From the category archives:

Photography

Novyi Lef. Zhurnal Levogo Fronta Iskusstv. Year 1, No. 1 (January 1927) through Year 2, No. 12 (December 1928) (all published). 24 issues, published in 22 vols. as issued, comprising a complete first edition of the Soviet avant-garde monthly designed by Alexandr Rodchenko under the editorial direction of Vladimir Mayakovsky, followed by Sergei Tret’iakov, each issue with 4 pp. of reproductions of photographs or photomontages by Rodchenko and others bound in. 4to. Orig. illus. color wrpps. by Rodchenko. Moscow (Gosizdat) 1927-1928. (47801)

“We must revolutionize people by making them see from all vantage points and in all lights.” 1

The nationalist pageantry of the Sochi opening ceremony drew vivid attention to Constructivism and the legendary achievements of the Russian avant-garde. A monumental locomotive steaming through the darkened stadium surrounded by dramatically lighted industrial and geometric fragments was an improbable homage to the groundbreaking aesthetic strategies of artists like Alexandr Rodchenko whose photomontages, bold graphic design, and splintered vision celebrated technology and foreshadowed the artist as an “avatar of the information age.”

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  1. Alexandr Rodchenko. Novyi Lef, No. 6 (June 1927), trans. by Gail Harrison Roman.
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Collection of Invitations, Programs, Flyers, Posters, Broadsides and other Ephemeral Items pertaining to the Palladium nightclub, June 1985 – May 1987. ca. 170 items ranging from single sheet to folding invitations, pop ups, and physical objects, executed in print processes including letterpress, stencil, silk screen, and off-set lithography, most in vibrant color. Items ranging in size from approx. 3 7/8″ x 3 7/8″ to 23″ x 28″, loose as originally issued. N.p. (New York) 1985-1987. (47729)

Steve Rubell is said to have declared, “Artists are the rock stars of the 80s.” The notorious nightclub owner and his business partner Ian Schrager ran Studio 54 before their arrest and incarceration for tax evasion in 1980. In May 1985 they opened the Palladium nightclub, designed as a celebration of this unprecedented alliance between art and pop culture.  [click to continue…]

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Collection of 548 postcard prints and original photographs depicting airships, dirigibles and zeppelins, ca. 1890 to 1960. Most images 3 x 5 in. or 4 x 6 in., housed in period 4to and tall 4to boards albums, one with spine partially detached.  N.p (United Kingdom?), N.d. (ca. 1890 to 1960).  (47267)

The golden age of the passenger airship came to an abrupt halt on May 6, 1937 when the Hindenburg scorched the night sky over Lakehurst, New Jersey.  Stunned by newsreel footage of the disaster, the public understandably lost faith in the zeppelin as a secure mode of transport.  Needless to say (despite occasional rumors of its resuscitation) the dirigible industry has yet to  fully recover.  But for the first three decades of the 20th century, an extraordinary variety of lighter-than-air craft shared the airways with early airplanes and gliders. F.A. Bernett Books has recently acquired two albums of photographs and postcards that illustrate the history of these curious aerostatic vehicles, both before and after the Hindenburg.

And if the clues we’ve discovered between their covers point in the right direction, it seems the collection may once have belonged to one of the airship’s most passionate advocates. But more on that later.

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“Le degré de perfection des productions de l’imprimerie d’un pays est une des marques de son degré de civilisation.” Printing in Japan, ca. 1915.

Thumbnail image for “Le degré de perfection des productions de l’imprimerie d’un pays est une des marques de son degré de civilisation.” Printing in Japan, ca. 1915. April 4, 2011

Sawada, Yozo. Insatsu Taikan (Great Atlas of Printing).  Unpaginated album.  Sm. folio.  Silk-covered boards, tie-bound.  Osaka (Nihon Insatsu Kaisha) 1915.  [46467] Following the death of his father, the Meiji Emperor, on July 30, 1912, Crown Prince Yoshihito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan to become the Taishō Emperor. After three years of Imperial preparations, […]

Both Sides of Broadway, Then and Now

Thumbnail image for Both Sides of Broadway, Then and Now March 18, 2011

De Leeuw, Rudolph M.  Both Sides of Broadway, from Bowling Green to Central Park, New York City.   New York City (The De Leeuw Riehl Pub. Co.) 1910.  [46491] In 1910, author-publisher-photographer Rudolph M. De Leeuw realized his entrepreneurial ambition of publishing a building-by-building sequential photographic survey of the most famous street in America.  Both […]

Deadly Nightshade

Thumbnail image for Deadly Nightshade October 31, 2009

Vries, Herman de.   Belladonna: A Film by Herman de Vries, BB Grögel, Susanne Jacob, Steve Leistner, Vince de Vries. Eindhoven, Germany (Edition Apollnius) 1983. [45760] Dutch-born artist Herman de Vries is responsible for this particularly witchy addition to our inventory, Belladonna: A Film, a limited edition (35 copies) handmade artist’s book produced in connection with […]