More Information

Account Information

Leaves of Grass, 1855 Facsimile Edition, Unique Fine Binding by Richard Tuttle



Leaves of Grass: A Facsimile of the 1855 First Edition by Walt Whitman

Unique Full Leather Binding by Richard Tuttle

Published by Collector’s Reprints, New York in 1992 

Limited to 2500 Copies

FINE Condition

Binding Details:  As with all of Richard Tuttle’s pieces, this is a one of a kind binding that captures the spirit of the book and returns us to a time when books were beautiful to display as well as read. In a world of mediocrity and mass produced books, he believes important literary works are special and should be treasured and passed on to future generations.

Richard Tuttle has created a stunning binding for his tribute to Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. The full leather binding is hand-stained lamb skin over sculpted boards and contains hand-painted endpapers. All page ends are gold gilted. The binding was done in 2015.

Book Details:  This is a facsimile of the 1855 first edition of “Leaves of Grass” published by Collector’s Reprints, New York in 1992 with a limitation of 2500 copies that were printed by letterpress by The Stinehour Press in Lunenburg, Vermont. Commenting on the publication, Publisher’s weekly wrote, “As scholarship has made its importance to American letters more manifest, editions of the 1855 version of Whitman's masterpiece have multiplied. This one will be hard to beat. Those who know Whitman only through the beautiful but bloated 1892 "deathbed" edition of “Leaves of Grass” will find here a lean, searing celebration of self.”

The book measures approximately 11.25” x 8” and contains 95 pages. The internals of the book are in FINE condition.

Artist Statement: Included with the book is a signed artist statement by Richard Tuttle on the making of “Leaves of Grass”.

About the Artist: Richard Tuttle is a painter, writer, graphic designer, carpenter, bookbinder and lover of literature. For the past 20 years, he has combined his many interests to create one of a kind works of art that merge the written word with fine leather, paper, paint, wood and veneer. These original book bindings have been exhibited in numerous galleries and were featured in a PBS documentary on the Chicago Art beat. Richard describes his work as follows:  “I make literary artifacts. They are designed to pull books down off the shelf and display them in the salon, gallery or home as if they were works of art, which, of course, they are. Whether binding books with leather, paper, paint, wood, and found artifacts or building sculptures to encase the volumes, I seek to find a perspective that shouts out a piece of the essence of the literary work. I try to put myself in the author's or character's mind to say something about the time it was written in; the attitude that is explored and expressed; the magic that makes it a work of art. While I obviously respect and admire the books I work on, the humor, wit and raw energy I find so attractive in their works leads me to places that some might call disrespectful, but are, for me, essential parts of these literary works. Motivated by Marcel Duchamp's attempts to elevate the object into art and William Blake's efforts to remake his world and James Joyce's efforts to include all culture and all action in one whole: Motivated by the ongoing conversation of Jazz musicians between its earliest practitioners and its most avante garde practitioners: Motivated by the great world library of "what we are" as extolled by Jorge Luis Borges: Motivated by the desire to live in a world that is conscious of itself and conscious of its ability to create itself: I create these art objects out of books in order be surrounded by a physical environment that reflects the world of ideas I want to live in.”

Condition Report: The binding is in FINE condition.

Photographs of the book and hand painted endpapers appear in the photo section of the listing.