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.

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