Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lucky Finds 2

I was at my local junk/thrift/antique shop which has about 4000 books (in no particular order) on shelving that is so close together that it's hard to walk in between. I was shimmying through, head sideways scanning the shelves when I spotted...."The First Book of Jazz" written by American poet Langston Hughes and illustrated by Cliff Roberts (who also did "Thomas" in my previous post). I grabbed and looked around to make sure no one else had seen MY treasure (forget the fact that no one else could possibly fit in the same aisle). $4 later, the book was MINE!!! I couldn't believe the price on this relatively rare book. Obviously, the sales girl didn't know what I had, and I wasn't going to enlighten her.

First published in 1955 (mine is the 16th printing) the book has fabulous mid century illustrations, all done in black and white. Here are a few of my favorites:

There's not much info on Cliff Roberts - I believe he only illustrated 3 books and was more involved in animation and commercial art (graphic design to you and me). You can read a bit about him here.

Langston Hughes was a Jazz lover as well as a poet and author and you can read more about him here

Gather quickly
Out of darkness
All the songs you know
And throw them at the sun
Before they melt
Like snow
-Langston Hughes

1 comment:

Annie said...

What a treasure! The illustrations are fantastic and so of an era.

Visiting from EtsyGreetings :-)!

Empty On the Inside
Dough, Dirt & Dye

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