Uncanny Artist Ephemera and Objects for Artists and Collectors
  • 1914 Prints by Adelaide Hanscom Leeson from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

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    These are eight 1914 Prints by Adelaide Hanscom Leeson from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated into English verse by Edward Fitzgerald).  Leeson was an early 20th century artist and photographer who published some of the first books using photography to illustrate literary works.  (The Rubaiyat was one of the first books in this genre.)  While she studied art at the University of California and the California School of Design, she learned photography privately from Emily Pitchford, Laura Adams and Anne Brigman (from whom she is though to have learned some of her printing techniques).  She decided to illustrate this book because it presented "an expression of the struggle of the human soul after the truth, and against the narrowing influence of the dogmatic religions of our time."  These prints have been described as having "lush beauty" and contain what is thought to be the first publication in America depicting male nudity in photographs.  Each print measures 4.25" high by 3" wide and has been tipped-in to a 5.875" x 4.5625" yellow page.  The prints have a soft focus, romantic quality with subtle coloration.  These eight 1914 Prints by Adelaide Hanscom Leeson from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam are in very good condition with no damage or wear.  There is minor staining to some of the yellow paper borders.