LOUISA CALDER SIGNED & INSCRIBED FIBER ARTS BOOK with ALEXANDER CALDER DESIGNS + SIGNED LETTER Laid-In
CREATIVE CROCHET, by LOUISA CALDER (The Wife of Artist Alexander Calder) and Mary Konior. The book is filled with hats, bags, rugs, gloves, bands, clothes, etc., DESIGNED by ALEXANDER CALDER and CROCHETED by LOUISA CALDER. Published by The Viking Press / A Studio Book, New York, 1979. First Edition, with the statement First Published 1979 on the copyright page with no indication of additional printings.
The book is SIGNED & INSCRIBED by LOUISA CALDER on the half-title page: "To Betty / With my best / Louisa Calder".
Laid-in is a TYPED LETTER SIGNED by LOUISA CALDER and a folded flyer for a Gallery show of her work that took place at the Washington Art Gallery in Washington Depot, Connecticut, in 1979. The letter reads:
******We bought our house in Roxbury In 1933 but didn't live in it permanently until the early forties. My desire was for us to do everything ourselves. Right away we planted an orchard and started a vegetable garden. Sandy made many things for the house, particularly kitchen utensils. I knew how to knit; so I made sweaters, socks and scarves. I learned to crochet and made gloves and caps. Learned to embroider by looking carefully at a piece of Portuguese embroidery on a tea cosy we had. A few years later a friend showed me how to hook so started to make rugs for the home. At first made up a design as I went along . Then I asked Sandy to design them for me. All this with cooking, baking bread and gardening kept me very busy. Friends from the city would come and say to us "Aren't you bored living in the Country, what do you do all the time?" I never had time to be bored, particularly, as I enjoyed doing all these things. // Lately a young girl from France came to see us. I was working on a rug. She looked at it and said "Isn't that nice, it keeps you busy".******
The "Sandy" referred to in the letter is Alexander "Sandy" Calder, her husband the sculptor. Most relevant in relation to this book is the sentence "Then I asked Sandy to design them for me", meaning that most of the crochet works in this book are UNIQUE ALEXANDER CALDER DESIGNS.
The letter is not addressed, but titled Louisa Calder. It is an original typed letter, hand signed in ink by Louisa Calder at the bottom. The letter is 8.5x11 inches and typed on watermarked "Caravan Onion Skin" paper.
Hardcover book, illustrated glossy covers, no dustjacket as issued, 6x8.5 inches, 143 pages. Filled with illustrations of Louisa Calder's crochet work, most of which were designed by Alexander Calder. Really cool stuff!!!
CONDITION: GOOD book, the front inner hinge is split but holding; the half-title page is pulling from the binding but has been reinforced with three pieces of clear tape on its front and back side; the half-title page, with the signature and inscription of Louisa Calder at the top, has relevant handwritten information by the previous owner at the bottom: "Louisa Calder 1905-1996 / Died at age 91 on August 6, 1996 / Alexander Calder died on Nov. 11, 1976 / Age 78"; and there is some foxing on the first few pages; otherwise the book is tight, bright, clean and unmarked. The letter is in VERY GOOD condition, folded once horizontally and once vertically, bright and clean. The single fold gallery flyer has a mailing label on the front, "Mr. & Mrs. Asa D. Hall / Litchfield, Conn", and some light foxing and soiling. (Mrs. Asa D. Hall aka Elizabeth Hall aka Betty, to whom the book is inscribed.)
From the book:
******Louisa Calder is the wife of sculptor Alexander Calder. Her husband, one of the greatest sculptors of all time, was responsible for giving sculpture a revolutionary new dimension: Movement. Louisa Calder with her work, published for the first time in this book, has added a new dimension to crochet, elevating it from the narrow confines of a moribund craft into an art of tremendous vitality, creativity and freedom.******