Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

American Folklore Lithographs [8 of 10 Plates]

[New York]: NP [Covici-Friede*], [1953]. First edition. Softcover. Elephant folio. 8 loose plates of 10. Illustrated lithographic tan paper portfolio with magenta lettering on the cover. A collection of 8 loose lithographic plates depicting iconic figures from American folklore and legends by acclaimed artist and illustrator William Gropper (1897-1977). Each image measures approx. 14x 8 3/4", is printed in three colors, and displays Gropper's often whimsical and bold style, with the artist's name and the title printed below. A list of the plates with a short description for each is printed on the interior flap of the portfolio. Includes depictions of the famous figures Paul Bunyan, Rip Van Winkle, the Headless Horseman, Davy Crockett, Mike Fink, Johnny Appleseed, John Brown, and Finn Mac Cool. Missing are the plates for John Henry and Joe Magarac. The back cover gives information about Gropper's other works.

This collection was released in 1953, and relates thematically to the previous well known illustrated map of America created by Gropper, titled "America, Its Folklore", from 1946. That map, which showed dozens of folkloric themes and figures (including many depicted in this collection), was commissioned and published by Associated American Artists (AAA). It was quite popular in its day as an educational tool, with the U.S. state department purchasing 1,700 copies to distribute to its various offices, libraries, and international information centers, as a public relations initiative. However, by 1953 the Red Scarce and McCarthyism had gotten into full swing. Gropper, with his known leftist leanings was sought to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and his works, along with those of other suspected leftist artists, were removed from the possessions of the state department and destroyed.

Portfolio with some light age toning along edges, as well as a few light smudges and small abrasions on the back cover. Some closed tears along the spine of the portfolio. Plates with some light age toning to the edges and small marginal creases to a few. Images over clean and vibrant. Portfolio in good+, plates in very good+ condition overall. Scarce. g+ to vg+. Item #50574

*According to the bibliography at the back of the Gropper biography by Louis Lozowick (1983), the portfolio was published by Covici-Friede. There is no printed publication information of any kind on the portfolio.

Price: $500.00

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