Mostly Caribbean Islands, Cuba and Florida: 1933. Quarter leather and textured paper over boards. 11¾” x 9½”. 134 pages of thick paper stock with 119 black and white photographs and 12 items of ephemera adhesive mounted; the final 75 pages are blank. Most photos measure around 3¼” x 2¼” and some are captioned; many are precisely trimmed to body shapes or for collage. Also at least 41 original illustrations with 11 full page. Book very good minus with heavy wear, rubbing and some surface losses; internally near fine or better
This is a remarkable reflection of a honeymoon trip created by a newlywed couple from New York City, Arthur Stoddart, Jr. and Julia Grassinger. As several of the original illustrations are initialed by Arthur we believe he did most, if not all, of them though the collage and some of the other handwriting in the book may have been Julia's work.
The first section of the book is devoted to a two week cruise on the S.S. Munargo, starting with them leaving New York Harbor. 19 of the first 21 pages relate to their journey over water and the section begins with Stoddart's full page Map of the West Indies, in pen and ink and watercolor. There are photos of the harbor, posed shots with passengers, and images of ship activities such as shuffleboard and deck tennis. Included in this section is one of the highlights of the book: a movable wheel with a view window showing four photographs and four original illustrations. Another clever device in this section is a porthole: a circular ring of paper was cut and illustrated to represent the inside of the ship; a watercolor covered in clear plastic lay inside the ring representing the window one looked through to see the view outside.
For their stop at the island of New Providence in the Bahamas, Stoddart painted a small map of the island. The photos here include a dock scene as well as three taken with a young native child. Also in this section is a full page drawing entitled “Coin Diving” which shows the side of the ship in the ocean with men in small boats next to it and a few in the water, with four real photos of the actual experience pasted into the scene.
Next are eight pages devoted to Cuba, with a full page pen and ink drawing showing their approach into Havana with sailboats in the water and buildings lining the harbor. There are photos and a drawing depicting Morro Castle and several photographs and illustrations of a sugar plantation. The next eight pages show Florida, with a spectacular full page drawing of a swordfish leaping out of the water. There's a photograph of a Native American girl at the Seminole Indian Village and an alligator at the Alligator Farm, each alongside colorful complementary drawings.
Other highlights include a partial map of the eastern seaboard showing the route driven for the stateside part of their trip as well as a creative collage using Julia's bridal portrait. It has a hand colored photograph of her head placed over a trimmed magazine advertisement of an angel carrying a flowing ribbon; there's an attached swatch of white mesh to represent her veil which covers her face.
A resplendent expression of love with superb amateur illustration and collage. Item #2688