Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995. First Edition. Quarto (29.8 x 26.3 cm), xxx, 115 pages, colour illustrated dust jacket with clear mylar separate cover. Preface; Introduction with notes; The Salon Album of Vera Sudeikin-Stravinsky; The Salon Album: Translations and Annotations; Bibliography; Indexes: General Index, Index to written entries, Index to illustrative entries, Index to musical entries, Index to portraits; Index to dates. Weight: 1.9 kg.
Condition: As new, without blemishes. Fine / Fine. Item #547
Before meeting the composer Igor Stravinsky in 1921 in Paris, Vera Sudeikin (1888-1982) was already known as the “Muse of the Muses”, in what had been the bohemian, intellectual life of St Petersburg-Petrograd. Hers was the “silver age” of Russian culture. As her circle fled the Bolsheviks, Vera, an artist and writer in her own right, managed to preserve their heritage in an extraordinary literary production: an Album containing poems, sketches, fragments of music, and other material by some of the most influential Russian cultural figures of the day. The Album, reproduced here for the first time, is both a record of a cultural diaspora and a monument. Claudio Spies, of Princeton University, wrote that the Album, a record of the years immediately following the Russian Revolution, kept by a woman as articulate and gifted as Vera Stravinsky represents a remarkable treasure. No one was as conversant with, nor as personally close to, the poets, painters and designers—as well as a particular composer—who contributed to this Album.
In 1917 Vera, a dancer and artist, fled to the south of Russia with her then-husband, Sergei Sudeikin, a renowned painter and stage designer for the Ballets Russes. Vera travelled for three years through the Crimea, Georgia and Azerbaijan, organising artistic gatherings, recording impressions and inviting contributions to her Album, which presented a “literature of loss”. The Album includes much material never previously published, including poems by Osip Mandelstam, musical fragments by Vladimir Pol and Stravinsky, and many drawings and watercolours. Vera Stravinsky is perhaps best known as the mistress, and ultimately the wife, of Igor Stravinsky. They married in 1940 in Massachusetts. She was buried with Stravinsky in Venice’s Isola di San Michele cemetery.