Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scarce Daumier Childrens Books at Daumier Registry

by Stephen J. Gertz

The Daumier Registry has just added some very special items: abecedaires for children by the great artist and caricaturist. 

In 1835-1836 Parisian print publisher Chez Aubert offered a series of "Macédoines," small booklets measuring only 14 x 9 cm, containing an alphabet with easy to understand texts for children.

At the end of each Macédoine was an accordion-format panorama displaying the twenty-four letters of the French alphabet married with charming images by Daumier. Children were encouraged by the publisher to hand-color the pictures, thus integrating play into learning the alphabet.

As a result these booklets, formally titled Petites Macédoines d'Aubert: Alphabet en deux planches et en Panorama and published December 16, 1835 (possibly reissued in 1836 as Alphabet en bande lithographiée), did not withstand the onslaught of enthusiastic  little hands; worn to pulp, they have subsequently disappeared over time. 

Now,  only three complete, hand-coloured ‘Panorama’ Macédoines remain extant: at the Morgan Library in New York, at Harvard, and at the Princeton-Cotsen Library. Only one single, ‘untouched’ black and white copy can presently be found in the Noack private collection in Switzerland. Dieter and Lilian Noack are the publishers of the Daumier Registry website, the first and most complete digital collection of Daumier, based upon their collection, with over 4000 lithographs, 1000 wood engravings, and 550 oil paintings.

The Noacks also publish the Daumier Website, which provides information about Daumier's life and oeuvre, including a detailed biography, a bibliography with over 1750 titles, a list of close to 950 Daumier exhibitions, descriptions of Le Charivari and other newspapers, an exhibition of Daumier fakes and imitations, Daumier News and Discussion Forum and an exhibition of unpublished Daumier prints, etc. 

The Daumier Registry and Daumier Websites, both multi-lingual, are the go-to spots for all things Daumier.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to BOOKTRYST by Email