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Novel with No Words

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555.     WARD, Lynd. Wild Pilgrimage. New York: Harrison Smith & Robert Haas, 1932. [10] pp., 95 plates, illustrated with 97 dramatic wood engravings (including title pages) in black and terracotta. 8vo (25 x 18 cm), original terracotta cloth, paper spine label with wood-engraved title, wood-engraved illustration on upper cover. A few minor stains and very mild scattered foxing, but generally very good with original d.j. (chipped and a few voids). Small ink gift inscription dated 1932 on front pastedown.

     First edition. This is Ward’s third woodcut novel of six published in his lifetime. Lynd Ward (1905-1985), American artist, master wood-engraver, storyteller, and patron saint of illustrators and graphic novelists, was the founder of the American graphic novel which flew on the wings of images rather than words. After studying fine arts at Columbia Teachers’ College in New York, he pursued printmaking at the National Academy of Graphic Arts in Leipzig, Germany, where he was influenced by engraver Franz Masereel. Ward also worked in watercolor, oil, brush and ink, lithography, and mezzotint, and published over a hundred children’s books. Ward immersed himself in the progressive cultural politics in Depression-era New York City, and the present work reflects his concern with labor and class issues. His “silent” novels are also highly esteemed for his visual innovations. Regrettably, but understandably, with the advent of Senator Joseph McCarthy and Ward’s burgeoning FBI file, he toned down his work somewhat.


Sold. Hammer: $175.00; Price Realized: $210.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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