Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Not Your Usual Alice

When most people think of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, their minds jump to either John Tenniel's classic illustrations or the Disney Alice of 1951. We have blogged about our flapper Alice, and Barry Moser's rendition, and here is another Alice, altogether different.

This 1930 rendering of Alice is considered to be among the finest productions of Harry and Caresse Crosby's Black Sun Press. Established in 1927 by the Crosbys as a vehicle for their own writing, but also to distribute the work of their ex-pat compatriots, Black Sun allowed the Crosbys to have control over editorial decisions and production. This particular book is one of their more ambitious attempts, and something of a curiosity. The text was not new and it fit only marginally with the literary visions of the writers associated with the Press. The delicacy of the binding and lavish production surely kept it out of the hands of children. It appears to be more an elaborate vehicle for six lithographs by Marie Laurencin.


Laurencin does fit in with the Black Sun Press style and vision. She exhibited with major cubist artists of the time, was romantically involved with Guillaume Apollinaire, and was part of the Paris avant-garde.

You can see it by asking for Presses B561d.

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