CRAIG, Edward Gordon. The Mask. A Monthly Journal of the Art of the Theatre. A complete set of eighty-seven issues (bound in seventy-one parts) in sixteen volumes (fifteen volumes of magazines, and an additional volume of covers and inserts from 1911-1915). Volumes I to III have title-pages and index pages dated 1919, as issued. The other volumes have undated title-pages and indices, as issued. Three 4to. volumes, 323 x 218 mm, and thirteen 8vo. volumes 225 x 158 mm, bound in publisher's half vellum over plain boards, with manuscript titles in black ink on spines, with wrappers, except for two, preserved. Florence [Arena Goldoni]: "The Mask" Offices, [1908-1929].
The Mask, first published monthly, then quarterly, is perhaps one of the finest examples of modernist artwork and thinking of the time, as related to theatre. Edited by Edward Gordon Craig (who also frequently contributed), The Mask was published for twenty years, and was a major focus of Craig's life during that time.
"The format of The Mask was governed by the size of the paper, which was hand-made, cheap and came from near-by Fabriano. The typography was dependent on what founts of type the printers had to hand. The firm of Morandi was able to produce a small quantity of Elzivere, which pleased him immensely, so experimental pages were put in hand. The layout was based on an early copy of Vitruvius that he had picked up for a few lire." [Gordon Craig: The Story of His Life, p.231.]
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was one of the most influential theatre figures of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He came up with the concept of theatrical lighting, in which the stage was lit from above by specially-designed lights, instead of using footlights. He used shape, color and light to lend depth to his productions, and was a proponent of using masked actors and puppets to evoke emotional reactions in the audience (he apparently disdained actors, even though we was the son of the famous actress, Ellen Terry). Many of Craig's theories and designs are still studied today.
PROVENANCE: From the library of Dr. Rudolf Gebauer, with his bookplates.
Item nr. 168494