Some Memories of Drawings

Some Memories of Drawings


Description: SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 20 PRESENTATION COPIES (out of a total edition of 120), signed by O’Keeffe and the book’s designer Leonard Baskin. AN EXTRAORDINARY COPY: Given by O’Keeffe’s long-time agent Doris Bry to her friend and noted psychiatrist Dr. Lucie Jessner. With letters from Bry to Jessner discussing O’Keeffe’s health and the origins of this book, with proofs of the pre-publication text and proof photos for some of the plates in the book. In a typed signed letter in this collection dated December 1, 1972, Doris Bry writes to Lucie Jessner about the origins of this book, “Some Memories of Drawings”: “You probably don’t remember -- but when I did the big O’K Drawings portfolio (which you have) -- and which has ten drawings -- I also intended to do a second volume of another ten -- which I never did -- and probably will never be able to do. -- But I also wanted to do a little and inexpensive paperback of the 20 drawings available to anyone -- with perhaps a little something by O’K about them -- and a one page biography and bibliography in the back -- well designed and well printed, etc. -- about 8 x 6 or 6 x 5” -- something like that. “Now O’K has given me her comments -- text for the first ten -- she forgot about the second ten -- and I enclose a Xerox [included here]. -- If it isn’t imposing on you, I’d be interested in your reaction -- if you have time to react. (This is text for the ten you have) “I feel one needs 20 to make a booklet that can be bound neatly -- and that ten doesn’t work physically -- also it would be interesting if she would do another ten. “This was just given to me as a fait accompli -- we did not talk about it or work on it -- Some of the material under I (the first two pages of her text) -- she has said to me at times somewhat differently -- and perhaps better -- and I am tempted to try to get her to expand it a little -- but then I also think it might be best just to take it as it is. -- “as a reader would you be interested in this little book? or is it too sparse? or???" In 1973, Bry did succeed in getting the book produced and the result is a masterful collection of drawings O'Keeffe created between 1915 and 1963; illustrated with 21 charcoal and pencil drawings reproduced on Arches Silkscreen in 300-line screen offset lithography, each laid into a lettered folded leaf of Arches paper. Most drawings are accompanied by O'Keeffe's commentary -- her first writing intended for book publication -- explaining the details, setting, or inspiration for each work. Elegantly designed by Leonard Baskin and printed at The Meadows Press. ??Also noteworthy in Bry’s letters is a discussion of O’Keeffe’s health, specifically her battle with macular degeneration, which began to strip O’Keeffe of her central vision in 1972. In an autograph letter dated May 8, 1972, Bry writes: “Much is quite terrible -- beyond words -- and then O’K remarkable and just acts, insofar as possible -- as if she can see. -- But the problem that it doesn’t seem to stay static, but all worsens weekly for her rather inexorably...” In her December 1, 1972 letter, she notes: ”I was glad to see O’K -- which I hadn’t since early May -- as she seemed very much better in many ways than then. -- Generally in better health, better spirits (quite cheerful actually) -- and I did not have that terrible sense I had last spring of desperation and fatigue and tension which really worried me so much. -- She says her eyes are no better, though I feel from things she sees and says unconsciously that she is seeing more, and so does everyone around her. -- but she says it is that she has adapted to it. -- And yet I hope things will change for the better somehow. -- Her courage and attitude are remarkable -- and somehow I think she will find some way of painting again some time -- though she says not. -- but she does now begin to think of writing, using the little tape recorder -- so I hope something will come of this, and certainly encouraged it.” Note: The Xeroxed proofs of O’Keeffe’s text differ from the final version. The nine 8x10 inch proof photographs are loose in an envelope addressed to “Miss Georgia O’Keeffe c/o Bry”. With two additional postcards from Bry to Jessner, a catalog illustrated with O’Keeffe’s works (which Bry mentions in a letter to Jessner) in celebration of O’Keeffe being awarded the 1971 M. Carey Thomas Award by Bryn Mawr College, and a brochure for an O’Keeffe exhibition at The Downtown Gallery (1958). Some Memories of Drawings. New York: Atlantis Editions, 1974. Octavo, contents loose as issued in original publisher's presentation issue box (which is more substantial and handsome than the regular issue). One plate (#21) with light foxing on image; Blue Lines (#1) with a few very light spots of foxing on matting edge. Letters, proofs, additional material fine. A MAGNIFICENT COLLECTION.
Artist or Maker: O'KEEFFE, GEORGIA
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