Grimm, an artist’s book and more

 

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Cotsen unprocessed items 6903748 & 6903746 respectively

Above are two recently purchased acquisitions. The larger object, featured here with its brown cloth silk-screened slip case, stamped title piece, and twine ties, is the artist’s book Grimm, created by Mikhail Magaril and Victor Bogorad (New York: Summer Garden Editions, 2012). The work consists of twelve pasted together 23 x 14.5 inch folio leaves (in this way each full page spread is in fact one large single sheet). Nine of these are solely devoted to a different Grimm tale or theme. Every page is Illustrated throughout by Magaril’s iconic ink blots, printed in letterpress, and silk screened in both black and brown; the work is truly unique (it is actually the first of only ten copies).

We are fortunate to have this very haunting, and very Russian, interpretation of the Grimm fairy tales and their more nefarious aspects. As the artists explain in the book’s afterword, this work is a reflection upon the artists’ childhood experiences of the Grimm world, which they read, and the real world in the USSR, which they lived: “Life there [the USSR] had much in common with the world of Grimm fairy tales. . . The nightmarish regime badly affected the psyche of children and caused the impressionable young minds to see something sinister in every ink blot” (folio page 11). As you can see for yourself, the book is a truly harrowing and fantastical homage to the Brothers Grimm.

cover

Cover

Endpapers

Endpapers

Title page, spread 1

Title page, spread 1

Spread 2

Spread 2

Der Kleine Däumling (The Little Thumbling), spread 3

Der Kleine Däumling (The Little Thumbling), spread 3

The Brother's Grimm have been included interacting with the fairy tales themselves throughout the work.

The Brother’s Grimm have been included interacting with the fairy tales themselves throughout the work.

Silkscreened image and text of Frau Trude (Mother Trude) notice the brothers again, spread 4

Silkscreened image and text of Frau Trude (Mother Trude) notice the brothers again, spread 4

Spread 5

Spread 5

Spread 8

Spread 8

Hansel und Gretel, spread 10

Hansel und Gretel, spread 10

 

Close up juxtaposition of the two sets of siblings found above.

Close up juxtaposition of the two sets of siblings found above.

Jovial portraits of the artists, Bogorad and Magaril respectively, spread 11

Jovial portraits of the artists, Bogorad and Magaril respectively, spread 11

Authors' signatures and copy number, spread 12

Authors’ signatures and copy number, spread 12

The small black cloth box with linen ties (you thought I forgot didn’t you?) is a related treasure to the already prized first item. The title and key to the contents is supplied by the henna inked calligraphic top card:

Sketches for the book Grimm by Mikhail Magaril

Sketches for the book Grimm by Mikhail Magaril

Once opened, one is greeted by a grand total of 87 (15 x 10.5 cm) unnumbered deckle edged cards. Though 27 cards are blank, the remaining 60 cards include a vast array of draft illustrations for Grimm by Magaril.  The illustrations, executed exclusively in blue and black ink, have been cut out and pasted onto the decorative cards.  Below is a small sampling, notice that some of the proofs were not featured in the final product:

Examples, two of which feature two cards bound together.

Examples, two of which feature two cards bound together.

This large collection of small cards grants us unique access into the creation of the book Grimm. By viewing these proofs, we are offered a little window with which to view the draft processes and production choices of a very talented contemporary artist: Mikhail Magaril.

Not quite the final illustration

Not quite the final illustration

For more work by Magaril held at Princeton, check out this blog post by our colleague Julie Mellby, the curator of Graphic Arts: Mikhail Magaril

 

 

New Exhibition Coming This Thursday, May 29th 2014

Just in time for Reunions, Cotsen will be presenting our newest exhibition:

Building Books: Architecture for Children

The exhibition will feature a diverse array of toys and picture books focused around a central theme of all things constructive. Architects and architecture, builders and buildings, prints and cards and books and blocks! The items featured in the exhibit hail from 10 countries, across 3 continents, and nearly 275 years (from 1740 to the present day). Join us in celebrating the rich history of the connection between children’s books and toys with building and architecture.

Without spoiling too much of what will be available in the gallery, I though you might appreciate seeing some of the building that went into getting the exhibit ready (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Some of the items pictured below didn’t make it into the final show. You’ll have to come in on Thursday, May 29th to see what made it in. . .

Storybook City.  167 Pieces. Skaneateles, NY : T.C. Timber,  ca. 1991.  Manufactured by Habermaas Corporation.

Storybook City. 167 Pieces. Skaneateles, NY : T.C. Timber, ca. 1991. Manufactured by Habermaas Corporation.

Shinban Ueno Toeizan kirikumi toro-e. [Newly Printed Ueno Toeizan Cut and Assemble Sheet]   Illustrated by Kuninaga. Tokyo?  ca. 1920?

Shinban Ueno Toeizan kirikumi toro-e. [Newly Printed Ueno Toeizan Cut and Assemble Sheet] Illustrated by Kuninaga. Tokyo? ca. 1920?

Das Kind als Märchenbaumeister [The Child as Fairy Tale Architect] Ludwigsburg, Germany : Hausser, Otto, Max & Mϋller, Freyer, ca. 1910.

Das Kind als Märchenbaumeister [The Child as Fairy Tale Architect] Ludwigsburg, Germany : Hausser, Otto, Max & Mϋller, Freyer, ca. 1910.

A Grocer’s Shop. (Clark’s Monster Models, no. 3) London?: Clark, between 1860 and 1870?

A Grocer’s Shop. (Clark’s Monster Models, no. 3) London?: Clark, between 1860 and 1870?

Richter’s Anchor Box No. 12.  Rudolstadt, Germany : F. Ad. Richter & Co. (Anker Steinbaukasten), 1884.

Richter’s Anchor Box No. 12. Rudolstadt, Germany : F. Ad. Richter & Co. (Anker Steinbaukasten), 1884.

Friedrich Boer. 3 Jüngen erforschen eine Stadt: Ein Bilderbuch mit Foto, Bildmontagen und Zeichnungen. Berlin: Herbert Stuffer Verlag, 1933.

Friedrich Boer. 3 Jüngen erforschen eine Stadt: Ein Bilderbuch mit Foto, Bildmontagen und Zeichnungen. Berlin: Herbert Stuffer Verlag, 1933.

Congratulations to all our 2014 graduates, and welcome back Alumni!