Paul Frenzeny's Chinatown Sketches. An Artist's Fascination with San Francisco's Chinese Quarter, 1874-1882. Foreword by Philip P. Choy.
Chalmers, Claudine.

San Francisco: Book Club of California, 2012. One of 425 copies designed and printed by Jonathan Clark at the Artichoke Press, Mountainview, California. Nineteen wood engravings by Paul Frenzeny, including three double-page foldouts; letterpress printed endpapers featuring the artist's drawing of Chinese acrobats. A fine copy. Decorative boards with a silk brocade spine. Bound by Acme Bookbinding, Charleston, Massachusetts. Prospectus laid in. Folio. 46, [+1, colophon] pp. (Item ID: 16291)

$200.00

"Artist Paul Frenzeny, a Frenchman of noble descent...became one of the leading 'special correspondents' in the United States and Europe in the days when woodcuts...were used to illustrate newspapers. In 1873, Frenzeny undertook a year-long sketching tour of the frontier for Harper's Weekly, with fellow artist Jules Tavernier. This 100-sketch assignment [was] an irresistible subject for author Claudine Chalmers, who then followed the Frenchmen's careers...As she patiently gathered Frenzeny's subsequent illustrations in the Weekly, [she] discovered that he had depicted San Francisco's Chinese culture in all its pageantry and intensity, at a time when most of the white population...reviled the Chinese laborers and repressed them in every way possible...This work "explores in detail the seventeen illustrations of San Francisco's Chinese Quarter which the artist drew...at four different points of his career and four stages in the fortunes of that secretive community. The images have been carefully reproduced with exquisite fidelity at or near original size (from the prospectus).

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