Who’s the expert?

I keep trying to make myself blind by staring at images of books on Google and unfortunatly i have no plans to stop either. The good thing is that there is a lot of stuff to try and work with, publishers, names of different people and so on. The bad thing is that it’s pretty boring after a while… Anywhooo, i’m still focused on a couple of things and those are basically Doubleday and the various imprints like Dolphin Books and Anchor Books. And two names that come up quite frequently are George Giusti and Edward Gorey. I’m planning a more detailed post about both of them in the future but a short summary when it comes to both of them and their respective connection to Warhol is that both were involved in the cover design of books at Doubleday. I’ve mentioned Giusti in a previous post and how he had a hand in (at least) three of the designs for which Warhol did the drawing but anyways, it seems he was primarily involved with Dolphin and Gorey at Anchor, if you look up any of them you will find A LOT of stuff. When it comes to Gorey there is only one known cover where Warhol was involved and that’s the one for The Grand Mademoiselle. I’m having trouble completely shaking the feeling that there might be more of these, so the search goes on. But anyways, that’s that about Giusti and Gorey for now, but as said there is hopefully more to come…

Just like your random sea monster hunter or UFO fanatic all this image searching can really make you see things that perhaps are not really there. You see what you want to see i guess and as someone who loves The X-Files the quote “i want to believe” is pretty fitting. Even though some of the book covers Warhol did does not really reak of him or his style it’s pretty easy to dismiss a lot of the Dolphin/Anchor covers you come across. But then there are some that are most certainly worthy of a closer look. To give an example of just how crazy in the head all this can make you become let’s have a look at a book published in 1960 by Doubleday on Anchor and titled Selections from the Writings of Kierkegaard for which Gorey designed the cover. Nothing in the actual design or whatever says Warhol but then there is the handwriting… I’m not entirely sure but i don’t think i’ve read anything that disputes that it was Warhol who put the pen down and did the writing on the covers for The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole and The Adventures of Maud Noakes. The same goes for the cover to the “holy grail typ record” Melodic Magic. I need to go back and have a look in Maréchal’s book and see what he says about the handwriting as “proof” but i’m pretty sure there was some mention of it. So… in true Zodiac Killer fashion let’s have a look at some letters and word and things, and more specifically the words “the” and “of”. Below is as extremely amateurishly put together collage of covers and words from the mentioned books and record side by side….

Granted there are only so many ways to do cursive writing but yeah… stuff like this can really drive me crazy. Good thing these is nothing else about that particular cover that says Warhol, but then again… a couple of the others didn’t to that either. So yeah, the search goes on and things like this is pretty fun to keep yourself busy with during slow times on ebay and/or boring days at work.

I want to believe!

handwriting-examples

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4 thoughts on “Who’s the expert?

  1. Again a fantastic post. Your enthousiasm is contageous, Niklas. I’ve been staring at the covers myself for a long time, now. You have a strong case with the the’s and of’s, but there is no ‘r’ in these, and that’s were it gets wrong in my opinion… Looks to me like this is done by someone who liked the Warhol writing a lot…

    • Thanks Guy, what i lack in brains and eyesight i make up for with time put in… I agree 100% with you about the “r”, can’t believe i didn’t catch that. :-/ Like i said, you really can become crazy in the head and see things that just arent’ there.

  2. Brilliant, Niklas! Graphology is not my strong point, but the upswing on the left of the “t” in “the” is extremely unusual and very characteristic of Warhol’s style. I, like Guy, would have liked to see a lower case “r”. Again AW’s “r” were charateristic!

    • Thanks Richard, as Guy pointed out there is a big difference between the r’s so yeah… you are both correct. But i agree that the t’s are intriguing and were pretty much the basis for my whole case. But i’m OK with having it fall flat… 🙂

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