Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
Illustrated by Lynd Ward
Published by Published by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, New York in 1934
Unique Binding by Richard Tuttle
Binding Details: As with all of Richard Tuttle’s pieces, this is a one of a kind binding that captures the spirit of the book and returns us to a time when books were beautiful to display as well as read. In a world of mediocrity and mass produced books, he believes important literary works are special and should be treasured and passed on to future generations.
The book has been rebound by Richard Tuttle in lamb skin over sculpted boards of copper wire and terminals featuring a circuit board motif that carries over to the endpapers and pastedowns. All edges of the binding are sewn with leather thread and the closure is comprised of brass fittings and screws. The binding was done in 2015.
Book Details: Published by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, New York in 1934, this edition of Mary Shelley's Gothic masterpiece “Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus” features 15 full page and 31 smaller illustrations by Lynd Ward that are a perfect complement to Shelly’s classic work. Commenting on Lynd Ward’s illustrations, John Lauritsen wrote, “More than any other illustrator, Ward grasped the ambivalence with which the author of Frankenstein portrayed the “monster” (also called “Being”, “creature”, “fiend”, “demon”, “wretch”, and “devil”). As seen by Ward, the Being is both pathetic and terrifying; his body is both athletic and deformed. You can pity him, sympathize and even identify with him, without quite wishing to hold his hand or let him cry on your shoulder.”
The book measures approximately 9.5” x 7” and contains 259 pages. The internals of the book are in FINE condition.
Artist Statement: Included with the book is a signed artist statement by Richard Tuttle on the making of “Frankenstein”.
About the Artist: Richard Tuttle is a painter, writer, graphic designer, carpenter, bookbinder and lover of literature. For the past 20 years, he has combined his many interests to create one of a kind works of art that merge the written word with fine leather, paper, paint, wood and veneer. These original book bindings have been exhibited in numerous galleries and were featured in a PBS documentary on the Chicago Art beat. Richard describes his work as follows: “I make literary artifacts. They are designed to pull books down off the shelf and display them in the salon, gallery or home as if they were works of art, which, of course, they are. Whether binding books with leather, paper, paint, wood, and found artifacts or building sculptures to encase the volumes, I seek to find a perspective that shouts out a piece of the essence of the literary work. I try to put myself in the author's or character's mind to say something about the time it was written in; the attitude that is explored and expressed; the magic that makes it a work of art. While I obviously respect and admire the books I work on, the humor, wit and raw energy I find so attractive in their works leads me to places that some might call disrespectful, but are, for me, essential parts of these literary works. Motivated by Marcel Duchamp's attempts to elevate the object into art and William Blake's efforts to remake his world and James Joyce's efforts to include all culture and all action in one whole: Motivated by the ongoing conversation of Jazz musicians between its earliest practitioners and its most avante garde practitioners: Motivated by the great world library of "what we are" as extolled by Jorge Luis Borges: Motivated by the desire to live in a world that is conscious of itself and conscious of its ability to create itself: I create these art objects out of books in order be surrounded by a physical environment that reflects the world of ideas I want to live in.”
Condition Report: The binding is in FINE condition.
Photographs of the binding, endpapers, and stock images of some of the illustrations in the book appear in the photo section of the listing.