TYPED & HANDWRITTEN LETTER by GEORGE GROSZ. TWO PAGE LETTER, addressed to AMERICAN ARTIST MARSHALL GLASIER, dated October 10, 1937. Typed and Handwritten on both sides of a single 8.5 x 11 sheet of Douglas Manor stationery, with the letterhead: 202 SHORE ROAD – DOUGLAS MANOR – LONG ISLAND – N. Douglas Manor hosted a thriving colony of various artists, including George Grosz. The letter is typed on the front side and on half of the back side, is hand signed at the end of the typed portion, then handwritten for half a page beneath the signature. The handwritten portion is in Groszs beautiful calligraphy, written with a fountain pen. The handwritten portion is significant both in size and subject matter, 19 lines, discusses artists, reason for his quitting teaching, and touches on the Spanish Civil War by mentioning fellow artists who went to Spain to fight with the Loyalists. The front typed side of the letter has a pencil margin note that is clearly in Groszs hand, and a red pencil circling of one section. It also has a number of small, handwritten corrections, also in Groszs hand. THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THE LETTER FOLLOWS (I have broken the text up into more paragraphs than are actually present, for clarity purposes – Im sure Ive made mistakes, please forgive them – Ive added notes in parenthesis – the multiple periods are in the letter, they do not indicate skipped text). My dear Marshall Glasier. Without flattering I have to say I always thought a great deal of your work… I always felt, there was in your work something very appealing to me…. A certain quality behind it, which is very rare here USA. That “IT” (quotation marks handwritten) I speak of, is not so easy to describe… It is to me somewhat of an, I might say, “apokalyptic” (sic) feeling hidden… Likewise (“wise” crossed out with pencil) those of certain old masters towards the end of the medieval period….. A feeling of punishment, bewildering…. In a higher grade, yees (sic), maybe we call it satire…. If we see “satire” in Breughel or Roger van der Weyden…… And I doubt that myself. In your work I felt that apokalyptic ever changing and often cruel american scene…. Indeed in an (“n” written in pencil) entirely different approach and conception as in those now very famous “American scene painters”…… See, why not be open minded in regard even to the most “absurd” (quotation marks written in) trends.. Everybody (sic) of us painters can easyly (sic) detect the real things from (the word from is penciled in over the typed word “and”) the big ballyhoo of the 57 Street…. If you know what I mean. Coming back to you… I hope you will make your way…… Your first letter about conditions in your hometown struck me as a true and fine document of an (sic) real artist….. I could feel your keen and strong mind… And your serious attempt to conquer a not too (last letter penciled in) friendly world….. Your letter was very “human”….. And revealed to me a fine side of your character. Now as my english (sic) is quite limited…. I guess you get me allright (sic) and you know what I want to express. As to your pictures… I could speak to you longer – lets (sic) say, if you dont (sic) mind, (commas penciled in) as a teacher and a friend…. But here as the written word is so limited I dont (sic) do it…. Maybe I do it sometimes later as I have to go again over the fotographs (sic) you sent me along with your letter. Anyway dont (sic) forget if there is an opportunity, (comma penciled in) dont (sic) forget to send me new ones too. And planty (sic) of constant never ceasing work. In our profession the “handwork” plain and simple means so much. To put that “IT” on canvas to transform it in Form color and composition……. And if you are serious minded, there is a long way to perfection in the right sense. I was glad to hear about Mr. Pelikan (typed Pelican, the c hand-corrected to make a k). If you happen to see him please give him my best regards. Alfred George Pelikan, b 1893, Germany – d 1987, Wisconsin, USA. I can’t write a special foreword right now….. Frankly speaking, I would be very happy if I could…. But unfortunately I have no mind for it in the moment. Maybe you can make use of a few lines from this letter. Anyway I wish you a good success and with the coming success encouragement for your printing. To be a “creative” man to day (is) to be an “old fashioned” painter, a “Malerskneicht” – how the medieval artists termed it…. Well that alone is somewhat of a strain already…… Facing that world of today where so much “Chaos” seems to be at first sight…… So much incoherence and intolerance. Well if you have to do thing, if you are “possessed” you have to do it…….. It sounds quite banal but that is the truth thru all the periods………….. And the creative spirit is always nearer to the unbelievable than the blessed average humanbeing (sic). Please write again and let me know how your exhibition got under way….. I hope you may sell too……. I wish you the best and I remain very friendly. Your old teacher and friend. George Grosz (Hand Signed). (HERE BEGINS The HANDWRITTEN TEXT). I should have written much earlier, but I lived like a hermit first working and besides my own work my mind blanc (sic) — so please excuse it. I very often thought of you– I will try to interest again that fellow Maynard Walter from the Walter Galleries — You know how it is — it is for an “unknown” painter – unless you may pay, thats (sic) different of course – it is not so easy to get a place to show his work — I (sic) your case I think it will come soon! By the way Douglas Taylor went to Spain — so did Dyo Jacobs — Dyo works for Loyalist propaganda leaflets – They sent some to me — quite interesting — is’nt (sic) it. Worth noting – DEYO JACOBS (Deyo, not Dyo), Jewish American Artist, died 1938 in Spain. DOUGLAS TAYLOR, American Artist, friend of Deyo Jacobs, died 1938 in Spain. Much more about them below, after my listing description. I quit teaching entirely — took to (sic) much nerves out of me — and I had no time for myself — for my work. 8500 is hand-written in pencil on the margin of the lower half of the second page. About GEORGE GROSZ (from Wikipedia). George Grosz (July 26, 1893 July 6, 1959) was a German artist known especially for his caricatural drawings of Berlin life in the 1920s. He was a prominent member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity group during the Weimar Republic before he emigrated to the United States in 1933. For those of you unfamiliar with George Grosz, a quick Internet search will bring you a wealth of information. About MARSHALL GLASIER – to whom the letter is addressed (from the Museum of Wisconsin Art website). The result, commonly referred to as MAGIC REALISM, took the figurative and narrative approach of the Regionalists and the mystery, humor, and irony of the Surrealists. Glasier was born in Wauwatosa, but raised in Madison. He started at the University of Wisconsin, but didn’t last long. Then Glasier spent time at the Chicago Art Institute, but never received a degree. During this time, he was engaged to be married, but his fiancé left him and married his best friend. His ensuing sadness led him to enlist in the Marines in 1924. He seemed to find a certain degree of success in commercial art until the Great Depression hit. His stylized drawings led one ad executive to give him some advice: go back to school and develop a more natural drawing style. He heeded that advice and STUDIED with GEORGE GROSZ in the ART STUDENT’S LEAGUE (New York City). He went about capturing the Wisconsin landscape in a fresh and cosmopolitan way. In Madison, Glasier had attracted a group of local artists and students who appreciated his brand of art. They each had a very different philosophy and approach, and Glasier regularly depicted Curry as a member of the’old guard’. Glasier would hold informal salons where they would discuss not only art, but politics, music, and literature. As his group got bigger, it also included people from Milwaukee and Chicago. Notable members of this group include Gertrude Abercrombie, John Wilde, Karl Priebe, Dudley Huppler, and Sylvia Fein. Glasier was a sort of father figure who encouraged them to develop their own style. Sylvia Fein said that he helped teach her how to draw my own personal way and how to draw while transforming and taming nature and human nature. About DEYO JACOBS and DOUGLAS TAYLOR – both mentioned in the handwritten portion of George Groszs letter. What follows is long but VERY INTERESTING (from a work about Lincoln Brigade Veterans that was originally published in The Volunteer, Volume 2, Number 3, 1979, and that I found reprinted online). Deyo Jacobs March 1938; A Delayed Obit, by Art Landis. The one book which most Lincoln vets brought home from Spain was The Book of the 15th Brigade. Though the English edition, as edited by the much loved Frank Ryan, was admirable, it still, however, had one flaw. The submissions of Deyo Jacobs, a young Jewish artist from New York, and a veteran of Jarama, were overlooked. The French made no such error. Their editor, the respected 15th Brigade Commissar, Jean Barthel, seized them instantly for his own. Thus while the English edition has no artwork at all, the pages of Le Livre de la 15eme Brigade display with pride a photo of Deyo himself, and the paintings and sketches that so reflected his own humanity and his deep understanding of the Spanish struggle. Deyo is shown (see pic), cigarette dangling and beret at a cocky angle, as a bonafide, rive gauche poilu; this, while he holds the cover he designed and which was finally used for the Book of the 15th Brigade in all its editions. I remember Deyo well. Attached to the HQ Co. Mac-Pap battalion staff, he and I, with Doug Taylor, Al Cohen, John Miltenberger and Clyde Taylor, were Observers, Mappers, Billeting mostly with the snipers, we became quite close as combat cadres usually do. Our gab sessions became everything; at the Tarazona base; in the aftermath of the melee of blasted tanks and wasted lives at Fuentes; during the autumnal days of restthe fighting at Argente; Celades; and the frozen inferno of Teruel. I was forever fascinated by the stories of Deyo, Doug and Clyde Taylor (the latter from Antioch; not related); especially the wild tales of OHenrys New York, and particularly the Village They seemed to me as left-socialists of a sort, drawn to Spain like most Lincoln men, by the strength of their own convictions. Indeed, theirs were more a reflection of the straight-form-the-shoulder honesty of Debs and Jack London; of that grass-roots golden age of American socialist-populism, and of Big Bill Haywood and his 250,000 member wholly American, I. My background was California. Riding freights at fifteen. Panning gold along the Kern. As a nineteen-year-old, gung-ho YCL type with a penchant for things military, I was also, as Deyo put it, a contradiction. For I possessed a sense of the ridiculous which he swore would, in the long run, preserve my free-thinking spirit and assure me the eventual humility that all those who propose to speak for others must somehow achieve. Indeed, on the strength of this analysis, it was Deyo who campaigned for me to become the only elected headquarters Company commissar the Mac-Paps ever had. Deyo was not mechanically inclined. A rifle bolt, or the lock of a Maxim, was to him but an uninteresting jig-saw puzzle. He had little patience with such; not that he couldnt fire them. His maps, however, were fantastic; his panoramic sketches, beautiful. He was also uncoordinated, so that for him any march would quickly become a thing of pain and agony. Wed carry his gear, his pack and his rifle; do what we could Stories of Deyo are myriad. Example: The Tarazona scandal, wherein he and Doug and Clyde, much too practical to look for nonexistent paint thinner while making posters, used urine instead. The result, a beautiful but oddly colored job. The Mac-Paps laughed all the way to Aragon. At Teruel I took him, at his own request on a night patrol, to skirt the fascist wire. Id also been given the nebulous title of chief of scouts, except there werent any, only men and whoever I could whistle up. Needless to say, with Deyo by my side it was like doing the job in broad daylight; the less said, the better. A measure, too, of Deyos intensity was that in conversation youd quite often find him standing on your feet while he made his pinteyeball to eyeball! How, indeed, could one not love him? The peaceful, Christmas day of 37 were spent in Mas de las Matas, awaiting the call to Teruel. I still have the list of donated pesetas and donors for a toy and candy fund for the village children. Deyo helped collect it. On the final day, save one, we both jawboned the last bottle of cognac from the Intendencia to celebrate the birth of a son to Jack Penrod, one of the snipers. A letter from his wife had just arrived. Toward the end of the cauldron of Teruel, the Mac-Paps, depleted, worn out by the deep snows and bitter fighting, still held their post of honor before the city. In the final days of the great fascist counter-offensive, Deyo and I were sent to a post to the front and west of our 3rd Co. Shells from enemy guns over a hundred and fifty lined up hub-to-hub before Concudranged all our positions. We saw then, through the great clouds of cordite, dirt and chalk dust, such a panorama of war as is seldom given for men to witness and survive. To the east was our own 3rd Co. Beyond them three hills held by Spanish Marineros.  Much further along was the escarpment of El Muleton, held by the Thaaelmanns And over all the plain above the valley of the Turia and the Alfambra were the advancing brigades of Francos Corps of Galicia. Through the long hours of the morning we watched as the Thaelmanns were destroyed; likewise the Marineros. Then retook one of the hillsand the British came down the face of the cliff of Santa Barbara to form a last thin line of bayonets across the valleys mouth at the 3rd Co. It was like some monstrous, living mural. All the afternoon they came on in waves and columns, banners flying, driven by their officers. They died before the heavily reinforced 3rd Co. Front and the British line. And then they ran and came on again; and were slaughtered again, and yet again Cut off as we were, we never expected to survive, Deyo and I. Still we kept up a steady fire into the flank of those hitting our 3rd Co. Time passed, and at one point I turned to see Deyo, covered as I was with dirt and chalk-dust. His map case had replaced his rifle. He was sketching what he saw, methodically, deliberately: While theres still some light, as he put it. The shelling, of course, had never ceased, nor the searching bullets from enemy machineguns. We had held and they had lost. And Deyo and I, in shock and a little high on it all, made it D6back to the railroad cut, and then to Battalion HQ. On the following day I was sent by Major Smith as liaison to the new British positions. The enemy action was repeated, and still we held. I was hit, however, in the early hours. I never saw Deyo Jacobs again, nor did I return to the battalion. Almost a year later at Ripoll, awaiting the train to take us to France, I saw Jack Penrod. He told me that in the retreats he had found Deyo and Doug Taylor beneath a tree somewhere south of Hijar; that Deyo; in bad shape, could no longer walk at all. Doug had decided to stay with him. At that very moment fascist tanks were on all the roads; enemy cavalry swarmed over all the hills and valleys. No one saw them alive again and it is presumed that like so many tens of others, they were taken finally, and summarily executed. These few paragraphs, plus the accompanying artwork falls far short of being the story of Deyo Jacobs. His background data, the milieu from which he came, is missing. Still one can conclude a point: To read of the uniqueness and humanity of Deyo is to also touch upon and recognize, perhaps, the full measure of our loss in those sixteen hundred Lincoln dead for whom there was no obits; and who, indeed, are but names today; forgotten, except by the few who knew them. The result, commonly referred to as magic realism, took the figurative and narrative approach of the Regionalists and the mystery, humor, and irony of Surrealism. He heeded that advice and STUDIED with GEORGE GROSZ in the ART STUDENT’S LEAGUE. The item “1937 GEORGE GROSZ LETTER SIGNED HANDWRITTEN & TYPED Life, Art, Spains Civil War” is in sale since Friday, January 22, 2021. This item is in the category “Books\Antiquarian & Collectible”. The seller is “bookpath” and is located in Napa, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Binding: Letter – Handwritten and Typed
- Subject: Art & Photography
- Topic: Fine Arts
- Special Attributes: Handwritten
- Origin: American
- Year Printed: 1937