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Rackham, Arthur (1867-1939) Autograph Letter Signed, 4 August 193?.

Auction:
3176B
Lot:
46
Sold for:
$523$425

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Auction:
Books & Manuscripts - 3176B
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
November 18, 2018 11:00AM

Description:

Rackham, Arthur (1867-1939) Autograph Letter Signed, 4 August 193?. Single wove bifolium Stilegate, Limpsfield, Surrey writing paper, inscribed over four pages, to a Dr. Solly [?], commenting on (and disparaging) his illustrations for Dana's Two Years Before the Mast, mentioning a visit to New York, and the potential longevity of cubism, among other topics, old folds, 9 x 7 in.
"Many thanks for your very interesting letter. Dana's book is a curiously interesting book. It has made such an unusual place for itself. What it is that gives permanent life to such a work is very hard to say. Perhaps it's simple absolute reality. The pity is it wasn't illustrated in its own day with all the kindness & experience that would make its reality visible. I am bound to say that my work can only be called hack work of a quite ignorant kind. All boys in my youth still felt the sea in their blood. Marryat & the others were still their favorite reading. They still 'ran away' to sea. And, short of the last, I was truly of that date. But when Collins came to me, I had to set it all up -- & in so far as I have succeeded in being truthful, it has only been by most cautious hiding my pervading ignorance behind such facts as I managed to 'mug up' for the occasion. I did actually take great pains-- the lowering of a boat from a yard arm-- the tackle swinging loose-- the individual actions of the men in the boat as she dropped behind the ship-- & all that sort of thing-- I had never (or practically never) seen. But I did make sketches & diagrams on board a ship (in dock) & I did all I could to verify my sketches & intentions from both sailors & marine artists. But that's not the way to illustrate Dana! It was a miserable publication, wasn't it. All my early books were. I have few or none of them left. I destroyed most at birth. And now it concerns me very much to see my early sins rising up & confronting me. My only visit to the states was in 1929 when I was I met your friend Dick Dana. I wish I could recall meeting him. It was only a very short visit & I saw comparatively few people but they have left rather a confused memory that I have formed a relatively little picture of N.Y. that let me feel at home when E. 66th St. & Gramercy Park or &c. &c. &c. are mentioned. It was winter & I had no time --but among the parts of the world I haven't yet seen, I do still rather yearn for "Little-women-Land" and other familiar places on your side. It was pouring & pouring & pouring when I walked the school ma'am's long path. I feer I am too sentimental for this age, but I hardly believe packing-case architecture & cubism are biologically sound enough to flourish for long. Sincerely yours, Arthur Rackham"
Estimate $300-500


The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.

Keywords

Dick Dana, Arthur Rackham, Arts, California, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Diaries, Maritime history of California, Mexican California, Two Years Before the Mast, Visual arts, Surrey

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