Sep. 13, 2011
Exhibition Sheds Light on Expatriates in Paris
Paris of the 1920s is the focus of a new exhibition “Shadows of the Sun: The Crosbys, the Black Sun Press & the Lost Generation,” on display now in the Schatten Gallery at Emory University’s Woodruff Library.
The exhibition shines a light on modernism and the generation of writers, artists, jazz musicians and exiles in Paris after the First World War. The Black Sun Press, founded by Caresse and Harry Crosby in Paris in the 1920s, is emblematic of the avant-garde nature and adventurous spirit of the “Lost Generation” – expatriate American writers and artists – during that period. The Crosbys themselves symbolized the excesses and experimentation of the times: they threw lavish and sometimes wild parties, and they openly took lovers.
An opening reception will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Schatten Gallery, on Level 3 of the Woodruff Library. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Fishburne Deck.
The fine press’s books were characterized by high-quality pages and printing, and many of the books belonged to the Crosbys, bearing personal inscriptions and beautiful bindings with the Crosby crest. Black Sun published the early works of many writers, including Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Kay Boyle, James Joyce (whose Black Sun book “Tales Told of Shem and Shaun” was integrated later into “Finnegans Wake”), and Hart Crane.
The exhibition includes a rare copy of Hemingway’s first book, “Three Stories & Ten Poems,” printed by Contact Publishing, and a 1926 edition of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” published by Sylvia Beach, a leading expatriate figure of the time and a friend of the Crosbys. The book was banned in the U.S. until 1933; this particular copy was torn into sections and stuffed into laundry bags, smuggled into the U.S. from Europe, then later reassembled and re-bound.