DROP DEAD GORGEOUS: Fine Bindings for La Prose du Transsibérien Re-creation

Saturday, October 12, 2019 - 11:30am to Sunday, January 5, 2020 - 5:00pm

Drop Dead Gorgeous Exhibit AnnouncementThe remarkable book by poet Blaise Cendrars and artist Sonia Delaunay, La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, was produced by letterpress and pochoir in 1913. It was a landmark achievement for its time with its unprecedented format, avant-garde typography and abstract imagery, and remains vibrant and modern today.

Kitty Maryatt of Two Hands Press has been researching the production of La Prose du Transsibérien since 2012. In 2018, she debuted a new edition of 150 copies, which faithfully incorporates techniques and methods used in the original. At the same time, Maryatt and her underwriters commissioned fine bindings by notable design binders from around the world. These bindings, along with Maryatt’s La Prose du Transsibérien Re-Creation, have resulted in a traveling exhibition titled DROP DEAD GORGEOUS: Fine Bindings of La Prose du Transsibérien Re-creation.

Opening at the UCLA Library Special Collections, the exhibition will feature the work of twenty-two design binders, including Don Glaister, Monique Lallier, Midori Kunikata-Cockram, and Patricia Owen. Tools, materials, and supplemental material used in the creation of Maryatt’s edition of La Prose will also be on display. The exhibition debuted at the San Francisco Center for the Book on September 6, 2019. Upon closing in Los Angeles in January 2020, the exhibition travels to Boston, London, Minneapolis, and Montréal.


TITLE: The Re-creation of a Masterpiece: La Prose du Transsibérien. A documentary by Rosylyn Rhee. Los Angeles, 2019.

DATE: Thursday, October 31, 2019, 3:00–5:00 pm

EXHIBIT VIEWING: October 31, 2019, 2:15-3:00 pm

LOCATION: UCLA, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies Building, Room 111 and Charles E. Young Library, Special Collections

PRESENTED BY: Documentarian Rosylyn Rhee and Drop Dead Gorgeous Curator, Kitty Maryatt

In this documentary, we follow Kitty Maryatt as she produces her re-creation of the gorgeous 1913 book by painter Sonia Delaunay and poet Blaise Cendrars, La Prose du Transsibérien. Unique to its time, the book pushed boundaries of book structure, painted imagery and poetic expression. Using original techniques of letterpress printing and pochoir (stenciling) to reproduce her edition of La Prose, Maryatt develops insight into the creative and conceptual challenges faced by Blaise and Sonia, while attempting to discover why they did not complete their planned edition.

Before viewing the documentary, Maryatt will lead at 2:15 pm a short tour of the exhibit in the Charles E. Young Library, titled Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fine Bindings for La Prose du Transsibérien Re-creation.


TITLE: Viewing of the Getty Research Institute’s copy of La Prose du Transsibérien, led by Kitty Maryatt

DATE: November 2, 2019, 2:00 pm (meet in front of GRI at 1:30 pm)

LOCATION: Getty Research Institute, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

DESCRIPTION: Join Drop Dead Gorgeous curator Kitty Maryatt and the Getty Research Institute’s Head Curator Marcia Reed for this rare opportunity to view the original 1913 copy of La Prose du Transsibérien, created by artist Sonia Delaunay and poet Blaise Cendrars.

Note: reservations are required for this event and seating is limited to 20 people. Email twohandspress@gmail.com to reserve your space.

Book Arts LA has put together a list of events related to this exhibit: KITTY MARYATT'S RECREATION OF LA PROSE DU TRANSSIBÉRIEN, SPECIAL EVENTS.


Library Special Collections (Research Library)