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VERY RARE vintage book Museum of Fine Arts Boston illustrated collection catalog 1929, signed by famous society girl, layout, guide, details

VERY RARE vintage book Museum of Fine Arts Boston illustrated collection catalog 1929, signed by famous society girl, layout, guide, details

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Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1920s
  • Favorited by: 8 people
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Description

There is no other book like this one.

Firstly this book is an illustrated handbook for one of the most famous art museums in the world, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. With wear on the cover and binding, you can tell the age of the book especially by its old, old pages--it looks like it has a construction paper cover, though it is soft covered holds together nicely, as you can tell by the pictures.

As the XXI (21st) edition, this book captures the collection as it was in 1929, as well as the floorpans of the museum and its related publications. It also includes a history of the museum at the end, entitled "Origin and Growth," along with a listing of the staff of that time, which is especially, well, special. It was sold for fifty cents back then.

What makes this copy the MOST notable is it is signed on the front by Sophia Helen Fisk(e), member of the prominent Cincinnati, OH family including Helen Pogue Fisk and the famous world-travelers and lecturers Isabelle Eastman Fisk and Margaret Pogue Fisk. (The sisters have their own museum collection at the University of Cincinnati, the ‘Isabelle Eastman Fisk and Margaret Pogue Fisk International Travel Collection’, and their family's name and history is scattered throughout the city of Cincinnati and its history).

The women of the Fisk family, with marriage adding the names of Pogue, Eastman Whitelaw and Jackson to their midst, are known as the "Daughters of the Queen City," and include others such as Helen Pogue Jackson, Elizabeth Whitelaw Fisk, and my favorite just for her insensibly long name, Isabella Crawford "Belle" Pogue Eastman Fisk. It gets ridiculous after a bit, but each of the women were interesting in their own right, some philanthropists, actresses and all well-learned.

As part of such a famous ancestry, Sophia's items are worth more than any other copy of such a handbook as this. (There are other items in my collection owned and signed by her as well her mother and the other women in her family, but this one is especially unique in that it is a handbook and gallery guide rather than simply a book that they owned). Sophia herself was a graduate of the class of 1930 at Wellesley College, and was a member and founder of the well-known all-female acting group known as "The Junior League," present in various high society plays and theater-related events. She might be best known aside from her family for her role as the Jester in "The Golden Princess." She is the subject of gossip in numerous society pages in Brooklyn and Cincinnati, where her comings and goings are documented, or her parts in theater committees and productions. One mention says simply and mysteriously that she and a friend are "at the Princess Hotel in Bermuda."

That this book is hers and signed, it becomes even more of a priceless item in that it carries with it not just the history of Boston and its arts, a record of the museum at the time of her visit, but the history of the woman herself. You can almost sense her as you leaf through the pages of this book, exactly as she did, and you will want to sign your name right under hers.

(And if you'd like more information on Sophia Helen Fisk(e) and her place in history, I've done a lot of research and will be happy to send you what I found! You can find extensive information on the high society family in the troves of the University of Cincinnati library and archives as well as the Cincinnati Museum Center).

And here's the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full Title: The 21st Edition of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Illustrated Handbook
-Author: N/A
-Format: Softcover
-Condition: Fragile but wonderful.
-Publisher: The Museum of Fine Arts, Publisher, Boston Massachusetts
-Copyright: The MFA, 1929,
-Date published: March 1929, first edition
-Provenance: Found in the rare and classic books section at a public library book-sale in Wellesley, Massachusetts, right near Wellesley College. Likely it was there because Sophia Helen Fisk(e) was a graduate of Wellesley College, though her family lived in Cincinnati OH. Many of the women in her family studied at Wellesley).
-Pricing: The eminence of the woman who owned, used and signed this book is why the price is what it is, essentially. Also the fact of it being hard to find any hard-copies of MFA catalogues today, and that it is a first edition from so long ago (87 years!) makes it more valuable. To own this is to own a piece of history, and pieces of history are hard to come by at least in this sense. They are also very expensive in many cases, so I had to consider this as well in my pricing decision.
There is no other book like this one.

Firstly this book is an illustrated handbook for one of the most famous art museums in the world, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. With wear on the cover and binding, you can tell the age of the book especially by its old, old pages--it looks like it has a construction paper cover, though it is soft covered holds together nicely, as you can tell by the pictures.

As the XXI (21st) edition, this book captures the collection as it was in 1929, as well as the floorpans of the museum and its related publications. It also includes a history of the museum at the end, entitled "Origin and Growth," along with a listing of the staff of that time, which is especially, well, special. It was sold for fifty cents back then.

What makes this copy the MOST notable is it is signed on the front by Sophia Helen Fisk(e), member of the prominent Cincinnati, OH family including Helen Pogue Fisk and the famous world-travelers and lecturers Isabelle Eastman Fisk and Margaret Pogue Fisk. (The sisters have their own museum collection at the University of Cincinnati, the ‘Isabelle Eastman Fisk and Margaret Pogue Fisk International Travel Collection’, and their family's name and history is scattered throughout the city of Cincinnati and its history).

The women of the Fisk family, with marriage adding the names of Pogue, Eastman Whitelaw and Jackson to their midst, are known as the "Daughters of the Queen City," and include others such as Helen Pogue Jackson, Elizabeth Whitelaw Fisk, and my favorite just for her insensibly long name, Isabella Crawford "Belle" Pogue Eastman Fisk. It gets ridiculous after a bit, but each of the women were interesting in their own right, some philanthropists, actresses and all well-learned.

As part of such a famous ancestry, Sophia's items are worth more than any other copy of such a handbook as this. (There are other items in my collection owned and signed by her as well her mother and the other women in her family, but this one is especially unique in that it is a handbook and gallery guide rather than simply a book that they owned). Sophia herself was a graduate of the class of 1930 at Wellesley College, and was a member and founder of the well-known all-female acting group known as "The Junior League," present in various high society plays and theater-related events. She might be best known aside from her family for her role as the Jester in "The Golden Princess." She is the subject of gossip in numerous society pages in Brooklyn and Cincinnati, where her comings and goings are documented, or her parts in theater committees and productions. One mention says simply and mysteriously that she and a friend are "at the Princess Hotel in Bermuda."

That this book is hers and signed, it becomes even more of a priceless item in that it carries with it not just the history of Boston and its arts, a record of the museum at the time of her visit, but the history of the woman herself. You can almost sense her as you leaf through the pages of this book, exactly as she did, and you will want to sign your name right under hers.

(And if you'd like more information on Sophia Helen Fisk(e) and her place in history, I've done a lot of research and will be happy to send you what I found! You can find extensive information on the high society family in the troves of the University of Cincinnati library and archives as well as the Cincinnati Museum Center).

And here's the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full Title: The 21st Edition of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Illustrated Handbook
-Author: N/A
-Format: Softcover
-Condition: Fragile but wonderful.
-Publisher: The Museum of Fine Arts, Publisher, Boston Massachusetts
-Copyright: The MFA, 1929,
-Date published: March 1929, first edition
-Provenance: Found in the rare and classic books section at a public library book-sale in Wellesley, Massachusetts, right near Wellesley College. Likely it was there because Sophia Helen Fisk(e) was a graduate of Wellesley College, though her family lived in Cincinnati OH. Many of the women in her family studied at Wellesley).
-Pricing: The eminence of the woman who owned, used and signed this book is why the price is what it is, essentially. Also the fact of it being hard to find any hard-copies of MFA catalogues today, and that it is a first edition from so long ago (87 years!) makes it more valuable. To own this is to own a piece of history, and pieces of history are hard to come by at least in this sense. They are also very expensive in many cases, so I had to consider this as well in my pricing decision.

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FAQs

Absolutely! I'm willing to do anything to get this book to you, but I will not write on it. If it is not in the condition you want, I know preservation techniques and will certainly oblige as best I can. You just need to let me know.
I will wrap the book any way you want. It is special and so are you, you deserve it! I will also write cards, include photographs, anything you'd like that would make this transaction more, well, you.
I won't tell you how to care for your book, but as to how they are cared for now, they are housed in two places -- some are wrapped in plastic in my main room in the part of the house that used to be a quaint B&B, lined on lovely old wooden bookshelves; others are stacked in piles or leaning on cool, creative and different bookends all round the room, and all are given care, attention, and kept away from my dog :)

Others sit in my library, in built-in authentic 1800s wooden and glass-door library shelves that line the walls in a secluded room in a historic home on the shore. With vintage, warm lamplights over the tiny marble fireplace, the library's windows catch plenty of sunlight--the books are in good homes and will arrive undamaged.
If the book comes later than expected this does not mean it was sent late. Every book is sent within 1-3 business days, unless one of the days is a Sunday, then it could be an extra day. This applies to International orders as well, but they might take longer to get to you than in-country orders. If there is a problem, please bring it up with UPS or see Etsy's policies.
I am more than willing to hunt down a specific book for you. This can take time, however, and would be a matter of personal back-and-forth on the site so you would have to keep in contact. There is no guarantee. I'm good at finding things however, and if I cannot find it to sell to you myself I will direct you to where I can find it online, if I can.

Important to note, however, that I may have it in my holdings already so it ALWAYS helps to check in with me. Listings come up continually, and it may just be waiting here to get processed and put up.
Contact me directly via the site and I will do my absolute best to help correct it. There should be no problems.
Always willing to make new friends and take on new jobs or opportunities -- this business does not stop me from working a full or part time job, and I am currently looking, so please contact me! Dempseylynch@gmail.com. I am definitely interested in talking with you and love meeting new people (especially book lovers of course).
Sure! Although the books are priced the way they are and are worth that amount based on a lot of factors (condition compared to others available online, if there are any available online or if it is the only one, age and whether it is signed or special in some way, etc.) I am always willing to hear you out as to why you think the books price is off, and work with you as best I can. I cannot guarantee the price will change, that is bad for my business, but I will listen to you. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst that can happen is I will say no.

I put the reasons behind my pricing method for each item at the end of the listing so check that out if you're curious too :)

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