Item #26921 Bernard Reder. With small archive of Reder material, including one small drawing. John I. H. Baur, Bernard Reder, Louis B. Stern, Joseph B. Isaacson, James Johnson? Sweeney.
Bernard Reder. With small archive of Reder material, including one small drawing
Bernard Reder. With small archive of Reder material, including one small drawing

Bernard Reder. With small archive of Reder material, including one small drawing

New York: Praeger, for Whitney Museum, 1961. 97 plates & illustrations. 120 pp. Orange cloth with dustjacket. 30.5 x 23.5 cm. Includes the following 7 pieces of correspondence. The first two items were clipped to the flyleaf of the book with a note to Joe and Evelyn (Isaacson, presumably). The book is in fair condition, with some spotting of the covers and pale foxing of the outer pages; also damage to the rear panel of the dustjacket.

March 20, 1946. [James Johnson Sweeney?] on MoMA stationery to Louis Stern: Tls, 2 leaves, hole-punched at top and with paper clip mark: "…John Rewald… called my attention to a sculptor from Bukowina named Bernard Reder…" Describes Alfred Barr's role in bringing Reder to the US with the help of William Rosenwald and R. Sturgis Ingersoll and suggests that his work might interest Stern. Code JJS:ja at bottom of letter, with highly distinctive and illegible signature, almost certainly by James Johnson Sweeney. No envelope.

April 24, 1949. Bernard Reder, in Forest Hills, L.I., to Louis Stern: holograph letter, 1 leaf. "Following is my address… we are looking forward for your visite one day next week…." No envelope.

October 16, 1955, BR, in Rome, to Joseph Isaakson [sic], Pound Ridge, NJ: holograph letter, 1 leaf, 2 pp. Various news; Gutza is coming to NY. ln small airmail envelope.

November 21, 1955. BR, in Rome, to JI: Tls, 2 small leaves, dictated to hospital nurse concerning Reder's illness. Signed by him. With small airmail envelope, same date. Laid in, copy of the Isaacson's reply, November 25.

Postmark,1955? BR, in Rome, to JBI, NYC: Als, 2 small leaves, 3 pp. Small airmail envelope. Mentions a reception (in New York, presumably) and "Gutza, I want you to believe me that she is a Saint Jewish Lady…." Perhaps a reply to the Isaacson's 11/25/55 letter. Laid in: drawing of a bull and a man in brown ink on very lightweight paper folded in sixths, signed and dated in pencil 1944; inscribed to Joseph in pencil, Dec 1955 (?). The piece is splitting at the long fold and can stand very little handling. It should receive expert conservation immediately.

April 22, 1956. Gutza and BR, in Taormina, to the Isaacsons, NYC. Als, 1 small leaf, 2 pp. Airmail envelope. Written mainly by Gutza concerning the shipment of two bronzes. One of them is "Cello Player," probably the same one that figures in the following item.

May 10, 1967, New York Times clipping: "Topless Cellist Guilty of Lewd Act." Quoting Judge Milton Shalleck's decision: "But in no poem, in no prose respected by the test of time have I read, in no valued oil, in no bust I have seen, either visually described or portrayed, a picture of a nude or topless cellist, in the act of playing the cello. I wonder if anyone has."

5/15/67 Presumed draft in pencil on yellow foolscap:
Dear Judge Shalleck,
The NY Times of May 10 carried quotations from your dec in the Charlotte Moorman case.
Among the quotations was the following: "But in no poem, etc. I wonder if anyone has."
I thought I ought to let you know that I have, as have all those who saw the large retrospective exhibition of Bernard Reder's work held at the Whitney Museum in NYC from 9/27 to Nov 7 (?), 1961 [and] in Florida at the Norton Gallery & Sch of Art at W Palm Beach. As a matter of fact, the catalog of that exhibition shows on its cover a photograph of the sculpture of "a nude or topless cellist in the act of playing the instrument." [The actual title of the 1956 sculpture is "Cello Player, II." Enclosed is a Xerox copy of that cover."
I am sure that the Whitney Museum or the publishers, Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., could… supply you with the actual catalogue."
Unsigned, alas, but with clipping laid in that has stained the paper.

I wonder how much time Judge Shalleck spent crafting that passage for the ages, and how much his anonymous critic spent on his. Its appearance here suggests that the writer knew the identity of the owners of the sculpture and sent them the clipping and draft.
For those who might not follow such things, Charlotte Moorman was a serious cellist who became a Fluxus artist and collaborated frequently with the video artist Nam June Paik during the rest of her too-short life. She also organized the Annual New York International Festival (1963-1990; please see my items 50601 and 50602 for the complete set of posters.

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Price: $450.00