Abstractions contains just two pages of text in front, and one more text page in back. Most of the remaining right-hand pages each show a single image– either a b+w reproduction or an original color print pulled directly from Smith’s blocks. (The original prints are all shown above.)
Condition: Cover is tight and sound, but it shows a water stain as well as foxing, scuffing, and fading. The corners are not bruised. The ivory-paper pages show light edge tanning, but no tears or creases.
Former owner’s name and address written inside front cover. Two blank pages show tanning from papers left in book (see photo). The two-page text in front shows green ink underlining.
Abstractions was a groundbreaking production, since abstract woodblock prints were almost unknown at this time. The copies we have found for sale online range from $575 to $2,000. We were able to buy our copy at a good price, and are happy to offer it for less.
Charles William Smith (American, 1893–1987) was a prominent printmaker and teacher. He produced traditional-looking, representational woodblock prints somewhat similar to those of J. J. Lankes, and he also produced experimental abstract images as seen in this book.