Cummings, E.E. (1894–1962) [Diamond, David. (1915–2005)]

CIOPW - Signed Presentation Copy to David Diamond, with Original Painting

New York: Covici Friede. 1931. First edition. Collection of artwork by the noted poet and visual artist, inscribed by Cummings on the copyright page to composer David Diamond: "Diamond— W the score of Tom—Cummings", and with an original drawing of an elephant by Cummings in watercolor on the rear free endpaper. One of 391 copies, this copy not numbered, signed by Cummings in green watercolor on the title page. The title is an acronym for Charcoal, Ink, Oil Colors, Pencil, Watercolor - each of which have a section in this book in sequence. Illustrated. Printed in NYC by the Stratford Press. Typography by S.A. Jacobs. Reproductions by the Meriden Gravure Company. 119 pp. 1 vols. Large 4to. Hardcover, brown burlap cloth with silver signature to the front board. Housed in a custom box in quarter leather and brown cloth, printed with "Presentation to David Diamond" at the lower right. Slight splits to the edges of the spine; small toned tape remnants on the endpapers. Overall fine in very fine box. 10 x 13.5 inches (26 x 34 cm).

Published in 1931, CIOPW includes 99 examples of Cummings’s visual art in charcoal, ink, oil, pencil, and watercolor.  An extraordinary book, published by Cummings at age 37, "no writer of note had ever done anything like it before (and few have since)...CIOPW epitomizes the genre now known as an artist’s book, or book-art, in which the author selects images, sequences them optimally, and then finds a printer. The subjects here are mostly people important to Cummings — stars such as Charlie Chaplin, as well as his personal friends James Sibley Watson, Scofield Thayer, S.A. Jacobs, Gilbert Seldes, Joe Gould — and also landscapes, nudes (only female), Coney Island, still-lifes, etc. Few of the individual pieces survive as great; but as with any major artist’s book, the whole realizes more than the sum of its parts." (Richard Kostelanetz, "E.E. Cummings's Long-Forgotten Artist's Book," Hyperallergic, 5/15/17)

From the collection of David Diamond, considered one of the preeminent American composers of his generation. He enjoyed wide success in the 1940's and 1950's, before the serial and modernist trends largely pushed him into the shadows. The New York Times described him as "part of what some considered a forgotten generation of great American symphonists, including Howard Hanson, Roy Harris, William Schuman, Walter Piston and Peter Mennin." Among his many close friends in the world of music were Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. Diamond also had a lifelong friendship with E. E. Cummings, which began when, as a young composer, he asked to write the music for Cummings' ballet scenario TOM (based on the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin.) (17660)

Signed Document/Item
Classical Music
Art & Design