A.M.CASSANDRE PAR HENRI MOURON Schirmer Mosel Production
" This book would never have appeared in its present form without the generous help of many persons to whom I wish to express my sincere thanks.
Foremost among those to whom I owe a debt of gratitude is the original publisher, Lothar Schirmer, who allowed himself to be talked into expanding his initial project of doing a quality illustrated book on Cassandre’s posters into a full-fledged monograph of the artist. In the course of our work together, I have had many opportunities to measure the man, his intelligence, his sensitivity and his passionate devotion to publishing art books. I am deeply grateful to Andre François for having introduced us.
Lola Saalburg, whose devotion to my father for over thirty years survives in our own warm relations, encouraged me to undertake the demanding job of writing the introduction and plotting out the structure of this book. I am indebted to her, moreover, for granting me the privilege of reading the beautiful letters Cassandre wrote to her almost from the beginning of their friendship.
In her doctoral thesis written under the aegis of Professor M. Le Bot, Sylvia Colle-Laurent, the daughter of another of my father’s dear friends, Carmen Baron, has been the first to study and to reflect deeply on Cassandre’s work as a poster artist. Thanks to the abundance of the material she has collected with such enthusiasm and organized with such thoroughness, her study has been an indispensable reference work for me and will remain so for all those interested in this aspect of Cassandre’s oeuvre.
Other persons have contributed more specifically but no less kindly to enriching the most important part of this book – the illustrations.
Alan Weill the organizer an important exhibition of Cassandre posters at the Seibu Gallery in Tokyo in October 1984, and whose expertise is recognized by all students of poster art, very kindly made it possible for us to photograph, under exceptional circumstances, nearly 70 original proofs destined for exhibition. His knowledgeable advice has been invaluable to me.
Jack Rennert, who is no less familiar to and appreciated by poster connoisseurs around the world, offered me his friendly assistance in New-York. He very graciously made available to me photographs of Cassandre posters in his collection. What is more, he arranged for me to have access to one to the richest poster collections in the world, that of Susan J. Pack, and unhesitatingly offered to have photographs taken of several works in that collection which were essential for this book. To both of them, I extend my warmest thanks.
The following persons have kindly cooperated in the task of tracing works illustrated here and making photographs available : Anne-Claude Lelieur, the Curator of the Bibliothèque Forney in Paris ; Claudie Roger and Henri Normand, both associated curators at the same archives ; Gilles Didier, Jacques Bacquier and Jacques Fivel of Galerie Serpente in Paris ; as well as Jean-Louis Fivel, Martin le Coultre, Lola Saalburg and Beatrice Saalburg. To all them my thanks.
I wish to express my gratitude also to the Musée de la Publicité in Paris and the Cabinet des Estampes at the Bibliothèque Nationale ; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam ; the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Zurich ; the Museum of Modern Art in New-York ; Denys Boulanger ; the firm of Nouvelles Images ; Felix Marcilhac and Gérard Champion who have available to me of Cassandre’s cover projects for Harper’s Bazaar.
For the section on Cassandre’s stage designs, I wish to acknowledge the valuable assistance of Jean Meyer who, in memory of his long-standing association with my father, received me warmly and generously loaned me the superb maquettes for the costumes worn by the commedia dell’arte actors in Monsieur de Pourceaugnac – which, as a member of the steering committee of the Comédie-Française, he was instrumental in staging in 1948.
Mlle. Guibert, the Curator of the Bibliothèque de la Comédie-Française, kindly gave me permission to photograph the costume designs for the leading characters in Racine’s tragedies commissioned by the Comédie-Française the last theatre designs by Cassandre’s hand.
Françine Cabrière and Janine Larvor were kind enough to lend me the stage and costume designs for the ballet Dramma per Musica, as well as the costume designs for the 1949 performance of Othello at the Comédie-Française.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to François Michel, whose warm regard for my father continued to the last. I do not believe I am wrong in saying that on many issues their ideas agreed and that is why I felt justified in including some of his wonderfully pertinent remarks in my discussion of Cassandre’s work for the theatre. May he be thanked for having contributed in this manner to complete this book."
Henri Mouron, Paris, July 1985