Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Alain Locke's Bookplate

The title page for "The New Negro," including an illustration on the opposite page showing a woman holding a child.We recently acquired Alain Locke's personal copy of his incredibly influential 1925 book, The New Negro (New York: Charles and Albert Boni, 1925) which helped to galvanize the Harlem Renaissance. Winold Reiss's "book decorations and portraits," along with illustrations by Aaron Douglas, capture the cultural explosion of the time: inspired by African folk art, but very much American. Lest you forget its "newness" the book is dedicated "To the Younger Generation." The crowning touch for our copy is Locke's very cool (if somewhat over-the top) bookplate designed by Douglas.

Locke's bookplate.
We also have a slightly bruised copy of 1930 printing of James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones (New York: Viking Press, 1927). The book is not all that rare, but the illustrations by Aaron Douglas put the book at risk in the open stacks.

A book open to the poem "The Prodigal Son" and a full-page illustration.
To see The New Negro ask for Rare E185.82.L75 c.2. God's Trombones is Rare PS3519.O2625 G6 1927

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