“JOY IS A TRICK IN THE AIR”: LIMITED GRABHORN EDITION OF ROBINSON JEFFERS’ POEMS, SIGNED BY HIM, WITH A SIGNED PHOTOGRAPHIC FRONTISPIECE BY ANSEL ADAMS
JEFFERS, Robinson. Poems. San Francisco: The Book Club of California, 1928. Tall octavo, original green cloth, paper spine label. $2200.
Signed limited first edition, number 197 of only 310 copies printed by the Grabhorn Press and signed by Jeffers, with an original photographic frontispiece portrait by Ansel Adams, signed by Adams in pencil (as issued).
“Robinson Jeffers made a huge impression on [Adams] from the time they first met, in 1926. With his wife, Una, Jeffers lived in Carmel, at the edge of the Pacific, in the medieval isolation of Tor House, a fortresslike compound he had built himself, stone by stone, complete with a forbidding tower. The writer, his home, its setting, and his poetry were all similarly pared down, austere, without extras. Jeffers needed a likeness of himself for his next book. Inexperienced in the area of portraiture, Ansel photographed him using intense side lighting with a wide-open shutter that provided no depth of field. The result was a soft, gauzy image… he chose Ansel’s portrait for the frontispiece of the collection” (Alinder, 67-68). The printer of this handsome limited edition was the Grabhorn Press, founded in 1915 in Indianapolis by Edwin Grabhorn under the name of the Studio Press. Four years later the press moved to San Francisco, where it took the name of its founder— the original personnel numbering four Grabhorns (Edwin, Robert, Jane and Mary) and Sherwood Grover. After an illustrious career, capturing numerous honors from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Press closed in 1965. The initial letters were cut by Valenti Angelo. Without original slipcase.
Text fine, a few small spots to original cloth, inner hinges expertly reinforced, spine label rubbed. A near-fine copy, signed by both Jeffers and Adams.