Tribute to the Arts was the joint keepsake of Bob Massmann and Miriam Irwin for the Miniature Book Society conclave II in Boston in 1984. It is known as a peepshow book and is Bob’s second, Moby Dick Meets the Pequod being the first in 1968.
Here is the book with its slipcover.
Look through the peephole and extend the book according to the directions and you’ll be treated to a 3D scene at the symphony.
The structure that gives us this wonderful effect looks like this.
Interestingly, Bob chose not to include this one in his bibliography so it doesn’t show up in Bradbury either. REM did, however, sneak it into one of his alternate bibliographies, “Second Roster Of Lilliputia Spewed Out By Robert Massmann As Ephemera Not Previously Recorded Or Published Jointly With others” as entry #1 in 1990.
Sometimes you come across something that doesn’t fit neatly into your library, or could be classified under different categories. Here is one such item I’ve recently acquired and how I’ve decided to handle it.
Kindergarten Wisdom was printed by Ward Schori in 1988 on wonderful, shimmery paper that is not identified. It is limited to 99 copies and the half-title is signed by Ward.
The binding, however is a one-of-a-kind binding done by Robert E. Massman and has a matching slipcase. I love the overlaid picture on both the cover and slipcase that appears to be hand colored, and the purple cloth.
Laid in the book is this short note explaining how this all came to be.
So where does this one belong? My library is organized by publisher so it would seem natural that it would end up with other Press of Ward Schori books but because I have a special interest in REM, and because it is a unique item, it ends up with mt Massmann ephemera.
Here’s something cool Bob did in 1977 called “REM Magic Nursery Rhymes”. As far as I know, there was ever only one other book like this, done in the 19th century. The concept is pretty simple, there’s a riddle with a blank page…
until you hold it up to the light. Then you get the full picture.
I’m continually amazed by the great diversity of the types of things Robert Massmann did with books. This gathering of six of his inventive creations probably has some significance but I can’t say what it is just now.
Clockwise from the center top: Collectors Clean Sweep, Win, Place, and Show or the Fundraising Jack, Elusive Bon Mots, Ere E Eme, A Recipe for Moon Tea (small edition), and in the center, Second Roster of Lilliputia Spewed Out by Robert Massmann As Ephemera Not Previously Recorded Or Published Jointly With Others.
The fold out illustrated second section of Second Roster folded out.
I’ve been told that Pearls from Kipling is the most beautiful book made by Robert E. Massmann. Having just purchased my very own copy, I’m now able to examine one. Pearls is Bob’s second book, published in 1963. It measures 2 1/4″ x 2″ and is letterpress printed. My copy is #93 of 500, though in his Chronological Checklist of REMiniatures, Bob states that only 251 were completed. The paper for the covers appears to be a handmade eastern paper and I believe is called cloud paper. The pages are also an eastern type of paper with and amazing watermark that you can partially see on the blank page on the left in the photo. From the rich feel of the paper to the sentiments in the text itself, it is simply an exquisite book. Not the most intriguing book by Massmann, but I would have to agree, the most beautiful. What say you?