Sunday, November 30, 2008

The 6.98 Jacket

Flora woodengraving for short story "The 6.98 Jacket" by Robert Lowry, appearing in Hutton Street, published by Little Man Press, Cincinnati, 1940. Print run unknown, but all LMP chapbooks were extremely limited editions between 125 and 400.

The booklet contains 18 meticulous woodcuts by Flora, none of which are known to have survived. If they were left in the custody of Lowry, he likely sold them or used them for kindling. The man was volatile. The Flora archive contains three rare late-1930s Flora lithographs bearing an artless overlay of Little Man promotional copy typed in red Courier. According to Flora's handwritten testimony, "Bob Lowry kept them and defaced them in one of his mad moods."

Some copies of Hutton Street were signed:

One of Lowry's sons told a journalist that neither he nor his brother had any original Flora works, pointing out, "Either my dad sold or gave away all his Flora artwork in the 1970s, or it was left behind in the house on Hutton Street when my grandmother sold it in the '80s and was thrown away by the people who bought it. Or it could have been in my aunt's apartment and destroyed in the fire that killed her in 2004." Our journalist friend cited Lowry's 1970s book-length manuscript Letters To My Psychiatrist, described as "a mishmash of playlets, meditations, and journal." In it, Lowry "refers to holding a garage sale in 1975 or so where he was trying to sell art that Flora and Hugo Valerio did for Little Man Press—with, apparently, no takers. Indiana University's Lilly Library has a letter from Bob to a book collector in the '70s in which he offers a Flora watercolor for sale."

2 comments:

J.D. King said...

"In it, Lowry "refers to holding a garage sale in 1975 or so where he was trying to sell art that Flora and Hugo Valerio did for Little Man Press—with, apparently, no takers."

Sheesh!

Harley said...

I enjoy the radiating light effect used in these two images. Gives them a little twinkle.