Folio. pp (Text), 104pp (plates), pp. Original spiral bound color photographically illustrated stiff glossy wrappers. Upper margin of title page inscribed by Man Ray: "Compliments of Man Ray." Book housed in an elegant custom-made grey clamshell box, with white lettering to spine. This important work is Man Ray's first monograph in which his friends pulled out all the stops to herald it. It begins with a portrait drawing of Man Ray by Pablo Picasso and consists of 104 photographs divided into five sections. The first section, which is a mixture of general subjects (still lifes, rooms, landscapes, cityscapes, and flowers), is prefaced by a short text entitled "The Age of Light." A poem by Paul Éluard is followed by a section on the female figure, mostly nudes, and André Breton introduces a section devoted to "The Visages of the Woman." A series of artists' portraits (including Marcel Duchamp) follows musing by Rrose Sélavy on "Men Before the Mirror," and the final section of Rayographs appears after Tristan Tzara's "When Things Dream." Man Ray made several different studies for the cover, until finally settling on this image of his own bust looking down on a blue-eyed blonde contemplating a plaster hand cradling a fragile lightbulb that mirrors a catching toy (a ball on a peg). (See Andrew Roth, "The Book of 101 Books," pp. 80-81). "Man Ray Photographs 1920-1934 Paris" had an unusual history. The volume did not sell well. Andrew Roth tells us, in "The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century" that the publisher, James Thrall Soby tried a little publisher sleight of hand. He altered a number of unsold copies of the book by removing their original title pages. "After replacing the title pages of these copies with one stating second edition, he returned them for sale." The impression he was trying to give was that the first edition had sold out. This clearly indicates that the book offered for sale here, is a first edition, second issue, the volume most commonly offered for sale around the world, and frequently incorrectly identified as an actual second edition. Moderate shelf wear. Spiral binding slightly chipped at head of spine. Covers slightly age-toned. Upper front corner bumped, thus slightly affecting pages throughout. Text in English and French. Clamshell box in overall very good, wrappers in good, interior in good+ to very good condition. Second edition (i.e First edition, second issue). Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Man Ray Photographies, 1920-1934, Paris / ...
Publisher: James Thrall Soby; Cahiers d'Art
Publication Date: 1934
Book Condition: g to vg
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