May 05, 2016 - Sale 2413

Sale 2413 - Lot 302

Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
ARCHIVE FOLLOWING DEVELOPMENT OF ONE OF HIS LAST PROJECTS BEMELMANS, LUDWIG. Archive of items sent to theatrical producer Mary K. Frank concerning his play and novel, The Street Where the Heart Lies, including a holograph ink drawing, unsigned, 7 Autograph Letters Signed, 7 Typed Letters Signed, an Autograph Manuscript Signed. The drawing, a diagram of the stage, showing an outline of the scenery and placement of important features, with holograph list of characters on verso. 6x10 3/4 inches; vertical folds. The letters, signed "Ludwig," suggesting the casting and music, and reporting on progress of the writing. The MS, two pages of revised text from a scene concerning the murder of Gala. Together over 20 pages. Format and condition vary. Vp, 1959-62

Additional Details

5 April 1959, ALS: ". . . The theme is eternal. Barbara Bel Geddes I think is ideal . . . . I lean to Dauphin, who can look like a chauffeur or a duke at will. I think a play with a song fits this better than a 'musical'. Could we have someone like whoever wrote the song for Irma la Douce . . . ."
12 May 1959, ALS: ". . . Seeing Irma la Douce, looking up the composer. Lady in Paris after that. Its nice here--green is my favorite color. . . ."
5 June 1959, TLS: "I got hold of Dauphin . . . .
"He will accept if we make him a firm offer. . . .
"While I don't wish to cast the play I think he is ideal, (he has also directed Clerambard) and of course he is French and familiar with our milieu. . . ."
3 July 1959, TLS: "I found a melody . . . it is Spanish and I think for a play easy on the ear . . . . I don't know who wrote it, a Spanish lady sang it on my boat . . . . Qu'est ce que ça peut faire du moment qu'on s'aime.
". . . I think if Armand, whoever he be, carries with him a guitar and sings this at every effort at conquest, it would be both pathetic and true. . . ."
29 July 1959, TLS: ". . . I don't know why anybody is in the theatre. I am [for] hours before my easel, and [w]hen its finished, I don't know how the time passed, I am happy . . . . [T]hese things you make like a pair of shoes with your hands and you know where you are, but the theater and the awfulness of most of the people in it, its a strange addiction and I wish you well. . . ."
18 October 1960, TLS: "Here is the book of the play, or rather the first brainspinnery.
"It occurred to me since that . . . the Parisian police is heavily armed . . . . In arming them, and in mentioning the Arabs in the beginning, we set the trigger. I think at the last scene or near the last, the Professor is shot accidentally . . . by Arabs, then when the Bride finds out that her only true love is gone, she hangs his typewriter on the wall . . . and slowly starts to undo her makeup, it was all illusion, for she is a man. . . . I know these fabulous half-Menschen half man half woman . . . in whom all is the terrible desire for love that is in all human beings. . . ."
13 November 1960, ALS: "I've spent a great deal of time on the scene . . . . I think in 3 weeks I will have an outline of the whole thing . . . ."
22 March 1961, TLS: "It takes me four years to do a Madeline, and I see now, that I can't do a play in a matter of months. So I have done this outline for a novel and play.
"I have always complained that nobody could adapt me properly to the stage. Now I am on trial. Here is the outline. . . ."
25 August 1962, TLS: ". . . I have started to plot the Magicians book in full now, and it goes something like this, reversing the usual Madeline theme [Madeline's Christmas, 1985?]. The Magician is a man of tremendous arrogance and power, something like Nubar Gulbenkian, with always an orchid in his buttonhole, and who loves to eat . . . . [H]e can regulate the weather, and make Notre Dame blue, green, red, any color he wants. He exercises in the morning with 18 karat golden Barbells and . . . when he exhales, he is so strong in breath, that all the pigeons in the neighborhood are pressed motionless against the buildings . . . .
"Now we move into the House of the little girls. It was the night before Christmas . . . and everybody is sick except Madeline. . . ."
with--Two typescripts, unsigned, each entitled The Street Where the Heart Lies, each a draft of the play, one a first draft consisting of first two acts, the other complete and with few holograph corrections. Together over 80 pages, 4to. 1960-61 Over 10 pages of correspondence from Frank to Bemelmans, retained drafts, concerning the play and other projects. 1959-62 A few letters from Bemelmans's agents concerning publishing rights for Madeline stories. 1961 Madeline's Christmas. 12mo, pictorial wrappers; original pictorial envelope. [New York]: A McCall's Book, 1956 Printed galleys for Madeline in London. 5 pages, 9x24 inches. [1961] Printed invitation to showing of Bemelmans's casein paintings from Madeline in London at Hammer Galleries. 1961.