Saturday, March 21, 2009

April Newsletter of the RW Norton Art Foundation: a copy of The Dali Alice, 1969, lies in the vaults of the RW Norton, Shreveport

In the April newsletter of the RW Norton Art Foundation the Norton's staff researcher, Kristi Kohl, writes,

November 5, 1969, marked the first issue of the limited edition of “the Dali Alice,” the complete text of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with 13 mixed-media originals by Surrealist artist Salvador Dali. Only 2,500 copies were printed, each hand-signed in pencil by the artist. The Norton is fortunate to have one of these limited editions. The book became so in demand in bookstores throughout the country that it had to be “rationed,” with the publisher limiting the number of copies sent to each city.

The portfolio contains 12 illustrations and an original color etching opposite the title page. Dali created a fantasy for each of Carroll’s chapters and illustrated the text with mixed media graphics. The text and illustrations are printed on 11 1/2” x 17” specially made Mandeure rag paper. The pages are not sewn together, and there is no binding. Instead, text pages and art pages are enclosed in an enormous silk-lined case-portfolio, featuring linen and leather over heavy board, and fitted with ivory pins to hold it closed. The original copper plates and woodblocks were cancelled after the last impression was made, making it impossible to ever print from them again.

As advertised by joint publishers Random House and Maecenas Press in 1969, “This unique and opulent work brings together two great and untrammeled imaginations - Lewis Carroll and Salvador Dali, each, in his own medium, the ultimate explorer of the world of dreams; Carroll and Dali - a perfect ‘collaboration of genius.’”

Alas, Kohl, says, the items described in the newsletter's From the Vault articles are not on display. Wonder what else the Norton owns that might constitute a proper display on such a phantasmagoric artistic thread?

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