FIRST EDITION OF THE WORLD OF MARC CHAGALL, 1969, BOLDLY SIGNED BY MARC CHAGALL IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION WITH AN ORIGINAL SELF-PORTRAIT SKETCH
(CHAGALL, Marc) BIDERMANAS, Izis, photographer, and MCMULLEN, Roy, author. The World of Chagall. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, (1968). Folio (10-1/2 by 13-1/4 inches), original gilt-stamped gray cloth, original dust jacket. $6500.
First edition of this acclaimed biographical photobook illustrating Chagall at work in the studio and on site, signed across the entire half title in the year of publication: "Marc Chagall 1968 Filadelphie N.J.," with an original self-portrait sketch also by Chagall.
"Bidermanas' photographs of Chagall at work and informal portraits from [the] 1950s and 1960s are joined with some of Chagall's works, quotations from his writings, a chronology, and a biographical and critical essay by McMullen" (Burt, The Biography Book, 69). According to one of the work's editors, "The World of Marc Chagall was indeed a huge undertaking and… money was no object, for it was to show the celebrated Russian artists as never before through a spectacular combination of specially commissioned photographs of him at work, an in-depth analysis of his work by American author and critic Roy McMullen and, throughout, reproductions of Chagall's finest paintings. The chosen photographer, Izis Bidermanas, was considered one of Europe's best and most poetic. A member of the French Resistance, Izis had become Chagall's Boswell ever since he'd met him on an assignment for Paris Match in 1950. Some of his stunning photographic sequences for the book showed Chagall in the process of creating the murals for the Metropolitan Opera House in new York, the ceiling of the Paris Opera House, the tapestries for Israel's Parliament and the scenery for the ballet Daphnis and Chloe" (Robson, Under Cover: A Poet's Life in Publishing). This signature and drawing were performed by Chagall during his visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on November 27, 1968, during which he was invited to view the room there devoted to his works in the Lewis E. Stern Collection. The visit, including an account of the drawing in this book, was recorded by Philadelphia newspapers, which delighted in reporting Chagall's shaky grasp of American geography, and his francophone transcription of Philadelphia as "Filadelfie." Laid-in black-and-white photograph of Marc Chagall signing a copy of this book (not the present copy).
One tiny closed tear to dust jacket. A fine copy.