensionibus, a foundational work in the fields of optics and vision (estimate $18,000 - $25,000).

“Our May 1 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction includes a number of fine objects representing a strong cross-section of the books, manuscripts and Americana markets, and we’re honored to bring these highlights to market,” said Gretchen Hause, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Hindman LLC.

The May 1 auction follows a successful series of sales for the department. The department opened their 2019 season in March with Part II of The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett, during which several department records were broken. The auction was the second part of the single-owner sale of the library belonging to the record setting explorer, known for his achievements in aeronautics, mountaineering, racing and boating. The March 15 sale achieved a sell-through rate of 100%.The library as a whole realized over $890,000, making it the most valuable collection the Fine Books and Manuscripts department has handled.

Hindman conducts over 100 auctions annually and appraises thousands of objects throughout the year in addition to handling major single-owner collections. The firm is currently accepting consignments for summer, fall and winter sales. To contact the Chicago office of Hindman LLC, visit lesliehindman.com/chicago or call 312.280.1212.

Image: Photograph signed “Orville Wright” and “Wilbur Wright” taken for Collier’s Weekly by James H. Hare. 1908. Estimate $8,000-12,000.

Wyeth Launcelot copy.jpgDallas, TX - A pair of paintings by the patriarch of arguably the greatest family of American artists could produce seven-figure results in Heritage Auctions’ American Art auction May 3 in Dallas, Texas.

Known initially for his depictions of cowboys, pioneers and Native Americans from the Old West, Newell Convers Wyeth started imaging medieval tales of romance and adventure in the 1910s. In 1917, he executed 17 works for the latest edition of Sidney Lanier’s The Boy’s King Arthur. This version printed with Wyeth’s illustrations became an instant classic and led to numerous other commissions for the artist, including Robinson Crusoe, Last of the Mohicans, and Robin Hood.

“This auction may be considered a syllabus on the history of Golden Age Illustration,” Heritage Auctions Vice President and American Art Director Aviva Lehmann said. “Alongside masterworks by blue-chip artists N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and Joseph Christian Leyendecker, we also offer prime examples by lesser-known geniuses from this watershed moment of American Art--John Falter, Francis Xavier Leyendecker, Amos Sewell and more. This auction gives both seasoned and new collectors a rare opportunity to acquire fabulous examples of American Illustration at virtually every price point.”

Newell Convers Wyeth "I am Sir Launcelot du Lake, King Ban's son of Benwick, and knight of the Round Table," The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table interior book illustration, 1917 (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000) is a magnificent illustration depicting the pivotal moment at which, after hours of battle, Sir Launcelot reveals his identity to Sir Turquine, thereby necessitating a fight to the death. Wyeth, who studied in the early 1900s with Howard Pyle, sought historical authenticity and collected props and costumes like the medieval armor seen here. This particular illustration, with its heightened emotion and Neo-Impressionist palette and brushwork, is a true star of the Andrew J. Sordoni Collection, 12 highlights of which are featured in this auction. The Sordoni Collection, one of the finest of Illustration Art, comes the Sordoni family and their beloved Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Also from the Sordoni Collection is a second masterwork from Newell Convers Wyeth. "Mr. Cassidy ... Saw a Crimson Rider Sweep Down Upon Him ... Heralded by a Blazing .41," Bar-20 Range Yards, Part VII - Cassidy at Cactus, The Outing Magazine interior illustration, December 1906 (estimate: $700,000-1,000,000) harkens back to Wyeth’s roots painting cowboys and Western pioneers and is significant as one of the earliest illustrations of the story of Hopalong Cassidy, the fictional cowboy created in 1904 by author Clarence E. Mulford. Here, vigilante Slim Travennes, having been caught horse rustling, desperately wields his .41-caliber pistol and flees town on horseback as Cassidy and his Bar-20 gang pursue not far behind. A 20th-century cultural icon, Hopalong Cassidy is one of collector Andrew Sordoni’s favorite subjects, variously appearing in this auction in paintings by Maynard Dixon, Frank Schoonover, and George Gross.

Norman Rockwell The Night Before Christmas (Santa Peering over Chair at Sleeping Child), Literary Digest magazine cover, December 22, 1923 (estimate $500,000-700,000) is one of 16 Rockwell works in the auction, 11 of which are from the Collection of Jack and Martha Campbell of Houston, Texas. Capturing in dramatic lighting a sleeping child and dog on Christmas Eve, with a jubilant Santa Claus peeping out from the shadows, this evocative and tender scene was featured on the cover of the Dec. 23, 1923 issue of Literary Digest and was Rockwell’s fifth and final cover illustration for the magazine. Executed between 1923 and 1968, the Rockwell works from the Campbell Collection represent a microcosm of the artist’s career and include important magazine covers, interior stories, book illustrations, and advertisements.

Frederic Remington The Broncho Buster #73, March 25, 1908 (estimate: $250,000-350,000) is the artist’s first and most popular bronze sculpture, which evolved into a symbol of the spirit of the American West. Revered for his two-dimensional narrative scenes of cowboys on the Western plain, Remington here focuses on the vigorous, muscular movements of the rider and horse without any extraneous background setting. The Rough Riders (a nickname given to the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry) gave one of the casts to Theodore Roosevelt in 1898; a different cast, presented to Jimmy Carter during his presidency, has remained in the White House ever since.

Maxfield Parrish A Man of Letters [The Mudball], Life Magazine cover, January 5, 1921 (estimate: $200,000-300,000) from the Sordoni Collection, exemplifies the artist’s winning combination of precise draftsmanship, strong graphic design, and amusing characters, making him one of the most celebrated early 20th-century magazine illustrators. Spotlighting Parrish’s whimsical self-portrait character of the artist or “seer,” the illustration shows a sign painter sitting precariously on a board, meticulously rendering the title letters on the Life  magazine cover as he is assaulted by a mudball wrecking his craftsmanship.

Joseph Christian Leyendecker New Year's Baby 1919, The Saturday Evening Post cover, December 28, 1918 ($100,000-150,000) resonates exactly 100 years after it appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post commemorating the Nov. 11, 1918 Armistice ending World War I. A twinkly-eyed, towheaded cherub, symbol of fresh beginnings, releases a dove of peace. This lot ranks among Leyendecker’s most famous Post covers, not merely by referencing a momentous historical event, but also by featuring his most iconic magazine character, the New Year’s baby.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Frederick Carl Frieseke En Promenade, 1908 ($300,000-500,000)

·         Norman Rockwell Man with Fishing Rod and Bottle of Ale, Ballantine ale advertisement, circa 1950 ($70,000-100,000)

·         Frank Earle Schoonover “Skinny Dragged Him Over to a Crack and Settled Down for Another Try," Bar-20 Yarns, The Outing Magazine interior illustration, April 1906 ($70,000-100,000)

·         Thomas Moran Venice ($70,000-100,000)

·         Thomas Worthington Whittredge Flood on the Delaware, 1880 ($60,000-80,000)

·         Thomas Doughty Two Fisherman, 1828 ($50,000-70,000)

The Sordoni Collection comes from the family and Wilkes University, where generations of Sordonis have been involved with the university — the family donated a gallery to the university — and its art collection. This auction includes 12 lots from the Sordoni Collection.

Declaration signers.jpgWestport, CT - Anyone looking to start, add to or complete their collection of signers of the Declaration of Independence will have that opportunity in University Archives’ next online-only auction, set for Wednesday, May 15th, starting at 10:30 am Eastern time. All but one of the Declaration’s 56 signers will be offered as individual lots - not as a set - many for the first time.

“Rarely do you see a nearly complete set of Declaration signers come up for bid, especially as single lots,” said John Reznikoff, president of University Archives. “Some of these signatures have been off the market for a hundred years. This is a rare opportunity for collectors to own a piece of American history, or more than one piece if they’re filling in spaces in their collections.” 

Mr. Reznikoff is no stranger to Declaration signers. Twice before he’s sold several complete sets once for well over one million dollars. “That was one of the finest sets in existence,” he remarked, “and the buyer was more than happy to pay that much.” Reznikoff added he’s probably sold more Declaration signer material than any other auction house or dealer alive.

Button Gwinnett - the only signer not in the auction - was a British-born American Founding Father and Georgia’s representative to the Continental Congress. He also served briefly as Georgia’s provisional president. The reason his signature is so rare is that he was killed in a duel by rival Lachlan McIntosh following a dispute after a failed invasion of East Florida, in 1777.

But the rest of the signers - from John Hancock to John Adams to Benjamin Franklin to Samuel Adams to George Wythe - are all in the sale, to include George Taylor (Opening Bid: $8,500); Arthur Middleton (OB: $7,000); Thomas Lynch (OB: $5,000); and Francis Lightfoot Lee (OB: $3,000). The Declaration announced and explained the United States’ separation from England.

Live bidding for the auction will be posted by April 25th. That’s when the full catalog will be available for view, at. www.UniversityArchives.com.  As with all University Archives auctions, it will be loaded with rare, highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. Internet bidding will also be available via Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com.

In addition to the Declaration signers, other noteworthy consignments include four items signed by Abraham Lincoln and two items signed by George Washington (with possibly more of each on the way); a large aviation archive; a letter written and signed by Founding Father and political theorist Thomas Paine; plus the usual smattering of scarce, curated and highly collectible items.

As with all University Archives online auctions, this one will be packed with important, rare and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most famous names in all of history. The firm has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare material of this nature.

University Archives is currently seeking quality material for future auctions. The deadline to consign for the May 15th sale has technically passed, but if anyone has an item or collection that might complement the trove of Declaration signers or other material pertaining to U.S. history, they may contact John Reznikoff, at (203) 454-0111, or john@universityarchives.com.

“We can offer up to a 100 percent cash advance and a highly competitive commission structure,” Reznikoff said. “We’re only able to do this owing to our position in the industry as the premier auction house for signed historical documents, letters and manuscripts. Our reputation is rock-solid worldwide and has been earned over a period of four decades. People respect us globally.”

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, May 15th Internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com. For phone bidding, please call 800-237-5692.

Image: All but one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence will be offered as individual lots in University Archives’ online auction slated for Wednesday, May 15th.

 

 

Lot 6-Schongauer copy.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries’ sale of Old Master Through Modern Prints, which offers the most comprehensive range of Old Master prints found in North America, as well as the house’s largest offering of Latin American prints and originals to date, comes across the block Thursday, May 2. 

A comprehensive selection of Latin American prints and originals is set to come across the block. Compiled into a separate catalogue, the material includes scarce Rufino Tamayo Mixografía prints: Dos Personajes atacados por Perros, 1983, an ambitious and large-scale print offered at $15,000 to $20,000, and Sandias con Manzana, 1985, is present at $7,000 to $10,000. Also of note is Tamayo’s 1973 portfolio Los Signos Existen, with six colored lithographs ($10,000-15,000). Diego Rivera is represented by a 1949 conte crayon drawing Bailarina Enmascarada en la Carnival Huejozzingo ($15,000-20,000), and his 1922 lithograph El sueño (La noche de los pobres) ($30,000-50,000). Ángel Botello’s expressive landscape Paisaje, a circa 1955-60 oil on board ($12,000-18,000), and Robert Burle Marx’s acylic on cloth Sem Título, 1988 ($25,000-35,000), round out the offering. 

The morning session will feature an array of Old Master works including Rembrandt’s 1645 etching The Omval, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000, and Albrecht Dürer’s engraving The Sea Monster, circa 1500, which is expected to bring $40,000 to $60,000. Iconic engravings from Dürer’s predecessor Martin Schongauer, includes The Tribulations of St. Anthony, circa 1469-73, which leads the sale at $100,000 to $150,000, and Christ Carrying the Cross: the Large Plate, engraving, circa 1480, at $40,000 to $60,000. Virtuoso etchings by Giovanni B. Piranesi and Francisco José de Goya and a scarce, monumental woodcut from the circle of Titian ensure a stand-out selection. 

Nineteenth-century prints on offer include etchings by James A. M. Whistler, The Two Doorways, 1879-80, and Long Venice, 1879-80, each at $20,000 to $30,000. Meules, circa 1892, and Trois Barques sur la Grève, 1892, two color lithographs of haystacks in reddish orange and docked sail boats in blues, yellows and greens, by Claude Monet and George W. Thornley are present at $10,000 to $20,000 apiece. Paul Gaugin’s 1893-93 woodcut Mahna no Varua Ino, which predates the Jacques Beltrand and Pola Gauguin impressions, is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. 

Picasso is well represented with a run of prints from the early- and mid-twentieth century. One of the 100 etchings produced for the Vollard Suite, Garçon et Dormeuse à la Chandelle, 1934, comes across the block estimated at $30,000 to $50,000. The etching portrays a tranquil scene of a sleeping woman, Marie-Thérèse, as a young man watches. Additional works by the artist include the 1934 portfolio Lysistrata, with a complete set of six etchings depicting scenes from the Greek comedy ($20,000-30,000); Femme couchée, a 1924 lithograph, of which only eight other impressions have been found at auction in the past 30 years ($10,000-15,000), and L’Étreinte II, 1963, a lincoleum cut featuring Picasso’s rinsing process-épreuves rincées-developed in the early 1960s ($12,000-18,000).

Additional Modern masters include Maurits C. Escher’s classic woodcut, Sky and Water I, 1938, which carries an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. Natura morta a grandi segni, 1931, a still life etching by Giorgio Morandi is expected to bring $15,000 to $20,000. Also of note is Salvador Dalí’s color lithograph Cosmic Rays Resuscitating Soft Watches, 1965, at $7,000 to $10,000.

Exhibition opening in New York City April 27. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 6: Martin Schongauer, The Tribulations of St. Anthony, engraving, circa 1469-73. Estimate $100,000 to $150,000.

6eea33b5bac9c5cc9e30b89d_880x876.jpgNew York — A summer exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum celebrates an extraordinary bequest from acclaimed author and illustrator of children’s books Maurice Sendak (1928-2012). Best known for his 1963 picture book Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak was an avid music and opera lover. Beginning in the late 1970s, he embarked on a second career as a designer for opera and ballet. Opening June 14, Drawing the Curtain brings together nearly one hundred and fifty drawings from more than 900 by Sendak in the Morgan’s collection, including preliminary sketches, storyboards, finished watercolors, and painted dioramas. Also included are earlier works by Sendak on loan from The Maurice Sendak Foundation, and a number of props and costumes.This is the first museum exhibition dedicated to Sendak’s set and costume designs, offering new insights into the artist’s inspirations and creative process.

Like his children’s book illustrations, Sendak’s designs for the stage embody his singular hand, his fantastical mode of storytelling, and his keen—sometimes bawdy—sense of humor. Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak’s Designs for Opera and Ballet presents a wide selection of works from five of his most important productions: Mozart’s Magic Flute, Janáček's Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, and an opera based on Where the Wild Things Are. These inventive designs demonstrate his exceptional skill as a visual storyteller.

A selection of eighteenth and nineteenth-century works from the Morgan’s collection by artists who influenced Sendak will be displayed alongside his designs. Throughout his career, Sendak drew inspiration from his visits to the Morgan, particularly his encounters with the compositions of Mozart, and the drawings of William Blake and Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo. The Morgan’s diverse holdings of music manuscripts, autograph letters, printed books, and Old Master drawings mirrored Sendak’s own wide-ranging passion for music, art, and literature.

This will be the fourth and most comprehensive exhibition of Sendak’s work at the Morgan. The first took place in 1981, with drawings for Sendak’s deeply personal picture book Outside Over There and from his recent work on The Magic Flute. Both had been inspired by a visit Sendak made to the Morgan in 1977 to view drawings by Blake. This was followed by exhibitions of his illustrations for the Grimm tale Dear Mili in 1986 and drawings for the book Where the Wild Things Are in 2009, on the occasion of the release of a major motion picture adaptation. Sendak made use of the Morgan’s collections on at least two other occasions, including in 1987, when he leafed through Mozart manuscripts during the filming of the PBS documentary American Masters.

“Few people know that Maurice Sendak had a long and productive relationship with the Morgan. It is exciting to focus on his work as a theater designer, which is an often overlooked but important aspect of his career as an artist,” said Director of the museum, Colin B. Bailey. “We are deeply grateful to The Maurice Sendak Foundation for their support in the planning of this exhibition and for lending several key works, including examples of Sendak’s charming Fantasy Sketches.”

“This exhibition will be a wonderful surprise to those who are familiar with Sendak primarily through his beloved books,” said Rachel Federman, Assistant Curator in the Modern and Contemporary Drawings Department and the curator of the exhibition.“His designs for opera and ballet have all the beauty, humor, and complexity of his picture books and illustrations, but they also put on full display his passion for art, art history, and music.”

Publication

Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak’s Designs for Opera and Balletwill be the first major museum catalogue of Sendak’s work. It reproduces all works in the exhibition as well as additional works by Sendak and others from whom he took inspiration.The essays discuss the importance of music and movement to Sendak, the artworks that inspired his stage designs, and the historical and biographical contexts that formed them, providing critical insights into one of the twentieth century’s most important children’s book authors and illustrators.

Author: Rachel Federman, with contributions by Liam Doona, Christopher Mattaliano, and Avi Steinberg Publisher: The Morgan Library & Museum and DelMonico Books -Prestel 208pages.

Image: Maurice Sendak (1928-2012),Ship (Nutcracker), 1982-4, gouache and graphite pencil on paper. © The Maurice Sendak Foundation. The Morgan Library & Museum, Bequest of Maurice Sendak, 2013.107:289. Photography by Janny Chiu.

NY Video announcement.pngOn March 5, 2019, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers held the symposium Who Owned this? Libraries and the Rare Book Trade Consider Issues Surrounding Provenance, Theft and Forgery at the renowned New York book collectors club, the Grolier Club, jointly organized with the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA).

Rare booksellers are faced with increasing demands from institutions to have strong provenance on materials they buy. Booksellers need to know how to deal with this and have a good understanding of what libraries need. The symposium brought together a range of experts and scholars from the antiquarian book trade, libraries but also investigation, insurance, art law and IT. 

Today marks the 1st International Provenance Research Day with more than 60 cultural institutions in Germany, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland organizing large number of symposiums and workshops at museums, archives and libraries.

Coinciding with this important initiative, ILAB launches the videos of the New York Provenance Symposium.

Please follow this link: https://vimeo.com/album/5874116 

As Sally Burdon, ILAB President said in her introduction on the day:

“The popular image of an old bookshop with a slightly eccentric bookseller selling books in a shop untidily crammed with books and a computer nowhere in sight, is not the modern reality. Antiquarian books, manuscripts, maps, prints etc. are constantly being traded across international borders. Because of this, identifying and keeping track of stolen items is ever more important and requires immediate response to prevent such items being on sold. The rules and regulations that govern this international market place are becoming ever more complex and difficult to keep up with for everyone involved from libraries, institutions, booksellers and collectors... Hence the need for this symposium.

We must take steps. Today is one step along the way. There is more that needs to be and must be done. We need to protect these precious materials in public and private libraries and in the stock of antiquarian booksellers. Join us in this important fight!”

For more information about today’s International Provenance Research Day, please visit the website here: https://www.arbeitskreis-provenienzforschung.org/index.php?id=tag-derprovenienzforschung or follow the hashtag #TagderProvenienzforschung

 

Author Rachel Cusk's Papers Acquired

007_72dpi-600x337.5-c-default.jpgAustin, TX - The papers of acclaimed author Rachel Cusk (b. 1967) have been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin.

Cusk is the author of 10 novels including the critically acclaimed “Outline Trilogy,” which includes “Outline” (2014), “Transit” (2016) and “Kudos” (2018). Her debut novel was “Saving Agnes” (1993), and other works include “The Temporary” (1995), “The Country Life” (1997), “The Lucky Ones” (2003), “In the Fold” (2005), “Arlington Park” (2006) and “The Bradshaw Variations” (2009). Cusk’s non-fiction works are “A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother” (2001), “The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy” (2009) and “Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation” (2012).

Her papers include materials from the 1980s to today, representing the core of her career as a writer and making clear the connections between her personal and professional lives. The materials reflect Cusk’s personal writing process in which much of her composition process occurs in her mind.

Cusk describes her writing process in “The Weather of Domestic Life.

“The process by which I conceive a piece of work has never been especially palpable,” Cusk said. “I tend to see it, suddenly and entire, in a single glimpse. The question is how I bring what I have so briefly seen into public existence. I immediately make a set of notes that are like a photograph of it: they record, in one frame as it were, what it looked like to me. What I write nearly always conforms to the note-photograph I made at the beginning.”

This process is revealed within 16 notebooks and in additional papers and documents. The notebooks also include teaching notes, occasional journal entries, drawings by her children, appointment details and records of everyday life.

She composed two of the early notebooks when she was a student traveling in Turkey and Italy. The entries reveal Cusk’s early efforts at developing her style and are accompanied by sketches of places she visited.

“Rachel Cusk is one of the most exciting novelists writing today,” said Stephen Enniss, director of the Ransom Center. “Her novels explore the way identity is shaped by language and reveal as well the way the novel may serve as a site of struggle over the self,” he noted. “In placing her papers at the Ransom Center, Cusk has given us an intimate record of that struggle with life and with art.”

The papers include personal material, beginning with correspondence from the 1980s and ‘90s. A series of drafts and notes relating to Cusk’s version of Euripedes’ play “Medea,” which premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2015, are also included in the collection as is her MacBook Pro laptop.

Cusk was named one of Granta magazine’s Best of Young Novelists in 2003 and has received numerous literary awards, including the Whitbread First Novel award in 1993 for “Saving Agnes.”

She will be reading from “Kudos,” a book The New Yorker called “a breathtaking success,” on Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ransom Center.Once cataloged, the materials will be accessible at the Ransom Center.

51 EDWARD III AND PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT BETWEEN EDWARD III AND PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT, copy.jpgLondon — The 1326 marriage contract between Edward III and Philippa of Hainault sold for £150,063 at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in London on Wednesday 27 March. It had been estimated at £100,000-150,000.

The contract, written on one skin of vellum, was the decisive factor in a carefully laid plot to invade England, raise a rebellion and depose the reigning monarch, Edward II.

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said, "This document was of immense significance in the shaping of post-feudal England - as was pointed out in a Times editorial in the run up to the sale. The keen bidding and the price reflected its importance."

Other highlights of the sale included:

• A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (1965-) that belonged to the writer's first literary agent, Christopher Little. The book, first published in 1997, has sold more than 120 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 80 languages. Sold for £68,813 (estimate: £40,000-60,000).

• An album of views in Beijing, including Imperial Palaces, and locations in Zhenjiang Province attributed to John Dudgeon. Sold for £31,313 (estimate £3,000-5,000).

• The newly discovered handwritten manuscript of part of The Invisible Girl, a semi-autobiographical short story by Mary Shelley (1797-1851). Sold for £27,563 (estimate: £2,000-4,000).

 

New York -- The New York Society Library is honored to announce the winners of our 2018-2019 New York City Book Awards:

·        Victoria Johnson, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic (Liveright)

·        Stephen L. Carter, Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster (Henry Holt and Co.)

·        Philip Ashforth Coppola, One-Track Mind: Drawing the New York Subway (Princeton Architectural Press)

·        Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X (HarperTeen)

·        Karina Yan Glaser, The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden (HMH Books for Young Readers)

·        The Hornblower Award for a First Book: Albert Samaha, Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City (PublicAffairs)

Founded in 1995, these awards honor the best books about New York City published in a given year, regardless of genre. As New York City’s oldest cultural institution, the Library is uniquely suited to present the New York City Book Awards. 

Members of the book awards selection committee read and reviewed approximately 140 books published in 2018 with New York City as their major topic or setting. The winners qualify as titles of literary quality or historical importance that evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City, shedding some new or unusual light on it. The Hornblower Award, established in 2011, is presented to an excellent New York City-related book by a first-time author.

The selection committee itself includes several New York City-based authors. It was chaired by Warren Wechsler and comprised Bianca Calabresi, Alex Gilvarry (From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, Eastman Was Here), Karl E. Meyer (The China Collectors, Pax Ethica), Janice P. Nimura (Daughters of the Samurai), Geeta Tewari, and Stephen Raphael.

The winning authors and publishers will be celebrated at a reception and awards presentation on Wednesday, May 1, at the New York Society Library. The ceremony is by invitation.

More general information and a complete list of winners from the awards’ past 23 years can be found here.

The 2018-2019 New York City Book Awards are generously underwritten by Ellen M. Iseman. 

bookofbeasts21(1) copy.jpgLos Angeles — Unicorns, lions, and griffins race, tumble, and soar through the pages of bestiaries - the medieval book of beasts. The bestiary brought creatures - both real and fantastic - to life before a reader’s eyes, offering both devotional inspiration and literary enjoyment. A kind of encyclopedia of animals, the bestiary was among the most popular illuminated texts in northern Europe, especially in England, during the Middle Ages (about 500-1500). On view at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14 through August 18, 2019, Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World explores for the first time in a major museum exhibition the bestiary and its widespread influence on medieval art and culture.

“Many of the illuminated manuscripts produced in the European Middle Ages centered around stories from the Christian Bible,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Less well known, however, are the various genres of writing and illustration that celebrate and ornament aspects of worldly life and popular belief. Among the most widely-read and striking of these was the bestiary: illustrated collections of real, imaginary and hybrid beasts, many of exotic origin and sometimes entirely fantastic, that give visual form to the creatures believed to inhabit the known world and the distant realms beyond. Both for their artistic inventiveness and for the insights they provide into the fertile medieval imagination these works are one of the most engaging aspects of medieval art.”

This exhibition features one-third of the world’s surviving Latin illuminated bestiaries and gathers together more than 100 works in a variety of media from institutions across the United States and Europe, including manuscripts, paintings, tapestries, sculpture, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages. A final section includes modern and contemporary works that trace the enduring legacy of the bestiary tradition. The Getty Museum’s three medieval bestiaries, including the famed Northumberland Bestiary (English, about 1250-1260) are central to the exhibition, and provided the inspiration for the exhibition’s theme.

“The bestiary’s images can be seen as the medieval equivalent of contemporary memes,” said Elizabeth Morrison, senior curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum. “They served as memorable and engaging snapshots of particular animals that went viral in medieval culture. The bestiary, in fact, still impacts how we talk about and characterize animals today. The very first line of the medieval bestiary introduces the lion as the king of beasts, an idea we take for granted even if most people don’t know its origin.”  

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World is organized into five sections: The Unicorn, The Bestiary, Beyond the Bestiary, The Bestiary and Natural History, and The Legacy of the Bestiary. The first section focuses on a quintessentially medieval beast, the unicorn. This case study explores the bestiary as one of the most popular sources of information on animals in the Middle Ages. It presented real and legendary creatures as living allegories, with the animals’ physical and behavioral characteristics symbolizing central aspects of the Christian faith. For example, the bestiary explains that the unicorn is a pure but fierce creature that can only be captured by a maiden placed in the forest alone, allowing hidden hunters to come forth and slay their prize for its valuable horn. The bestiary goes on to interpret this beast as a symbol for Christ, who was born to a virgin, making possible his eventual death and Crucifixion. The unicorn became one of the most popular animals in art of the period, largely due to its powerful Christian message, and exemplifies how the bestiary’s texts and images played a vital role in establishing animal stories and their Christian connotations in the minds of audiences.

The next section — The Bestiary — presents the development of the bestiary’s textual and visual tradition, highlighting a series of animals and their related stories. Medieval bestiaries contained anywhere from a few dozen to more than 100 descriptions of animals, each accompanied by an iconic image. Although the essential elements of the text and imagery associated with the beasts remained consistent across manuscripts, the bestiary was not a standardized book. The aim of the stories and illuminations was not to impart factual information or visual accuracy but rather to convey the wonder, variety, and hidden meaning found in the natural world. This section will introduce the animals through one of the most common arrangements of the medieval bestiary: quadrupeds, birds, serpents, and sea creatures. Elephants, eagles, sirens, hippos, and dragons are just a few of the fabulous animals encountered in this section and discussed in depth by the medieval bestiary.

The third section — Beyond the Bestiary — takes a look at different incarnations of the bestiary’s animals. The bestiary’s stories and images were so popular that medieval artists readily adapted them to a variety of works of art, ranging from ivories and metalwork to stained glass and tapestries. Because many bestiary animals communicated complex religious messages, they often appeared in liturgical and devotional contexts where worshippers could easily link them to Christian ideology. In addition, the well-known characteristics associated with numerous beasts were effortlessly appropriated for secular works made for the elite world of the court. The use of animals as allegories for human virtues and vices was not limited to European Christian art but was a widespread phenomenon that transcended geography and religion. This section the exhibition will include Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts with moral stories featuring animal characters.

Bestiary and the Natural World encompasses the use of bestiary material in natural history texts, encyclopedias, and maps. The medieval bestiary was never intended as a scientific work, but much of its lore was eventually incorporated into the nascent field of natural history. The period of the bestiary’s greatest popularity corresponded with a movement toward the creation of encyclopedia intended to gather together all knowledge. Many of these included a section devoted to animals, which relied heavily on the bestiary but often stripped away the Christian symbolism. At the same time, the European conception of the world was being broadened by a growth in trade and travel that increasingly linked the West with other parts of the globe. The stories popularized through the bestiary continued to influence natural history texts and images well into the sixteenth century.

The final section — The Legacy of the Bestiary — explores the medieval bestiary’s artistic impact in more recent times with work by modern and contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Kate Clark, Claire Owen, and Damien Hirst. So influential is this medieval art form that today the term bestiary often refers to any collection of description of animals, whether in words or images. Modern bestiaries, as well as contemporary works of art in an array of media that explore the human-animal relationship, draw on the medieval tradition while also introducing elements from the artists’ own time and place.

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World is curated by Elizabeth Morrison with Larisa Grollemond, assistant curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum. In conjunction with the exhibition, Getty Publications will release a catalog of the same name edited by Morrison with Grollemond. With over 270 color illustrations and contributions by 26 leading scholars, this gorgeous volume explores the bestiary and its pervasive influence on medieval art and culture as well as on modern and contemporary artists. In conjunction with the exhibition, Getty Publications will also release Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book! written by Julie Berry, and featuring fantastical illustrations by April Lee. This children’s book contains engaging back matter with information on life in the Middle Ages and a mini-bestiary drawn from original manuscripts of the era.

The exhibition is generously supported by The Leonetti/O'Connell Family Foundation, The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, Jeffrey P. Cunard, and Elizabeth and Mark S. Siegel. Additional support is provided by Allen Adler and Frances Beatty, Ariane David on behalf of the Ernest Lieblich Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum Director’s Council, Dar and Geri Reedy, Virginia Schirrmeister, and Brian and Kathy Stokes.

Image: Griffin (detail), from Book of Flowers, France and Belgium, 1460. Tempera colors on parchment. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, Ms. 72.A.23, fol 46

Lot 175. Star Wars 40x30 Style-A Poster copy.jpgLos Angeles - Pop culture is everywhere. It reflects the ideas, attitudes, and perspectives of the era, and has done so for decades. Van Eaton Galleries has announced its first joint popular culture and Disneyland auction: The Art of Entertainment, to take place at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California on May 4th, 2019 beginning at 10:00 a.m. PT. On offer are 700 rare and extraordinary items, many of which are at auction for the first time. From original artwork to the memorabilia that defined our youth and shaped our world, The Art of Entertainment auction will celebrate important moments from television, film, Disney theme parks, and more. The vast array of art and memorabilia to be offered will surprise even the most avid collectors, with iconic moments immortalized by famous artists, designers, and artisans spanning from the early 1930s to today.

Pop culture has defined our world. It’s that blend of ideas and objects which captures our attention and doesn’t let go, whether it be a mainstream favorite or a cult classic. The works which can claim the hearts of fans live on, continuing to shape popular culture well past their production date, and The Art of Entertainment collection captures the art and imagination which inspires such loyalty.

Who can forget their fascination with the world’s original Superheroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man? What about the laughter evoked when watching your favorite episode of “Happy Days” or reading comic strips featuring Charles Schulz’s lovable Charlie Brown? From Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat” to the whimsical magic of “Mary Poppins,” this extraordinary auction will commemorate the most nostalgic moments of our time. Rare items from Disneyland, award-winning television series, and favorite cartoons are just some of the items on offer.

Highlights of “The Art of Entertainment” include a signed original Dr. Seuss “The Cat in the Hat” drawing (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000); an original Charles Schulz “Peanuts” comic strip (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000); a rare original “Superman” poster painting by Drew Struzan ($7,000-$9,000); a rare “Batman” Drew Struzan original poster painting (Estimate:$7,000-$9,000); a rare, large original painting created by renowned cartoonist Charles Addams for the 1976 feature film “Murder by Death” (Columbia 1976) - (Estimate: $30,000-$40,000); an extremely rare and complete “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” exhibition campaign book ($1,500-$2,500); a “Spider-Man” original poster painting ($6,000-$8,000); a Collection of “Happy Days” slides and photos (Estimate: $100-$200); a 20th Century Fox large neon sign by famed neon sculpture artist Lili Lakich (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000); a “Wonder Woman” original poster painting (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); and Walt Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”  (Disney, 1954) presentation Nautilus, which was the original wooden Nautilus model Disney used to promote the film (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000).

Pop culture moments from film and television are also highlighted with items including a “Star Wars” (Lucas Films, 1997) cast and crew signed poster (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a Peter Ellenshaw “The Black Hole” (Disney, 1979) original concept drawing (Estimate $1,000-$2,000); “Back to the Future Part III” (Universal, 1990) original artwork by legendary poster artist Drew Struzan (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a “Men in Black” (Columbia, 1991) Neutralizer prop (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a “Mary Poppins” original chimney sweep concept painting (Estimate $8,000-$10,000); a Madonna uniform from “A League of Their Own” (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); original “Willy Wonka” (Paramount, 1967) candy room concept art (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a Bally “Tommy” (Bally, 1975) Pinball Wizard machine (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); “The Simpsons” original cel and matching background from the first episode (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500) and an original John Alvin “Pocahontas” poster concept (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000). The collection is too vast and covers too many eras of television and film to provide a complete list of items offered at this auction, but it includes art from “Star Trek,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” ‘Planet of the Apes,” “Jaws,” and so much more.

Other highlights include The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” (King Features, 1968) animation cels (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); vintage Marx toy displays (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500), and hundreds of remarkable Disneyland artifacts and art. Some notable Disneyland highlights include an original hand-silkscreened 1956 Disneyland Hotel attraction poster (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a complete set of 6 near-attraction posters from 1966 (Estimate: $3,500-$4,500); a 1955 “Jungle Cruise” prop Impala ear display (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); an original Mark Twain and Keel Boats 1955 attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); a “Big Thunder Mountain” 1980 brownline (Estimate: $400-$600); an extremely rare  “Pirates of the Caribbean” original painting (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a “Fantasmic” crocodile model by Kevin Kidney (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000); an original 1955 “Fantasyland” attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); an original 1959 Paul Hartley “Matterhorn Bobsleds” attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); the 1967 “Adventure Thru Inner Space” Atommobile prop (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), and so much more.

“The Art of Entertainment” auction showcases decades of film, television, and print work which has defined pop culture in our lifetime. This collection brings together a massive and varied array of art, props, original paintings and drawings, memorabilia, and collectibles from some of the most famous moments in popular entertainment. This auction offers the excitement of very rare items never sold before at auction, but also evokes a sense of nostalgia and sentimentality for those artists and performers whose work defined us in our youth. We are so honored to be able to offer such remarkable items to fans and collectors around the globe. - Mike Van Eaton, Co-Founder, Van Eaton Galleries

“The Art of Entertainment” auction covers decades beginning in the late 1930s through today. The extraordinary selection has taken years to amass by collectors around the globe and pop culture enthusiasts. Van Eaton Galleries will conduct the one-day auction on-site, online, and by phone. Interested bidders are encouraged to register early. Media interested in covering is requested to email or call the press contact listed below.

For more information or to order a collectible catalog visit www.vegalleries.com/popculture

To register to bid in the auction go to www.vegalleries.com/bidnow

Image: Star Wars poster, courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries

92_1.jpgWest Palm Beach, FL - When Chanel’s iconic couturier and design mastermind Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February, he left behind a legacy that will forever be associated with luxury, glamour and some of Hollywood’s greatest stars. Prior to joining Chanel in 1983, Lagerfeld’s storied career included a series of design positions at other European houses favored by the rich and famous, among them Fendi, Chloe, Patou, and Balmain. But it was not until January 2014, when Palm Beach Modern Auctions hosted its high-profile “Lagerfeld + Liz” sale, that fashionistas learned of Lagerfeld’s early days with the House of Tiziani in Rome. That auction included a number of original Lagerfeld design sketches from the Tiziani archive. The selection was 100% sold. 

On April 18, 2019, Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ new division, Urban Culture Auctions, will offer what is believed to be the last remaining sketches from the long-hidden archive. “The gentleman in Palm Beach who inherited the archive consigned most of its contents to us for the 2014 sale, but even we did not know that he had retained some favorite sketches for his own personal collection. Now he has decided to let a new generation become the caretakers for those irreplaceable artworks,” said Urban Culture Auctions co-owner Rico Baca. 

Public demand has been the force behind the planned 125-lot auction of the Tiziani/Lagerfeld sketch collection’s core holdings. “There was so much publicity about our 2014 sale that, after Karl Lagerfeld’s passing, our phone started ringing off the hook with calls from collectors, museums and people in the fashion industry, asking if we had any more of his sketches available to purchase,” Baca said.

Many of the oblong sketches are hand-colored and have penciled notes at the sides or bottom - a testament to Lagerfeld’s intensely personal design process. Additionally, many have original fabric swatches attached. Of particular importance are the seven Lagerfeld portfolios, each containing between 22 and 44 original sketches. Each prized portfolio carries an auction estimate of $2,000-$4,000. Individual sketches are estimated at $1,000-$1,500, while two that were special designs for Elizabeth Taylor are expected to sell for up to $3,000 each.

The collection is special - beyond the obvious - for several reasons, Baca said. “Aside from the fact that these sketches are the work of one of the most brilliant couturiers of the last half century, they are also very rare and might not have survived had they remained in Lagerfeld’s possession.” In 2007 the designer told The New Yorker, “I throw everything away,” with a nod to a nearby wastebasket filled with discarded sketches.

Also, some would question describing Lagerfeld’s beautifully detailed concept images as mere “sketches.” Bill Hamilton, who designed for Carolina Herrera for 17 years and now maintains a private clientele, observed, “These are more like works of art. I don’t think [designers] put that much effort into the sketches of today.” 

The emergence of the Tiziani archive may well have amused - perhaps delighted - Lagerfeld. In 2014 when there was saturation media coverage of the previous Lagerfeld auction, his beloved cat Choupette posted a story about it on her blog. “We would have to assume that it was Mr. Lagerfeld, and not Choupette, who did the actual blog posting,” Baca said with a laugh, “but either way, it adds a nice bit of indirect authentication for the collection.”

Urban Culture Auctions’ Thursday, April 18, 2019 sale of Rare Karl Lagerfeld Fashion Drawings & Portfolios will begin at 12:00 noon US Eastern time. It is a gallery auction with all forms of remote bidding available, including phone, absentee and live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. For questions about any artwork in the auction or to arrange a phone line for bidding, call 561-586-5500 or email uca@modernauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.liveauctioneers.com. Visit Urban Culture Auctions online at www.urbancultureauctions.com.

Image: Lot 92: 1960s hand-colored, hand-annotated original fashion drawing created by Karl Lagerfeld (German, 1933-2019) while engaged by House of Tiziani, Rome. Fabric swatch attached. Estimate: $500-$1,500

 

549.jpgChicago -- Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its 560+ lot magicana sale to be held on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. The sale features the collection of Ray Goulet, a beloved collector, publisher, producer, performer, and friend to all magicians. Goulet amassed one of the great American collections of conjuring memorabilia which was until most recently on display at his mini-museum in Watertown, MA. All lots from this event will be on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, April 24th, Thursday, April 25th, and Friday, April 26th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. All times noted are CST. 

Large and significant promotional posters take many of the top slots in this auction.  Over 50 examples representing many of the 19th century's most noted performers are on offer. Lot #549, a 1911 letterpress poster advertising a matinee performance of “Challenged” or “Houdini Upside Down” at the Southampton Hippodrome is estimated at $15,000-25,000. This absolute rarity - The only known example extant- is inscribed and signed by Houdini in the central right blank space: “To my friend John Mulholland/Houdini.” Houdini devised and wrote the script for "Challenged" with the goal of protecting his signature water torture cell act from infringement by copycat escape artists.  Lot #551, a c. 1905 color litho featuring Harry Kellar's most famous illusion, the levitation of an assistant in a Moorish setting, is estimated at $10,000-15,000. This stage trick is considered by many to be Kellar’s most significant theatrical achievement. Lot #543, a c. 1912 color litho titled Chung Ling Soo. A Gift From the Gods, is estimated at $10,000-15,000. This handsome and eye-catching poster depicts Soo standing on God’s hand, descending to Earth from a flurry of storm clouds. And lot #533, a painted lobby display titled  Le Grand David. Stage Magic Lives Again, is estimated at $500-700.  This Art Nouveau themed piece featuring finely rendered performers and props was created by Rick Heath in the 1980s. It comes complete with its original painted frame. 

This sale's robust selections of 60+ carefully curated magic books are certain to catch the eyes of collectors worldwide. Lot #400, a first edition presentation copy of Harry Kellar's  A Magician’s Tour, is estimated at $2,500-3,500.  This 1886 example, published by R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago, is inscribed twice by the author. The first is to Li Hung Chang, a Chinese viceroy. It reads, “A son excellence/Li Hung Chang/with compliments of The Author/New York Sep. 2 1896.” And the second is “To Howard Thurston, Esq./from his friend Harry Kellar.” Lot #391, Harry Houdini's America’s Sensational Perplexer from 1903, is estimated at $1,500-2,500. It was published by Willsons' Printers in Leicester and has Houdini within a cloudy frame as its cover art. And lot #372, Gus Hartz's 1874 Souvenir of Prof. Hartz with pictorially lithographed wraps is estimated at $1,000-1,500. This rarity - only the second example our catalogers have seen - includes 12 vignettes of Hartz’s conjuring feats, with explanatory text to each scene printed on the verso. 

Unusual, museum-quality selections of ephemera, including photographs, brochures, advertisements, archives, and souvenirs, are well represented in this sale, with over 60 lots on offer.  There's certain to be a wave of interest in lot #486, a c. 1850 Theatre Robert-Houdin souvenir fan. These wooden ribbed, pictorial fans were distributed to attendees at the Theatre Robert-Houdin in Paris. One side features an engraving of the entrance to the theatre; the other has vignettes of Robert-Houdin’s most famous tricks and French verses describing them. It is estimated at $4,000-6,000. And two albums of materials from noted 20th century performers take center stage in this key category.  The first, lot #433, is an archive of 1930s/60s materials from magician David Bamberg - better known as Fu Manchu. The second, lot #435, is an archive of 1900s/10s materials from Italian quick change artist and actor Leopoldo Fregoli. Both collections include photographs, heralds, clippings, among other items, and are presented in a string-tied embossed leather album. Each archive is conservatively estimated at $800-1,200.

The vintage and modern stage-used magic apparatus offerings in this event are simply spellbinding.  Lot #465, a Houdini-owned key and signed Houdini playing card is estimated at $2,500-3,500. The card was signed by the master magician during a run at the NY Hippodrome. The set, along with a later set of vintage handcuffs and a photo of Houdini - handcuffed, in a jail cell - are all handsomely and professionally framed in a wooden shadowbox. Lot #481, a black robe worn as the stage costume of vaudeville performer Arthur Lloyd, is estimated at $1,500-2,500. Lloyd, better known as the Human Card Index, was able to instantly produce from his pockets virtually any card, ticket, form, or document, called for by the audience. This included racing forms, coat check tickets, lottery tickets, playing cards, or any other small paper article. This lot also includes approximately 150 of the various tickets, cards, and documents produced by Lloyd while wearing the robe as well as research materials related to his career and copies of photos of him wearing the robe. A 1936 Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” column asserted that Lloyd carried 15,000 cards in his clothing, estimated as weighing 45 pounds. And two illusions produced by Rick Heath and used by the Le Grand David Spectacular Magic Co. in the 1980s deserve a shout out.  The first, lot #337, is a Riddle of the Rabbit Illusion, consisting of two stage-sized hand-painted cabinets used to perform Le Grand David's version of the classic “Where Did the Ducks Go?” trick. It is estimated at $1,000-1,500. And the second, lot #339, is an Appearing Duck Illusion, consisting of a slanted wooden stand with two large trays and a tub. This hand-painted and well manufactured trick is estimated at $800-1,200. 

Playing cards, prints and drawings, and treasures that defy conventional categories bring this can't miss magic sale full circle. Lot #362, a deck of Trumps Long Cut Tobacco insert cards from 1890 is estimated at $1,000-1,500. The front of each card is illustrated with a different semi-erotic woman dressed in a theatrical costume. The backs feature a man holding a fan of playing cards, within the tagline “Smoke and Chew Trumps Long Cut” on a brown patterned background. Lot #457, a c. 1875 bronze desk set in the shape of a conjurer performing "cups and balls" on a draped, folding table, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. The conjurer’s hat lifts to form an inkwell or hold a pen, the trumpet forms a seal, and the trunk opens to accommodate stamps. When depressed, the small figure on top of the center cup rings a bell. This elaborate and finely finished model was once owned by magician and scholar Bob Read. And ending on a sterling note, lot #454 - a card case presented by Chung Ling Soo to his trusted illusion builder Percy F. Ritherdon - is estimated at $5,000-7,000. This c. 1915, cast and hallmarked silver accessory is decorated with scalloped edges, a celestial dragon, a bamboo tree, and an engraved medallion. This extraordinary, one of a kind gift of friendship was obtained by the consignor directly from Ritherdon's family. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Offering Ray's collection at auction is bittersweet for many magicians - myself included. Many considered Ray the definition of the phrase "renaissance man," as he was accomplished at nearly anything he put his mind to, from building things to performing, to publishing, to producing, to real estate, and oh, so much more. His mini-museum of magic was a fixture in the Boston area for decades - a showplace for rare magicana, and a meeting place for those who loved the history of the art. No one was a bigger fan of it all, including both the "stuff" he collected, and by association, the people he collected (in a manner of speaking), than Ray. On a personal note, I met Ray at the age of 16, and never in a million years thought I would be the one to bring his collection to market." 

Image: Lot 549 Hippodrome Southampton. Houdini “Challenged”, estimate $15,000-25,000.

Ishiguro-Bodleian.pngOxford, England - The Bodleian Libraries has presented novelist Sir Kazuo Ishiguro with the Bodley Medal. Sir Kazuo received the award at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival on 3 April 2019, when he delivered the annual Bodley Lecture.

Sir Kazuo appeared in conversation with Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, who presented him with the medal at the end of the event.

Ovenden said: “Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the greatest living novelists whose work has made a major contribution to literature and culture. He has formed a highly original, distinctive and compelling literary voice, one which brings to the fore major themes of inner conflict, the challenges of memory, the struggles between modernity and the past, and the realities of human emotion. We are delighted to honour him with the Bodleian Libraries’ highest honour, the Bodley Medal.”

Sir Kazuo said: “Libraries play a crucial role in shaping our memory of who we are, and the narratives that determine who we’ll become. In this sense, writers and libraries share a common - and solemn - responsibility. I’m especially moved and proud, then, to receive this rare honour from Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries - an institution that can claim to be not only one of the greatest in the world, but in western history.”

Sir Kazuo is an award-winning British novelist, screenwriter, short story writer and songwriter. He is widely considered one of the greatest contemporary fiction authors in the English-speaking world.

He was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and moved to Britain at the age of five. His eight works of fiction have earned him many awards and honours around the world, including the Nobel Prize in Literature (2017) and the Booker Prize (1989). His work has been translated into more than 50 languages. His novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were made into acclaimed films. Sir Kazuo was given a Knighthood for Services to Literature in 2018, and also holds the French decoration, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the Japanese decoration, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.

The Bodley Medal is awarded by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worlds in which the Bodleian is active including literature, culture, science and communication. Past winners include biographer Claire Tomalin, novelist and screenwriter William Boyd, classicist Mary Beard, physicist Stephen Hawking, film and theatre director Nicholas Hytner, novelist Hilary Mantel, the late poet Seamus Heaney, writer and actor Alan Bennett and inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The Bodleian Libraries is a cultural partner of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, which runs from Saturday, 30 March to Sunday, 7 April 2019. Events will take place at the Bodleian’s Weston Library and Divinity School as well as at venues across the city.

c3d48eab5295b996b12c0f20_880x880.jpgNew York — The Morgan Library & Museum announces a new exhibition of satirical drawings and prints by renowned artist William Hogarth (1697-1764). Best known for his humorous political commentary, Hogarth’s work engaged a broad audience and agitated for legislative and social change. His intricate drawings and richly anecdotal scenes depict the ills and injustices of eighteenth-century urban life, exploring the connections between violence, crime, alcohol abuse, and cruelty to animals. He hoped his graphic work would amuse, shock, and ultimately edify his audience. Opening May 24, Hogarth: Cruelty and Humor tells the story of Hogarth’s iconic images and the social realities of life in Georgian London that inspired him to advocate for reform through popular works of art. It is the first show at the Morgan devoted to this artist, whose style was so influential in British art that the word “Hogarthian” remains a recognizable way of describing works of satire. 

Featuring over twenty works, the show investigates Hogarth’s creative process and examines his embrace of humor, highlighting the Morgan’s exceptional cache of preparatory drawings for his two most acclaimed print series from 1751: Beer Street and Gin Lane and The Stages of Cruelty. Hogarth’s prints documenting the dangerous impact of the gin craze, Beer Street and Gin Lane, generated popular support for the 1751 Gin Act and other reform efforts, while the Stages of Cruelty reflects the growing anxiety about episodes of human brutality in London. Included in the show are the only other two known studies related to the Stages of Cruelty; these works reveal the complex generative process of the series. Also on view are drawings from The Royal Collection Trust that represent Hogarth’s first and last forays into satire.

Fiercely independent, Hogarth was driven to innovate in order to elevate the status of British art, creating new genres and modes of expression in his painting, printmaking, and drawing. His compositions are rich with narrative detail. It was his adoption of such “low” subjects, no less than his use of humor, that led him to struggle to be taken seriously throughout his career. 

“William Hogarth’s works should be enjoyed for their artistry, humor, and activism, and as such hold a special place in our drawings and prints collection,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “The artist was a keen observer of his city, and his visual anecdotes were a brilliant means of communicating to a wider public.”

“Looking closely at Hogarth’s passion for socially relevant subjects reveals the challenges he faced in being known as a satirical artist,” said Jennifer Tonkovich, Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of Drawings and Prints. “I think our current appetite for satire allows us to appreciate Hogarth’s tremendous intelligence and ambition in constructing narratives that he hoped would change the world around him.”

Image: William Hogarth (1697-1764), Detail ofFourth Stage of Cruelty, 1750-51, red chalk, some graphite, on paper, incised with stylus. The Morgan Library & Museum,III, 32e, purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909. Photography Steven H. Crossot, 2014.

Los Angeles - A letter by Albert Einstein on the Jewish People’s rights to defend themselves sold Friday morning for $134,344 at Nate D. Sanders Auctions. The letter received 23 bids.     

Albert Einstein wrote the June 10, 1939 letter, postmarked from Princeton to Dr. Maurice Lenz in New York. Einstein wrote in full, “May I offer my sincere congratulations to you on the splendid work you have undertaken on behalf of the refugees during Dedication Week.  The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness. In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test. May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us. We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity and our knowledge that the cause for which we are suffering is a momentous and sacred cause. It must be a source of deep gratification to you to be making so important a contribution toward rescuing our persecuted fellow-Jews from their calamitous peril and leading them toward a better future...[signed] A.Einstein.''

Einstein had long worked to save European Jews by issuing affidavits.

Bidding for the letter began at $12,000.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Albert_Einstein_Letter_Signed_During_WWII______The-LOT51535.aspx

Lot 204-Green Book copy.jpgNew York - Printed & Manuscript African Americana at Swann Galleries on Thursday, March 28 saw a sell-through rate of 90%, a record for the category. Enthusiastic bidding was seen across all sections of the sale, resulting in seven records, with significant interest from institutions.

A 1958 edition of The Negro Travelers’ Green Book by Victor H. Green broke a record for any edition of the publication at $27,500. The travel guide for African-American families was indispensable during a time when long-distance travel would be a cause for apprehension about finding lodging, gasoline, or even a restroom. Also of note was a rare survival of the Jim Crow era, a circa late 1950s letterpress sign by the Tennessee Public Service Commission proclaiming Notice: This Part of the Car for Colored People, which sold for $10,400, and a first edition of Martin Luther King’s Why We Can’t Wait, 1964, signed by the Civil Rights leader, which brought $8,750.

The sale was led by volume one, number one of The Mirror of Liberty, July 1838, the first black periodical published in the United States, edited by David Ruggles-one of New York’s leading abolitionists. The radical abolitionist publication earned $37,500. Records were set for An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, Delivered in the African Church, 1808, by Peter Williams, at $15,000, and Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave, 1893, by Isaac Mason, at $1,5000 Additional material relating to slavery and abolition included a substantial archive of correspondence to John Augustine Washington III relating to Mount Vernon, other family estates, the heirs of America’s Founding Father, often discussing the enslaved people on whom their fortune was built. The archive brought $32,000. A signed document from Newport, R.I. recording the illegal act of an American captain agreeing to bring slaves from Africa to Havana in 1806, garnered $11,250; and a circa-1850 letterpress broadside proclaiming Union with Freemen­-No Union with Slaveholders. Anti­-Slavery Meetings!, issued by the Western Anti-Slavery Society, was won for $7,500. 

Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, the first play by an African-American woman and African-American director on Broadway, took the spotlight in a run of literary works. A draft typescript, signed “Lorraine’s Copy” by the author, with manuscript notes throughout, earned $30,000. Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, London, 1773, brought $20,000, and a first edition Our Folk Tales: High John the Conqueror and Other Afro-American Tales, circa 1967, a collection of African-American folk songs compiled by Julius Lester, earned $2,375, a record for the book. 

Black Panther material included Emory Douglas’s You Can Jail a Revolutionary, but you Can’t Jail a Revolution, 1969-70, which set a record for the poster with $8,125. The black and blue poster features a photographic image of the Chicago Panther leader Fred Hampton, who had been killed in his sleep by the Chicago police.  

Photographic highlights featured a previously unknown 1878 carte-de-visite portrait of Frederick Douglass ($18,750), a circa late 1866 signed photograph of Preston Taylor as a drummer with the 116th United States Colored Troops ($15,000), and a collection of 44 Philadelphia-area portraits, circa 1860-1900, that included the notable Thomas J. Dorsey family ($8,750).

Additional highlights included Bannaker’s Maryland … Almanack and Ephemeris, for the Year of our Lord 1796, 1795, by Benjamin Banneker, which sold to a bidder on the Swann Galleries App for $13,750, and an archive of Sister Makinya-Kouate, one of the leading popularizers of Kwanzaa at $13,750. Other records were set by Romare Bearden’s 1982 campaign poster for Toby Moffett with $3,750, as well as a circa 1973 portfolio of five black-and-white lithographs by Elizabeth Catlett with $4,500.

The next auction from Swann Galleries’ Books & Manuscripts Department will be Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 16. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquires.

Additional highlights can be found here.

ImageLot 204: Victor H. Green, The Negro Travelers Green Book, New York, 1958. Sold for $27,500, a record for any edition.

Humphrey.jpgDallas, TX - More than 150 images from a collection regarded as one of the most important of its kind will be featured in Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art Auction April 23 in Dallas, Texas.

The collection comes from Investment Rarities Incorporated founder Jim Cook and his wife, Diane, who have forged a reputation as elite collectors in numerous categories, including Fine Art, Comic Art, Sports and Entertainment. The Cooks are shrewd collectors with an innate ability to spot quality and rarity, and the 158 lots from the collection in the sale include images by renowned illustrators whose works usually generate high demand, including Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren, Peter Driben, Harry Lemon Parkhurst, Charlie Dye and Arthur Sarnoff.

“This is an exceptional collection that reveals the foundation of knowledge and experience that the Cooks bring to collecting illustration art,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “Their consignment includes one of the most important collections of science fiction art ever offered at auction.”

Among the top lots from the IRI Collection:

Gil Elvgren Smoke Screen, 1958 (estimate: $40,000-60,000) was reproduced as figure No. 253 in Gil Elvgren All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel. The 30-by-24-inch oil on canvas is signed lower right by Elvgren.

Walter Beach Humphrey Reflection, Collier's magazine cover, June 15, 1929 (estimate: $15,000-25,000) reflects the architectural elements of the Art Deco era. The impact of the image is multiplied by the perfect reflection in the mirror-like surface of the water. The 36-by-24-inch oil-on-canvas is signed center right by Humphrey.

Ken Kelly The Mighty King, 1991 (estimate: $15,000-25,000) plays on a popular theme, with the petite damsel Ann Darrow facing Kong, who is so bold that it’s easy to miss the fact that the stone pedestal on which Darrow sits is completely surrounded by a giant snake. The large (53-1/2-by-41-inch) oil on canvas is signed and dated lower right by Kelly, a favorite artist among fans.

The cover image for the auction catalog is Walter Martin Baumhofer Red Snow, Doc Savage magazine cover, February 1935 (estimate: $12,000-18,000). The painting shows a dramatic scene with several men floundering in the water as a lifeboat takes on water, a measure of chaos that is punctuated by the presence of a handgun. The image appeared on the cover of Doc Savage magazine, named after the fictional character who first appeared in American pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s.

The IRI Collection has numerous intriguing lots, but not all of the most appealing items in the sale are included in the collection. Other highlights include:

Patrick Nagel Untitled (estimate: $60,000-80,000) is another from the extremely popular artist who is known for his unique interpretation of women, who often are depicted with black hair and red lips juxtaposed against white skin in a style that descended from Art Deco. The work offered here was reproduced on page 87 of Nagel: The Art of Patrick Nagel by Patrick Nagel, as well as in a limited-edition serigraph titled Commemorative #12.

Rolf Armstrong Carmen, Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, 1929 (estimate: $50,000-70,000) is one of four monumental nudes by the artist after he returned from a year in Paris, where he was inspired by the exotic beauties captured by French artists seen in the salons, museums and galleries. Named after Georges Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen is the last of Armstrong’s four Paris nudes to be offered at auction. It’s large (60-by-80-inch) size highlights its importance and underscores the seductive nature of the Spanish dancer.

James Allen St. John Tarzan and the Golden Lion, book frontispiece, 1922 (estimate: $40,000-60,000) presents a harsh view of the risks involved with challenging the balance of nature. The illustration was published as an interior book illustration for Tarzan and the Golden Lion by Edgar Rice Burrows (A.C. McClurg, 1922).

Another popular pulp cover is Hugh Joseph Ward The Man Who Carried Death, Spicy Detective Stories magazine cover, August 1940 (estimate: $30,000-50,000). The Spicy Detective series is one of several in the weird menace for which Ward is known.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Patrick Nagel Untitled - estimate: $60,000-80,000

·         Alberto Vargas Martini Time, 1935 - estimate: $40,000-60,000

·         Gil Elvgren Miss Sylvania’s Mishap, circa 1955 - estimate: $30,000-50,000

·         Gil Elvgren Some Help! (Down, Boy), Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, 1952 - estimate: $30,000-50,000

·         John Held Jr. The Gamble, Life Magazine cover, August 11, 1927 - estimate: $10,000-15,000

Visit Heritage Auctions’ Sunday Internet Comics, Animation & Art Auction #121852 to browse high-resolution images of the auction’s 598 lots of comic books, original comic book art and memorabilia. Bidding opens at 6 p.m. (Central Time) on HA.com.

Lot 1-Brant copy.jpgNew York - Autographs on March 21 at Swann Galleries saw significant interest in Americana, scientists and popular figures. Of the sale Marco Tomaschett, the house’s autographs Specialist, noted: “Highest prices were mostly for historical autographs, demonstrating that the broad interest in history continues.”

A 1776 autograph letter signed by Joseph Brant, Thayeadanegea-the leader of the Mohawk people and military, and British Loyalist-writing with news after he had been in England meeting with King George III, recounting events related to the American rebels, brought $35,000, a record for a letter by Brant.

Founding Fathers proved to be popular, with a 1793 ALS by Alexander Hamilton, as Secretary of the Treasury, to the President and Directors of the Bank of the U.S. expressing that they will receive an appropriation for giving advances to the Mint ($12,500); George Washington’s signed ticket for the Mountain Road Lottery from 1768 earned $8,450; two autograph documents signed from 1764 and 1765 concerning payment for services rendered in various lawsuits by John Adams brought $3,900; and Thomas Jefferson was present with a 1792 printed document signed, as Secretary of State, that sold for $5,000. 

An 1875 photograph signed and dated by Ulysses S. Grant led an assortment of signatures from U.S. Presidents, earning $10,000. A partly-printed document signed by Abraham Lincoln, appointing John T. Hogeboom as Appraiser of Merchandise in April of 1864, brought $5,500, and a group of five typed letters, signed by Theodore Roosevelt from 1902-05 to his sister Corrine Roosevelt Robinson, was won for $3,380.

Of British interest was a group of six ALS from 1989-92 by Diana, Princess of Wales, to her friend Elizabeth Tilberis, the editor of British Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as an 1884 ALS by Queen Victoria to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, expressing her sorrows over the death of her son Leopold ($10,400 and $5,750, respectively).

Scientists and inventors were present with a 1944 ink-and-wash portrait by Charlotte Berend-Corinth of Albert Einstein, signed by the physicist, at $9,100; two offprints signed by Linus Pauling, which featured his articles The Nature of the Chemical Bond, 1931, and Ascorbic Acid and Cancer, 1979, brought $4,500, and Nikola Tesla’s 1935 signed monogrammed correspondence card sold for $4,250.  

Additional highlights included a 1950-56 guestbook for Lüchow’s-a New York City restaurant that was a popular meeting place for the city’s entertainers, artists, musicians and athletes. The book featured over 400 signatures from the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Al Hirschfeld, Grace Kelly, Joan Miró, Cole Porter, Eleanor Roosevelt and Barbara Streisand, and sold for $6,500. Charles B. Driscoll’s personal copy of his book Doubloons, with over 500 signatures and inscriptions from the 1930s-40s, sold for $4,750. The first edition featured authors, artists, entertainer and others, including Einstein, Aldous Huxley and Thomas Wolfe’s signatures on the same page. 

The next auction from Swann Galleries’ Books & Manuscripts Department will be Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 16. Visit www.swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries app for catalogues, bidding and inquires.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 1: Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing with news after pledging support to King George III against the American rebels, 1776. Sold for $35,000, a record for a letter by Brant.

_B3V3844.jpegNew York — How did a carpenter’s son, grammar school dropout and sometime hack writer become America’s greatest poet?  To commemorate Whitman’s 200th birthday on May 31, 2019, this landmark exhibition showcases New York's role in the extraordinary transformation of Walter Whitman Jr. to “Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son.”  On public view at the Grolier Club from May 15 to July 27, 2019, the exhibition brings together over 200 extraordinary books, manuscripts, photographs, and other objects to show how this obscure young New Yorker transformed himself into one of America’s great artists, the Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman.

Whitman is now universally acclaimed as the "Good Gray Poet" and for his Civil War writings, though less is known of his early years as a Long Islander, Brooklynite, and self-described "Manhattanese."

The exhibition presents the story of his coming of age as a poet through a unique assemblage of rare books and other artifacts, many rarely or never before on display, from both private and public archives.  Featured are family collections of the descendants of Whitman’s friends and associates, including one of the original printers of the first edition of Leaves of Grass; the Feinberg Whitman Collection of the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library's Berg Collection; and forgotten holdings from such repositories as Bryn Mawr College's Special Collections and the Brooklyn College Library.  Of special interest are treasures from the library of Susan Jaffe Tane, a leading Whitman collector.

A celebration of Whitman's enduring relationship with the metropolis that sired and inspired him, the exhibition is curated by collector Ms. Tane and Dr. Karen Karbiener, NYU professor and internationally recognized Whitman scholar.

Highlights: 

--every American edition of Leaves of Grass published during Whitman's lifetime, including three copies of America’s “declaration of cultural independence,” the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855)

 --Whitman’s annotated copies of The Complete Works of Robert Burns (1879), Shelley’s Works (1847), Homer’s Iliad (1857), and several other books from his personal library

--Manuscripts including a never-before-exhibited early iteration of the poem “So Long!”, Whitman’s technical specifications for building a Brooklyn house, his notes towards a self-help manual on “Manly Training”, and his eighteen-page fair copy of the poem “A Carol of Harvest,” the longest Whitman manuscript remaining in private hands

--correspondence to Whitman from Fred Vaughan (probably the poet’s first serious love interest), Whitman’s annotated photos and notes on Fred Gray (namesake of America’s first gay men’s club), the poet’s notes towards the homoerotic poetic cluster “Live Oak, with Moss,”and one of fifty copies of John Addington Symonds’ A Problem in Modern Ethics (1891), a landmark study of homosexuality

--a substantial collection of original images of the poet, including photographs by Mathew Brady and Thomas Eakins, a stereocard by Jeremiah Gurney, and an oil portrait of Whitman in his prime by fellow New Yorker Charles Hine

--Whitman’s pen, cane, bronzed cast of his hand, and locks of his hair encased in exquisite Victorian rings designed by eminent New York jeweler John H. Johnston

--A collection of work by Whitman’s most ardent supporters, including one of Horace Traubel’s notebooks documenting the poet’s words and actions and Henry Saunders’ handmade One Hundred Whitman Portraits

--Examples of Whitman’s legacy in the book arts, including books by Thomas Mosher and the Roycroft Press and original artwork by Brian Selznick and Allen Crawford

--Ephemera including a lively array of advertisements both by and about Whitman, such as an oversized broadside advertising Leaves of Grass designed by the poet himself and examples of Whitman’s commercial appearance on cigar boxes, food labels, album art, and clothing catalogues

--Interactive features of the exhibition allow visitors to experience Whitman and his New York in 3-D using modern stereograph technology, to take a virtual walk with Walt down Broadway circa 1850, and examine a colorful, surprising array of Whitman-related ephemera.

Catalog and commemorative medallion:

Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman (Grolier Club, 2019), a book based on the exhibition with text by Ms. Tane and Dr. Karbiener, is available from Oak Knoll Books (orders@oakknoll.com).  

A commemorative three and one-half inch bronze medallion honoring Whitman’s 200th birthday has been specially commissioned from sculptor Marc Mellon.  For information and to order, please contact Maev Brennan: mbrennan@grolierclub.org

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

FREE EXHIBITION TOURS: Free guided tours of the exhibition, led by curators Susan Tane and Karen Karbiener, will be held on Wednesday, May 15, from 12 to 1 pm; Wednesday, May 22, from 11 am to 12 noon.; and Thursday, May 30, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. No reservations required.

LECTURES and PRESENTATIONS:

  • Wednesday, May 22, 12:00-1:00 pm - “Printing Walt Whitman’s Faces,” lecture by Barbara Henry, Harsimum Press.
  • Thursday, May 30, 5:30-6:30 pm - “ ‘This is the city, and I am one of the citizens’: Walt Whitman, The Body, and the City,” lecture by Ed Folsom, University of Iowa.
  • Tuesday, June 18, 12:00-1:00 pm - “I Sing the Exhibition Digital,” presentation by Jesse Merandy and the Bard Grad Center’s Digital Media Lab.
  • Thursday, June 20, 5:30-6:30 pm - “A Year in the Basement with Walt Whitman,” presentation by Allen Crawford, illustrator.
  • Tuesday, July 23, 5:30-6:30 pm - “Whitman’s Live Oak, with Moss,” multimedia presentation by Brian Selznick and Karen Karbiener.

WHITMAN SYMPOSIUM: Saturday, June 1, from 9 am to 5 pm 

Twelve internationally acclaimed scholars will deliver presentations on the theme of “Walt Whitman and New York,” including one Pecha Kucha session; the Dessoff Choirs will perform a selection of Whitman song settings; and Whitman scholars Betsy Erkkila and Kenneth Price will deliver keynote lectures. Admission is free, but reservations are required by e-mailing mbrennan@grolierclub.org.

WHITMAN 2019 CONSORTIUM: Curators Susan Tane and Karen Karbiener are also co-Directors of the Consortium, a global collective of more than 70 institutions, organizations, venues and individuals celebrating Whitman’s 200th birthday. For more information on events, a print copy of the publication and schedule is available at the Grolier Club; or visit: http://waltwhitmaninitiative.org/whitman-2019-consortium/

90.1.jpgFalls Church, VA - On April 4, the Waverly Rare Books division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries will present a 262-lot catalog auction of rare and important books, prints and maps on the subject of travel, exploration and the natural world.  

Titled “Exploring the Globe - Prints, Maps & Books,” the auction features the personal library of William E. Davies (1917-1990), a former U.S. Geological Survey geologist, polar explorer and recipient of the Antarctic Medal from the U.S. Congress. His collection of books from the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration includes John Ross’ A Voyage of Discovery (1819). 

The travel and exploration portion of the catalog will include works from the Middle East, the archive of author Jane Geniesse (with 70+ letters by British explorer Freya Stark), maps of early America, circa-1856 watercolors of Pacific species of fish, and the compass used during the Kantuta Raft expeditions. The auction will conclude with a group of rare natural history prints.

A strong candidate for the auction’s top lot is an Edition de Lux copy of Arctic Days, published by Andrew Melrose (London, 1913), written and signed by Sir Ernest Shackleton. Estimated at $3,000-$5,000, this book is an account of the Nimrod Expedition (1907-09). It includes sketches of polar life by two of Shackleton’s men, James Murray and George Marston, who also signed the book. 

John Ross’s A Voyage of Discovery is a first-edition copy from 1819 and carries an estimate of $800-$1,200. Published by John Murray in London, the volume is quarter leather with marble boards. It is Ross’s first-hand account of how he led an expedition to find the Northwest Passage, only to turn around before what is now called the “Parry Passage” (named after W.E. Parry, the captain of the Alexander).

The archive of material from author Jane Geniesse, comprising 10 boxes, four tubs and a folder, relates mostly to her two books The American Priestess (2008) and Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark (1999), but also includes more than 70 signed letters, postcards and other items from Freya Stark to friends, including Lucy Beach, Sir Sydney Cockerell and others. The lot estimate is $1,000-$1,500.

An aquatint engraving of the now-extinct Pied Duck (Plate 332), from a first-edition copy of John James Audubon’s (American, 1785-1851) iconic The Birds of America, should take flight for $800-$1,200. The lower right reads, “Engraved, Printed and (Hand) Coloured by R. Havell, 1836.” The Pied Duck, or Labrador Duck, was last spotted in Elmira, New York, in 1878.

A second-edition folio copy of Diaz Del Castillo’s Conquista de la Nueva-Espana, the most important recounting of the expeditions of Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez and the conquest of Mexico, published in Madrid in 1632, is estimated to reach $3,000-$4,000. Diaz participated in 120 battles during Cortez’s campaign through Central America and conquest of Mexico (1519-1521).

A double-page, hand-colored, engraved map of the Mid-Atlantic coast - to include Virginia, Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey - beautifully rendered by German cartographer Johann Baptiste Homann (1644-1724), should reach $1,000-$1,500. The map, housed in a 26½-inch by 30¼-inch frame, was published in Nuremberg circa 1720. It is both important and decorative.

A rare Viceroy Edition copy of Captain F. Brinkley’s The Oriental Series: Japan and China, published by J.B. Millet (Boston, 1901-1902), #26 of 50, is expected to make $800-$1,200. The 12-volume set is green-gilt-decorated morocco leather and includes silk doublures and endpapers, watercolor-on-silk frontispieces, and illustrations throughout (some colored and on silk or vellum).

A first U.S. edition (in English, translated from the original Norwegian) two-volume set of Roald Amundsen’s The South Pole, an account of his famous dash to the South Pole, arriving on Dec. 14, 1911, five weeks before Robert Falcon Scott’s British Expedition, has an estimate of $500-$700. A pencil inscription reads, “Compliments of Lee Keedick for R. Amundsen, July 1913.”

The actual compass used by explorer Eduard Ingris for the two Kantuta Expeditions, which followed in the footsteps of the legendary Kon-Tiki expedition led by Thor Heyerdahl, should easily change hands for $400-$600. Housed in a wooden case, the compass is believed to have been given to Ingris directly by Heyerdahl. Also included in the lot is Kon-Tiki and Kantuta-related material.

A group of four botanical plates from 1827 by Pierre Joseph Redoute (French, 1759-1840), each one an engraving of a flower, from Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs et des Plus Beaux Fruits, with engraving by Langlois (Paris), should hit $400-$600. The stipple engravings with original hand-coloring include plates for Mauve hibiscus trionum, Clematis Viticella, plus two other flowers.

Auction start time is 6 p.m. ET. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee and live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. Preview at the gallery on Saturday, March 30 from 10-12, then Mon.-Thurs., April 1-4 inclusive from 10-6. For additional information about any item in the sale, call 703-532-5632, extension 575; or e-mail waverly@quinnsauction.com. View the online catalog and register to bid absentee or live online, at LiveAuctioneers.com. Visit Quinn’s and Waverly online at http://www.quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is always accepting consignments for future auctions.

Image: Edition de Lux copy of Arctic Days, published by Andrew Melrose (London, 1913), written and signed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, an account of the Nimrod Expedition, est. $3,000-$5,000.

efaerer.jpgIn celebration of the Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online for the first time the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection, which sheds light on scientific, religious, philosophical and literary topics that are highly valued in the Persian speaking lands.

This collection, including 150 manuscripts with some dating back to the 13th century, also reflects the diversity of religious and confessional traditions within the Persian culture.

From the 10th century to the present, Persian became the cultural language for a large region stretching from West Asia to Central and South Asia. Today, Persian is the native language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and some regions of Central and South Asia and the Caucasus.

The unique manuscripts feature beautifully illuminated anthologies of poetry by classic and lesser known poets, written in fine calligraphic styles and illustrated. It includes the Shahnamah, an epic poem that recounts the history of pre-Islamic Persia. Also, it contains the most beloved poems of the Persian poets Saadi Shirazi, Hafez and Jami, along with works of the poet Nizami Ganjavi. 

One of the historic materials addresses the life of Shah Jahan (1592-1666), a ruler of India from the Mughal dynasty, during whose reign the Taj Mahal and other architectural wonders were built. Other items highlight a gold leaf map that clearly demonstrates how the world was viewed in the medieval Islamic period and Quran manuscripts with elaborate calligraphy.

The collection was digitally preserved by the Library of Congress at loc.gov/collections/persian-language-rare-materials/about-this-collection/.

“These rare Persian-language manuscripts clearly reflect the diversity and cosmopolitan nature of the collection,” said Hirad Dinavari, reference specialist for the collection at the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division. “Since many of the items originate in India, Central Asia, the Caucasus and regions under Ottoman rule, in addition to the native Persian speaking lands of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.”

In addition to the manuscripts, the Library will expand the Rare Persian-language Collection with lithographs, early imprint book and Islamic book bindings in the following months.

Most of these Persian manuscripts and lithographic books were procured for the Library in the 1930s by Kirkor Minassian (1874-1944), a renowned dealer in fine Islamic and Near Eastern arts. The Minassian acquisitions included treasures from the entire Middle East with rare books and manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Armenian languages.  

The Library's African and Middle Eastern Division showcased over 40 of these rare Persian manuscripts and lithographic books for the first time, for the public to see, in the exhibition "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book" between March 27, 2014 and September 20, 2014.

The African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) was created in 1978 as part of a general Library of Congress reorganization. AMED consists of three sections - African, Hebraic and Near East - that cover 78 countries and regions from southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia and the Caucasus.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States - and extensive materials from around the world - both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Image: Excerpt from classical Persian poetry. The Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection includes beloved poems of the Persian poets Saadi Shirazi, Hafez and Jami, along with works of the poet Nizami Ganjavi.

597f4d4443dfbdc3b2d6903be937db72bd0a6c2f.jpegBoston, MA — RR Auction's April Fine Autograph and Artifact sale features an impressive selection of pop culture material with online bidding through April 10, 2019. 

Highlights include Andy Warhol's personally-owned 14K white gold Elgin Crusader pocket watch, with a back that opens to reveal an ornate engraved filigree pattern, along with the make and model. The face is white with gold Arabic numerals and gold hands, and has an inset seconds dial. Provenance: The Andy Warhol Collection, Sotheby's, April 1988.

Warhol had an appreciation of art which translated into his penchant for luxury watches. He was once quoted as saying: 'I don't wear a [Cartier] Tank watch to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it's the watch to wear.' Warhol himself was an avid collector of watches, said to own over 300 pieces, the most beloved of which he kept in a canopy hung over his bed. This superb, sophisticated timepiece is an exceptional example boasting exquisite provenance. (Estimate: $10,000+) 

Also featured the iconic two-piece suit worn by Colonel Harland Sanders. The white two-piece suit made by Merton Chesher of Toronto, consisting of a light fabric double-breasted dress jacket and matching pleated trousers, both of which feature manufacturer tags identifying them as belonging to the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder. 

The jacket tag is sewn into the inner right breast pocket; the pants tag is located on the front inner waistband: “Name: Col H Sanders 5271L, Date: May 17/67.” Also included is Sanders’s white dress shirt made by Arrow Belmont Club with inner collar stamped: “Bard Sanforized Plus 2, 17-33CC.”  The outfit is accompanied by a black tie that was not worn by Sanders. 

A rare opportunity to own what is perhaps the most iconic suit in the history of the American fast food industry, said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. (Estimate: $5,000)

Highlights from the literature section of the online offering include a Henry David Thoreau manuscript sought-after handwritten manuscript contained within the first volume of the 1906 'manuscript edition' of Thoreau's works, one page both sides, apparently being his journal entry from August 24, 1854. In part: "They appeared to suffer more than any trees, except the white ash. Their leaves (and also those of the alders, hickories and grapes, and even oaks more or less) were so curled on the upper 3/4 of the trees, that their foliage had a singularly glaucous hue. Seen at a distance in rows along the river, they had somewhat of the same effect with the silvered tip of the swamp white oak. The sight suggested a strong wind constantly blowing and turning up their leaves. I went ashore & felt of them. They were more or less crisped & curled permanently. It suggested that, to a slight extent, occurs every year. On the Cliffs, so many young trees & bushes were withered, that from the river, it looked as if a fire had run over them." 

The sheet is professionally inlaid into a larger sheet, which was subsequently bound into the first volume of the twenty-volume set The Writings of Henry David Thoreau. Manuscript edition, limited issue, numbered 555/600. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1906. Hardcover, 6.25 x 9, 435 pages. The other volumes of the set are not included. Book condition: G+/None, with ex-library labels and markings. Autographic condition: very good, with possible reinforcement to a long diagonal crease, and old tape repairs to splitting along the central horizontal fold. 

Fifty years after Thoreau's death in 1862, his manuscripts passed through a few hands until they were inherited by E. Harlow Russell. He then negotiated with publisher Houghton Mifflin to sell the literary rights of Thoreau's unpublished journals, also selling at least six-hundred pages of his original manuscripts to the firm. These were then broken up and included, one page at a time, in the first book of each copy of this enormous twenty-volume limited 'manuscript edition' set. This example resembles the published versions of his journal from August 1854, but does not correspond exactly as the compilers took editorial liberties. Offering outstanding observations on nature, this is an ideal Thoreau piece of the utmost desirability. (Estimate: $15,000+ ) 

Other top items include a letter by Queen Elizabeth I, an important letter by Thomas Jefferson about the Bonaparte family, a rare check by Charles Darwin, and a handful of vintage Topps baseball card sets. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction from RR Auction will conclude on April 10.  For information, visit the RR Auction web site at www.rrauction.com

TheRoadLettered3 copy.jpgIrvine, CA - Suntup Editions, publisher of fine limited edition books and art prints, is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road, with an exclusive introduction by Joyce Carol Oates.

A novel that critics hailed as “heartbreaking” and “emotionally shattering,” The Road is one of the finest achievements in literature of the 21st century. Awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Road is a searing, post-apocalyptic novel about one father and son’s fight to survive as they walk through the desolate burned landscape of America. An unflinching meditation on the best and worst that humanity is capable of, The Road is a journey of two travelers devoid of hope but sustained by love.

This edition will also feature an exclusive introduction by Joyce Carol Oates. Oates is the author of over 40 novels, as well as several novellas, plays, short stories, poems, and nonfiction. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and is the winner of the National Book Award, two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal, and the Jerusalem Prize.

ABOUT THE EDITIONS

The limited edition of The Road by Cormac McCarthy is limited to two hundred & seventy-six copies, and is presented in two states: Lettered and Limited. The edition measures 6¼” x 9¼” and features seven illustrations by Ryan Pancoast, as well as an exclusive introduction by Joyce Carol Oates. Also included is a wood engraving by renowned engraver, Richard Wagener. The editions are signed by Joyce Carol Oates, Ryan Pancoast and Richard Wagener.

Limited Edition

The Limited edition is a full cloth binding and is limited to 250 copies. The spine features a leather foil-stamped label, and the cover includes an inset print of the The Road engraving by Richard Wagener. Endsheets are Hahnemühle Bugra, and the edition is printed offset on Mohawk Via Vellum Flax paper. It is housed in a cloth covered slipcase.

Lettered Edition

The lettered edition is limited to 26 copies lettered A-Z and is printed offset on French Speckletone paper. It is a hand sewn Coptic binding with waxed linen threads. The boards are covered in genuine Ardesia stone slate from Italy. The pastedown is Mexican Mayan paper, handmade with renewable plant fibers and is acid-free. The frontispiece engraving is printed letterpress from the original boxwood block. The edition is housed in a custom clamshell enclosure.

Suntup Editions

Since its launch in late 2016, Suntup Editions has garnered the attention of fans, bloggers, and journalists alike. Their stunning premiere project The Eyes of the Dragon Art Portfolio with Lettered and Numbered Editions signed by David Palladini, along with The Covers Collection, limited edition fine art prints featuring original cover art from the novels by Stephen King, made Suntup Editions the ultimate “one to watch” and one of the fastest rising new printing presses on the scene.

In early 2018, Suntup Editions announced it would publish the world’s first limited edition of Misery, which was released with not only the blessing but bearing the signature of Stephen King himself. This was followed by announcements of a limited edition of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House, a signed limited edition of Horns by Joe Hill, and a limited edition of Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. The Road will mark Suntup’s fifth book release.

The mission of the press is to publish finely crafted limited editions, by collaborating with some of today’s leading writers, artists, designers, printers and bookmakers to create an edition that is itself, an art object. By incorporating elements of the story into the design and production of the books, their editions offer a unique reading experience.

Publication is scheduled for Fall 2019 and will be available for pre-order at https://shop.suntup.press from 9:00 am Pacific time on Saturday, April 13th, 2019.

10lrd_1.jpgAmherst, MA — The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art takes an in-depth look at the creative process in a new exhibition called Eric Carle Makes a Book, on display in the Museum's West Gallery from April 6 through August 25, 2019. The exhibition explores the development of four books, from Carle's early thumbnail sketches and dummy books to his published tissue paper collages. "As I work on the book, I love it. I hate it. I think it's awful, and I think it's wonderful," says the artist. Over a 50-year career, Carle has composed heartwarming stories inspired by personal experiences and designed books with unique tactile elements that further engage his readers.  

Eric Carle Makes a Book features four beloved titles. In From Head to Toe (1997), a gorilla, elephant, camel, and other animals invite young readers to clap, stomp, wiggle, and move their bodies. Carle conceived the story idea from exercises he learned to alleviate back pain."Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth (2002) tells the tale of a sloth who, despite criticisms from fellow rainforest creatures, takes life one slow step at a time. Carle created the book amidst the frenetic planning and construction of the Museum--a time when he needed to remind himself to slow down. Like the sloth, the protagonist in The Very Clumsy Click Beetle (1999) also moves a little differently than its friends, but with the help of various animals and a wise beetle, finally lands on its feet. It is a story about persistence and the importance of never giving up. Meanwhile, the real-life travels of 29,000 rubber bath toys capsized from a container ship in the Pacific Ocean inspired Carle's 10 Little Rubber Ducks (2005). While scientists studied the ducks astonishing transcontinental migrations, Carle took a more poetic approach, imagining the adventures of ten little rubber ducks and the colorful sea creatures they encounter.

Carle's books require months or even years of research, planning, and experiment. Alternate book covers and unpublished artwork provide insight into Carle's process, showing how he plays with images and text, rhythm and pacing, to refine his stories. The exhibition looks at book mechanics--folds, flaps, lights, sounds, and die-cut holes--to demonstrate the ways Carle has expanded the possibilities of a picture book. A special gallery case displays a selection of Carle's dummy books for stories that never came to fruition--and have never before been shared with the public. Guests are invited to make their own books at an activity station and young visitors can crawl inside a custom designed bookcase.

PROGRAMMING & WORKSHOPS

Books Before Bedtime PJ Party 

April 18, 6:00pm - 8:00pm 

Free with Museum Admission 

Come see the Eric Carle Makes a Book exhibition in your PJs, and don't forget to bring along your favorite stuffed animal! In addition to bookmaking, storytime, films, and milk and cookies, guests can have  drawings made of their stuffed animal by local artists. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Everyday Art Program: Transforming Tissue Paper

April 24 - May 28, 2019

All day 

Free with Museum Admission

Celebrate the exhibition Eric Carle Makes a Book and create your own tissue paper collage. 

Special Storytime: Books in Translation 

April 30, 10:30am - 11:00am 

Free with Museum Admission 

While we can use books to travel to other places without leaving home, books themselves can also travel thanks to translators. Come find out what happens when a book leaves its home language and moves into another. This special storytime, facilitated by UMass students in the Practicing Literary Translation course, aims to cultivate an awareness of literary translation.  This program is offered in conjunction with the annual celebration of Día. Also known as El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), Día is a nationally recognized initiative committed to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. 

How Picture Books Work with Illustrator Claudia Rueda 

May 13, 10:00am - 4:30pm 

$90 (Members $76.50) 

Adult workshop, ages 16 and up

How do you sketch a picture book idea? How do you write a story that is told both with words and images? Join picture book author and New York Times bestselling illustrator Claudia Rueda in this intensive six-hour workshop. You'll explore the most important elements of visual writing and learn how to plan a picture book by using a storyboard and building a picture book dummy.

Book Share & Tell 

May 19, 1:00pm 

Free with Museum Admission 

Students from neighboring Wildwood and Fort River Elementary Schools will share their favorite picture books, early readers, and middle grade books from the 2018-2019 school year. 

The Invisible Art of Children's Book Design with Carol Goldenberg 

May 25, 1:00pm 

Free with Museum Admission 

Many people express surprise when told that all books, including those for children, are designed. Yet this is an appropriate response, as book design and typography are at their most successful when not immediately apparent to the reader. Award-winning book designer Carol Goldenberg likes to call this "invisible art."  Using examples from a long career designing many Caldecott-winning picture books for children, Goldenberg will take participants through the complex process of designing a book, from manuscript to the printed edition. 

Image: Image: Eric Carle, Illustration for 10 Little Rubber Ducks (HarperCollins). Collection of Eric and Barbara Carle. © 2005 Eric Carle.

Auction Guide