Alexander Calder and Richard Wilbur: A Bestiary
Published in 1955, A Bestiary features more than fifty whimsical drawings by Alexander Calder accompanied by excerpts from classic works of literature—poetry, stories, plays, essays, and novels—selected by Richard Wilbur. The illustrations of animals and mythical creatures—two-dimensional representations of the artist’s iconic practice of bending and twisting wire to “draw” in space—are paired with engaging and unexpected texts to create juxtapositions such as William Blake on “the sheep,” Ben Franklin on “the eagle,” and Franz Kafka on “the mermaid.”
Designed and printed at the Spiral Press, this edition of A Bestiary was limited to 825 copies, all signed by Calder and Wilbur, comprising 50 numbered copies on Rives mould-made paper, each with an original drawing signed by Calder; 750 copies numbered 51 to 800 on Curtis rag paper; and 25 lettered review copies. This copy is signed by both Calder and Wilbur on the colophon and includes a lengthy inscription by Calder on the front endpaper.