Sunday, October 28, 2018

View Originals of La Prose in the U.S.

I apologize for the gap in blog entries, but I have been assiduously working on the edition of La Prose and am now almost done with 106 copies, 30 of which are for the underwriters and for Atelier Coloris. That means that there are 74 more copies to make, which will take another nine months to a year. We plan to return to a more regular schedule of blog entries once we return from our trip to the Oak Knoll Book Fest and from our travels to view more originals of La Prose, two in Pennsylvania and two in Boston.

If you wish to make your own tour of originals in the United States, you can consult the list I have compiled below. There are 13 copies in public institutions and at least two in private hands that I know of. Wouldn’t it be a miracle if we could organize an exhibition of several of them to be hung side-to-side for comparison? That’s what I have been doing virtually through photographs I have taken at various institutions over the past several years, when allowed. You can compare the intensity of the colors, the different folding schemes, the signing of the books, and look at the most complicated areas to determine if they are different enough to be done by different hands.

This video shows my facsimile alongside the Legion of Honor copy: 


 And here, you can see my facsimile alongside the Getty Research Center copy:



List of institutions holding an original copy of La Prose du Transsibérien in the United States (this is an update to my census published in this blog last year; all copies are on simili Japon except one):

1. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, #124, glued and folded into 21 panels, inscribed to Archipenko, vellum cover not attached
2. Yale University (Beinecke Library), New Haven, CT,  #131, glued and folded into 21 panels, vellum cover attached
3. Palace of the Legion of Honor (David and Reva Logan Collection), San Francisco, CA, unnumbered, on Japon (the only one in the US on Japon in a public collection)), glued and folded into 22 panels, vellum cover not attached
4. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, #139 (note that #139 was also assigned by Blaise Cendrars to the copy donated by Sonia Delaunay to the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne in Paris), glued and folded into 22 panels, inscribed to Chilean painter Manuel Ortiz de Zarate: Noël 1916, vellum cover attached
5. New York Public Library (Spencer Collection), New York, NY, #47 (note that #47 ws also assigned by Blaise Cendrars to the copy in l’Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia), unglued and unfolded, inscribed to M. Jean Decloux, 21 June 1938
6. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, #97, glued and folded into 21 panels but now framed under glass, vellum cover detached
7. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, #38, glued and folded into 20 panels, signed by both Blaise and Sonia, vellum cover not attached, cover has snaps on front and back cover
8. Allentown Museum of Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania, unnumbered, four pages unglued and unfolded, vellum cover is surely a maquette with dark blue lines drawn everywhere as the pattern for painting the oil colors, cover is non-rectangular trapezoid, never folded
9. Harvard University (Houghton Library), Cambridge, MA, unnumbered, four pages unglued and unfolded, vellum cover not attached
10. University of Texas (Harry Ransom Center), Dallas, TX, #41, folded and glued, cover attached
11. MoMA, New York, NY, #150, glued and folded into 21 panels, inscribed to Louis Brun, cover not attached (see Inventing Abstraction exhibition catalog, exhibit shown 2012-2013)
12. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, MN, #130, glued and folded into 21 panels but now framed under glass), cover still attached
13. Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach, FL, #147

In private hands in the U.S.:

#111 in Massachussetts (note that #111 was also assigned by Blaise Cendrars to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London)
#29 in Louisiana on Japon, folded and glued, inscribed to Mr. Kaplan, vellum cover attached

I have assembled a list of books held outside the U.S. in institutions, which still needs to be updated since last year: (many books on my earlier list show evidence of existence, but I don’t yet know where they are, so they are not listed here; all are on simili Japon unless noted))

#4 Muséo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, (vellum copy)
Tate Modern, London, unnumbered (vellum copy), maquette
#11 Jean Bonna Collection, Switzerland (Japon copy)
#16 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France (Japon copy)
#34 Jacques Doucet Library, Paris, France (Japon copy)
#47 l’Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
#51 Bibliothèque Nationale, Switzerland
#57 Foundation Martin Bodmer, Geneva, Switzerland
#71 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
#110 Zadkine Museum, Paris, France
#111 Victoria & Albert Museum
#119 Biblioteca Marío de Andrade, São Paulo, Brazil
#137 National Gallery, Canberra, Australia
#139 Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
Jacquet Doucet Literary Library, unnumbered (quite faded)
Musée d’Art et Histoire, Geneva, Switzerland, unnumbered (maquette painted by Sonia Delaunay)
British Library, London, England, unnumbered (“epreuve d’artiste”, artist proof with note to pocheurs)

Private Collection:
#9 South Africa, four pages on Japon, unglued and unnumbered, vellum cover not attached

Additions and corrections to the list are most welcome. Note that another census was published in the catalog for the exhibition at the Foundation Jan Michalski last November which I still need to correlate with my census. More to come.

Besides making books and trying to sell them, I have written a new long article, to be published later this year in The Codex Papers, with my latest theories about where the pochoir was done and why the edition was not completed, and more information about the type styles used by Blaise Cendrars and about Sonia Delanunay’s painting vocabulary. I also plan to have a table at Codex next February and hope to see you there.

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