Paris: Arthur Kolnik, 1948. Hardcover. Limited edition of 226 copies on Lana paper. No. 51. Folio. , 25 pp., 20 pl. . Portfolio resting in tan cardboard slipbox with gold lettering on spine. Book cover with red text, protected by glassine, as issued. Titlepage in red and black block lettering. Twenty plates of beautiful black and white woodcuts by Arthur Kolnik protected by tissue overlay. Personal inscription by the artist, "Dem lieben Anton Schatzberger in alter Freundschaft, Paris, Dezember 1949", on limited edition page. The woodcuts in Metamorphosis of a melody are inspired by the tales of the Yiddish language author and playwright, Isaac Leib Peretz. Peretz colorfully describes the richness of melodies in Chassidic culture and the transformation of those melodies seeking not only a tune, but the soul of a melody and a shift of Jewish culture within the metamorphosis of chassidism, when Jews increasingly left their traditional Shtetl. Peretz (1852 - 1915) grew up in an polish-orthodox family with a mostly private religious education, in addition he acquired secular knowledge, such as Russian, German, Polish and taught himself French. He began to write poetry, tales and songs in Hebrew. When he became a private lawyer (1878) and settled to live in Warsaw, he started to publish a Yiddish periodical, The Nightingale, which soon became the literary cultural centre of Yiddish Warsaw.
Kolnik, a Ukrainian born artist, was a Jewish painter and printmaker. He exhibited his work in the U.S in 1921, and later the Tel Aviv Art Museum "organized a major exhibition" of his work in 1968 (Ecole de Paris).
Tearing along edges of slipcase and glassine paper. Slight toning on half-title page. Slipcase in fair condition. Folder and interior in good condition. Text in Yiddish. g. Item #34270