Porgy & Bess: The Libretto by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin
Illustrated with 16 Lithographs by Kara Walker
Arion Press, 2013, Signed Limited Edition, 162 of 400
Signed by Kara Walker
MINT Condition – Still in the Publisher’s Original Packaging
This is a signed limited edition of “Porgy & Bess” published by the Arion Press in 2013 with a limitation of 400 with this being number 162. Ellen Noonan in her introduction to The Strange Career of Porgy & Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera wrote, “Created by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward and sung by generations of black performers, Porgy and Bess has been both embraced and reviled since its debut in 1935. For black performers and commentators, Porgy and Bess was a nexus for debates about cultural representation and racial uplift. White producers, critics, and even audiences spun revealing racial narratives around the show, initially in an attempt to demonstrate its authenticity and later to keep it from becoming discredited or irrelevant.”
Kara Walker has illustrated “Porgy & Bess” with 16 lithographs of characters from the libretto. In her artist statement for these works she wrote, ““they’ve become archetypes of another no less grand drama, that of: ‘American Negroes drawn up by white authors, and retooled by individual actors, amid charges of racism, and counter charges of high-art on stage and screen, in the face of social and political upheaval, over generations. This fraught status, along with memories of her mother’s reaction to a cast recording, led her to render them in a straightforward way, “…more an homage to the feeling of the music. And to that feeling I had as a child of a heavy atmosphere hanging around a timeless act of love.”
The book measures 12.675” x 9.75” with 102 numbered pages and 16 unnumbered pages for the lithographs and is bound with a red leather spine and decorative cloth covers. The types are Craw Clarendon, Craw Clarendon Modern Bold, Lining Gothic, News Gothic, and Gloria, printed letterpress on French mouldmade Johannot paper. The lithographs were printed by Maurice Sanchez at Derrière L'Etoile Studio, New York on heavier weight of the same paper used for the text. The book is housed in a black cloth slipcase.
The book is signed by Kara Walker.
Accompanying the book is the original prospectus.
The book and slipcase are in MINT condition still in the publisher’s original packaging.
The publisher’s stock photographs of the book and some of the illustrations contained in the book appear in the photo section of the listing.
About the Arion Press
Since its inception in 1974, the Arion Press has published 118 deluxe limited editions that are breathtaking in their scope and artistry. Combining notable literature illustrated with original artwork from prominent artists, Andrew Hoyem and his team at the Arion Press have carried on the tradition of the livre d’artiste in spectacular fashion. Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times put it best when he wrote, "The Arion Press produces some of the most beautiful limited-edition, hand printed books in the world."