Saturday, February 2, 2008

Boris Artzybasheff cover art from Richard Henry Little’s 1929 'Linebook'

In a previous 'round-up' post from last September I displayed a couple of examples of the amazing artwork of Russian-born illustrator Boris Artzybasheff (1899 - 1965), and provided some links to find additional images online.

I'm pleased to say I stumbled onto one more this afternoon, while spelunking for the first time at a curious and dusty 'time-lost' little used paperback book shop I'd spotted...

The 'RHL Linebooks' were slim little annual publications that compiled the best of 'A Line O' Type Or Two' - - A daily editorial column that ran in the Chicago Tribune.

- - But here, the introduction from the 1929 edition will explain better:

"The first Linebook was published in 1924 and since then it has become a yearly event, looked forward to by a steadily increasing number of people whose morning would not be complete without reading the famous Richard Henry Little’s ‘A Line o’ Type or Two’ in the Chicago Tribune.

"The gay and impish tone of his column, made up of unregenerate laughter at the foibles of men, acid thrust at their follies, philosophy masked in humor, and the steady reminder that few things are to be taken too seriously, pervades these small anthologies.

"And while only a small portion of the paragraphs, poems, and stories written or published by R.H.L. during the year can be included in any year’s book, an effort is always made to put as many as possible of the most popular ones into this permanent form."

That vibrant cover image above bears Artzybasheff's name pretty clearly.

In the cover image below, ⬇ the murky name in that modern block font at the bottom of the front cover (to the left of '1929') could maybe say 'Boris', don't you think...?

(click on image to ENLARGE to overkill proportions)

Yeah, I guess it could just as easily say 'Bolin' or 'Holis' ⬆ or any number of things.
The artwork doesn't quite seem right to be Artzybasheff, either.
It could be Austrian artist Boris Riedel, who'd done an earlier Linebook cover.
Or not...

On the 1930 edition below, ⬇ a name that looks like 'Foy' appears on the back cover, inscribed in the interior of the far left 'mask'.

Anybody - - ?

So far there's not too much I've been able to glean about American newspaper columnist
Richard Henry Little.
Earlier on he'd been a war correspondent, having reported his accounts of the Philippine-American War in 1899, and from Europe during World War I.

Later, back in Chicago, he took over as editor of the 'A Line O' Type Or Two' column after the death of its previous editor in 1921. It featured bits and pieces both written by Little and gathered by him from other sources.

The motto of the column was "Hew to the Line, let the quips fall where they may."

The majority of the quips and observations were certainly topical at the end of the 1920's, but speaking for myself, reading them now I sometimes feel like they've been translated poorly from a different language.

Still, there are plenty of reference points that - - for better or worse - - conjure up an image of the era...

2 comments:

K. R. Seward said...

Cool art and funny clippings (guess I must speak 1920s or something).

Thanks for moving these images and excerpts from where they were to where they are.

The In Crowd said...

K.R. - - Thanks for the comment.

For the record, the 'clippings' I chose were among those more easily translated from '20's-speak.

Freshly-stirred links