A RARE PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION COPY OF CAMERA WORK, 1914, WARMLY INSCRIBED BY STIEGLITZ TO HIS PERSONAL ASSISTANT AT “291”
STIEGLITZ, Alfred. Camera Work. Number XLV. New York: Alfred Stieglitz, January 1914. Quarto, original gray stiff printed wrappers, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $9500.
First edition of Stieglitz’s Camera Work, Number XLV, an especially memorable presentation/association copy inscribed in the year of publication to his close personal assistant at his gallery 291, “To Marie Rapp in sincere appreciation of her cooperation at ‘291,’ Alfred Stieglitz, July 1—1914,” dated immediately after this delayed issue was released, followed by Stieglitz’ distinctive flourish, featuring eight tipped-in hand-pulled tissue photogravures by James Craig Annan and the first publication of Mina Loy’s Aphorisms on Futurism.
This is a very rare presentation/association copy of Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Work, inscribed by him to his personal assistant Marie Rapp, who worked for Steiglitz at his gallery 291 from 1911-17. Once described by his contemporary Ward Muir as "the greatest living photographer," Stieglitz was famed for "his tireless promotion of photography as art in his gallery 291, and in the pages of Camera Work… a quarterly journal Stieglitz published by from 1903-17, as a mouthpiece of the Photo-Secession movement and the Little Galleries at 291 Fifth Avenue. Large in scale, the magazine was chock full of both images (art and photography)… Its refined Art Nouveau designed was conceived of by Edward Steichen. Each issue included, among other plates, a hand-tipped gravure portfolio by a single cameraworker, printed on Japanese tissue… In 1930, after making sure that all the institutions he favored had complete sets, Stieglitz burned the remaining 1,000 unsold copies of Camera Work" (Roth, 40, 6).
Considered the most important publication "marking the beginning proper of modernism," every issue of Camera Work was personally supervised by Stieglitz (Parr & Badger I:64). With a publication date of January 1914, this issue, Number 45, was delayed in production for six months and "was not published until June 1914" (ELM), immediately prior to the date of Stieglitz' inscription. Featuring eight tipped-in tissue photogravues by James Craig Annan, son of the pioneering Scottish photographer Thomas Annan, and renowned photographer himself who was "highly esteemed by Stieglitz" and hailed in a 1904 issue as "one of the foremost artists in photography" (Harker, 145). This rare volume also contains the first printing of Mina Loy's Aphorisms in Futurism (13-15), along with an excerpt of a play by Gertrude Stein and numerous critical reviews. With 12 pages of advertisements at rear. See Open Book, 54. In his warm inscription to Marie Rapp, Stieglitz expresses gratitude to his longtime asisstant. Rapp was "a young voice student [who] had come to '291' in 1911 as Stieglitz's secretary and stayed there until 1917 when the gallery closed… She later married George Boursault, the son of a member of the Photo-Secession" movement founded by Stieglitz in 1902, and both she and her family were often photographed by Stieglitz (Hoffman, 269-70).
Images fine and bright, light edge-wear to fragile stiff wrappers with small bit of loss to edges of panels.