Willis, Eveline F., Drepperd, Carl (introduction)
Pages from the American Memory Book of Eveline F. Willis
(New York): F.A.R. Gallery, (1945). Portfolio measuring 6.5 x 9.25 inches; original red cloth spine; patterned paper boards printed in blue, red and black; printed pastedown paper label on upper board; original red cloth ties (one clipped); six-page introductory booklet printed in red and black, containing essays by Carl Drepperd and publisher Herman Wechsler. Twelve laid-in collotype plates, hand-colored in pochoir, each tipped onto a sheet of handmade grey paper folded once, with a central window revealing the plate. Spine toned, light shelfwear to boards.
First edition of this hand-colored fine press reproduction of watercolors originally executed by a young American girl at the dawn of the Jacksonian era. Eveline Willis’s 1828 notebook was discovered by Harry Shaw Newman, a midcentury print dealer who emerged as an early advocate for American Primitive art. Her paintings depict American domestic life in vibrant color combinations and patterns, with an emphasis on scenes of women and children reading. In his introductory essay, antiquarian Carl Dreppard writes: “There is a compelling force behind these pictures that is nothing more nor less than the American spirit at work on, and in, the American people.” A near-fine example of a striking portfolio.