Japanese Children's Book Art

Yakov MEKSIN - Pavel SAKULINVystavka detskoi knigi i detskogo tvorchestva Yaponii [= An Exhibition of Children's Books and Children's Art Works of Japan].

Moscow, 1928 [A joint publication of Vsesoiuznoe Ob. vo Kulʹturnoi sviazi s zagranitsei [VOKS] and Gosudarstvennaia Akademiia khudozhestvennykh nauk [GAKhN].

8vo, publisher’s stiff cream illustrated wrappers, first side printed in black and pale yellow. 20pp. Russian text.

Cover by the noted painter and children’s book illustratorAleksandr Mogilevsky (1885-1980), 11 b/w illustrations, 4 full-page, including reproductions of Japanese material and small b/w linocut vignettes by the graphic artist Petr Staronosov (1893-1942). Complete.

First and only edition. One of only 700 copies, a very small print run in terms of Russian publishing.

Rare catalogue of an important exhibition of Japanese material by children organized in Moscow by the Russian literary scholar Pavel N. Sakulin (1868-1930) and the Russian writer and pedagogue Yakov Meksin (1886-1943), a pioneer of children’s literature and juvenile rights.

In the 1920s and 30s, Yakov Meksin collected over 60,000 children’s books published in the Soviet Union. He organized the first exhibition of children’s books in the USSR (1924), which was shown in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Estonia and Japan. In 1934, he founded the Soviet Union’s first Museum of Children’s Books in Moscow, where children were taught how to print their own stories, this “laboratory for children” was probably the first interactive museum in Russia. The golden age for Soviet storytellers came to an abrupt end in 1937 with the beginning of Stalin’s Great Purges. Meksin’s museum was shut down and he was sent to a Siberian gulag, where he died. His collection was confiscated and scattered around the Soviet Union.

The artist Aleksandr Mogilevsky studied at the private school of Simon Hollósy in Munich. He met Vassily Kandinsky and joined Munich New Artists’ Association. Back in Russia, he participated in the exhibitions of the Jack of Diamonds group. In the 1920s he became more involved in book illustration.

Covers slightly tanned and creased in outline, three tiny spots along the spine on front cover, generally a very good copy.

Price: 600,00 euros

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