Manhattan: Random House, 1935–1937. Original artwork. Loose leaf. Signed Vertigo 1937 Lynd Ward below images. Quarto (10 x 6 1/2"). Nine prints (5 x 3 /12") on Japan tissue paper. Original wood engravings from Lynd Ward's most complex graphic novel and masterpiece Vertigo. In 230 images it tells the story of young men and women as well as the elderly suffering from the effects of the Great Depression. Sizes of the prints in the published novel vary from 5 x 3 1/2 to 3 x 2 1/2 inches.
1. Under the Train Tracks (one engraving as published in the sequence of the novel, the other a variant of this motif not used in the Random House edition), 2. Mailbox, 3. Boss, 4. Despair, 5. On Top of Train, 6. Under the Train Tracks, 7. Relief Line in Big City, 8. Leaving.
"...there was a fundamental question of how so complex a mass of experiences could be given a form that would be manageable from the point of view of pictorial narrative and intelligible from the point of view of a reader. In many ways this problem of basic composition was more difficult for Vertigo than for any of my other books." (Storyteller Without Words, text by the artist, Abrams, 1974, p. 203). Fine. Item #43681
Lynd Kendall Ward (1905–1985) was an American artist known for his graphic novels and wood engravings. He married May Yonge McNeer in 1936 and left for Europe for their honeymoon in Eastern Europe. After four months they settled in Leipzig where Ward studied at the National Academy of Graphic Arts and Bookmaking. Inspired by Frans Masereel's graphic novel "The Sun." In 1929 he came across "Destiny," a graphic novel by the German artist Otto Nückel, and decided to create his own "wordless" novel. "Gods' Man" became the first American "wordless" novel. It was published by Smith & Cape, London, in 1929 and sold more than 20,000 copies. Five more graphic novels followed, including his masterpiece Vertigo, published by Random House in 1937. Ward illustrated more than a hundred children's books and in 1938 Ward became a frequent illustrator for the Heritage Limited Editions Club's classical works. Over time Ward had added watercolor, oil, brush and ink, lithography and mezzotint works to his repertoire. He was awarded numerous awards for his work, including the Library of Congress Award for wood engraving.