100; plus 1 H.C. (numbered I/I) and a trade edition of 1200, plus a portfolio edition (of the 10 drypoints) of 44
"I/I" center colophon (vol. I), black ink, unknown hand.
The sources for the illustrations in volume I of “Homely Girl” are drawings Bourgeois executed in 1991 in ballpoint pen. She reinterpreted these drawings in drypoint for the special edition, emphasizing the scratched quality of line that can be achieved with this technique. For the trade edition, she used photolithography to reproduce them (plate marks are faux). The sources for the illustrations in volume II are ophthalmological photographs of diseased eyes. Bourgeois reproduced them through photolithography.
The Arthur Miller text in volume I is repeated in volume II, but in volume II Bourgeois highlighted (in red) select passages referring to sight. The highlighted text appears in both the special edition and the trade edition of volume II.
The special edition of “Homely Girl” is quarter-bound in leather; the trade edition is entirely cloth bound. The trade edition is in MoMA’s Collection (Accession Numbers: 29.1993.A.x2 and 29.1993.B.x2) but it is not illustrated here.
The portfolio edition of “Homely Girl” includes the drypoint compositions from volume I; the compositions in volume II were not produced in a portfolio format.
Volume I: 6 unnumbered pages, including half-title and title; 30 numbered pages with 10 unnumbered plates bound between pp. 2 and 3, 4 and 5, 8 and 9, 10 and 11, 12 and 13, 16 and 17, 20 and 21, 22 and 23, 26 and 27, 28 and 29; 8 unnumbered pages, including final page of text, publisher's note, photolithograph of artist and author, and colophon.
Volume II: 6 unnumbered pages, including half-title and title; 30 numbered pages with 8 unnumbered photolithograph overlay spreads bound between pp. 2 and 3, 6 and 7, 10 and 11, 14 and 15, 18 and 19, 22 and 23, 26 and 27, 30 and final page of text; 4 unnumbered pages, including final page of text and colophon.
Printer of Text:
The Stinehour Press, Lunenberg, VT(for photolithographs)
Special edition: bound by Judi Conant, Maidstone, Vermont; covers: vol. I, quarter tan leather with light olive linen; vol. II, quarter tan leather with gray linen; both with cream, smooth laid endpapers; slipcase: gray linen.
Trade edition (not shown): full linen binding by Acme Book Binding, Charlestown, Massachusetts; vol. I, light olive; vol. II, gray; slipcase: gray paper boards.
Book design by Klaus Baumgärtner, The Hague, Netherlands.
As explained in his published postscript to "Homely Girl, a Life," Peter Blum expressed to Bourgeois his wish to do a book at the time of their collaboration on the 1990 "Anatomy" portfolio (see Related Works in the Catalogue). For a long time, he had also been interested in publishing a book by American playwright Arthur Miller. While looking with Bourgeois at the book "Portraits," a collection of photographs by Miller's wife Inge Morath, which included a portrait of Bourgeois, Blum had the idea of bringing author and artist together. The publisher proposed a collaborative project, which appealed to both.
Miller visited Bourgeois's sculpture-filled Brooklyn studio and saw there, among many other works, several pieces in her series Cells, which concerns the senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Miller selected for the project an unpublished text whose subject is a romance between a girl and a blind man.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 126-143
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN Baltimore Museum of Art, MD Getty Museum Center, Santa Monica, CA Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Germany Amerika Haus, Berlin Kunsthaus Zurich Universitatsbibliothek, Basel Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna
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