SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF THAT WAS THEN, ONE OF ONLY TEN COPIES SIGNED BY ISABELLA GARDNER AND AARON SISKIND AND INCLUDING AN ORIGINAL POEM BY GARDNER IN HER HAND AND AN ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT SIGNED BY SISKIND
(SISKIND, Aaron) GARDNER, Isabella. That Was Then. Brockport, New York: Boa Editions, 1979. Octavo, original half navy cloth. $1500.
Signed limited first edition, number VIII of only ten copies, out of a total edition of 1200 copies, signed by Isabella Gardner on the limitation page and Aaron Siskind below the frontispiece and including an autograph poem handwritten by Isabella Gardner and an original print of a black-and-white photograph signed and dated “New York 69 1976” by Siskind.
This compilation of Gardner’s poetry includes most of the poems from Birthdays from the Ocean, The Looking Glass, and West of Childhood, as well as many poems published only in magazines or journals, all accented by a signed frontispiece photograph by Aaron Siskind. “Gardner produced four collections in her lifetime. Her lyrics are admired for their spontaneity of voice, playfulness and economy of language, and formal accomplishment” (Hamilton, 179). The original poem included this rare edition, entitled “Autumn: Early Morning” and written entirely in Isabella Gardner’s hand below her biographical blurb, reads: “motionless morning/no quiver or tremor/in the meadows or/among trees flaring/in the fall of the year/I listen but cannot hear/a single bird anywhere/only the trilling whirr/of nameless insects shearing/
shearing t/the mis stillness the mist clears/blueness is there/every color shouts/as the sun comes out/and several birds are beginning/to sing.” “Siskind’s work reflects one man’s struggle to understand his life in relation to the world. His imagery, on one level, is autobiographical, encompassing all the many political, social, sexual, aesthetic, and introspective observations of a long and complex life” (Carl Chiarenza).
Fine condition. Exceptionally rare.