1960s SUPER ARCHIVE OF 20 LETTERS BETWEEN FELLOW ARTISTS ELENA DE HELLEBRANTH AND HER FRIEND IRENE RICE PEREIRA, RENOWNED ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST, POET, AND PHILOSOPHER, AS THEY DISCUSS ART, LIFE AND RELIGION

By: ELENA DE HILLEBRANTH

Price: $3,355.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a tremendous cache of letters, beautifully and artistically written, from and to Painter, critic, teacher, lecturer, writer, illustrator, Elena Maria de Hellebranth, who, along with her sister Bertha, gained a bit of local renown in their native Hungary, as well as in the Northeast United States, where they lived for many decades. All the letters are either from, or addressed towards, Elena’s friend and confidant, Irene Rice Pereira, a famous American abstract painter as well as a poet and philosopher. Irene Pereira has artworks displayed many museums in America, including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and others. Elena would never achieve the level of fame and recognition as her friend Irene Pereira, or even her sister Bertha de Hillebranth. This cache of letters is a tremendously interesting exchange between two artists and friends in the 1960s. Many of the letters are not dated, but the ones that are are from 1963 to 1965. They deal with ideas about art, poetry, philosophy, God, and other topics of the humanities. Elena heaps praise onto Irene in almost all her letters to her, repeatedly calling her a genius, ending letters, “God bless you and your art,” and assuring Irene that her art and poetry will be forever be acclaimed. It seems that both Elena and Irene are very religious (or at least God-loving) women, as their letters are filled with allusions to Christianity and the divine quality of art. The cache contains a total of 18 letters, two telegrams, and one postcard. All but one of the letters is typed, and most pen marks for punctuation as well as a the letter’s signature. Only two of the letters are from Irene Rice Pereira back to Elena. One of these letters contains a postcard of an artwork by Irene. The rest of the letters, telegrams and postcard are from Elena to Irene. The letters from Irene to Elena are strongly spiritual, and also show a strong sense of paranoia. In one letter, dated March 19th, 1964, Irene writes: “I now know and I am sure of it, that it i Catholicism that is the great force of the future, possessing all the elemental, fundamental attributes of the spiritual forces for the future form of consciousness. Also it is Catholicism that heroically endeavors to save the Form of Man against that discrepancies of the finite and infinite in Greek thought. It is only Catholicism that has the theological potentiality for the mind stabilizing the spiritual forces for the infinite abundance of reality. It would give me great hope for the future if this work could find its spiritual home...My dear, dear Elena and Bertha, write me. I am very careful about my telephone because the line is tapped. This is because the tastemakers in art want to maintain the status quo; that is, they propose the styles for mass culture, and the spiritual forces in this work runs counter to their plans.” From Elena to Irene: “Dearest Irene, Always it is good to hear your voice: no matter how, but it is awe inspiring to be in touch with genius. --- This is praying that you are better. It is magnanimous of you to want to help in giving my sister Bertha the prize for her tempera and india ink study to a stained glass window. The title is “A Song was Born: The Magnificat”, and the approximate size is 22 X 25 outside. The Gospel tells us that Mary the Mother of God visited her cousin Elizabeth, when Mary expected her Child, - it may have been in the third month of her pregnancy about end of June (the Immaculate Conception occurred on the 25th of Mar...) Then, Elizabeth joyous exclamation brought forth the Virgin Mary the ecstatical: “Magnificat song, praising God!...I am most anxious to hear your verdict about her art. Bertha has a number of stained glass windows in private collections, and one at the Convent of the Visitation on City Line. All my love to you as ever, and you may call me an optimist, but I fervently believe and KNOW that your theory will come out triumphantly and that the world will acclaim you and your art, in the near future. Amen!”; “May 21st. Dear Irene, Felicitations, and congratulations to your wonderful exhibit, have heard of it from several sources, and can hardly wait to see it. I just got back from the South after an extended trip and found here your sweet note-- only too late to write you in time. Many many thanks for your thoughts and the evr so beautiful wordings. You are a poet -- too.” The items in the cache are all in good to very good condition. Some show discoloration and small tears, but there are none that are not structurally intact and easily legible and readable. As mentioned, the archive is made up of 18 letters, two telegrams, and one postcard, almost all of which are typed and signed in pen. (Background: Irene Rice Pereira (August 5, 1902 – January 11, 1971) was an American abstract artist, poet, and philosopher who played a significant role in the development of modernism in America. She is known for her work in the Geometric abstraction, Abstract expressionist, and lyrical abstraction genres and her use of the principles of the Bauhaus school. Pereira's paintings and writings were influenced significantly by the complex intellectual currents of the 20th century; Elena de Hellebranth and her sister Bertha were born into a cultured upper-class family in Budapest, Bertha in 1899, Elena in 1897. Their father was a lawyer and their mother a student of Franz Liszt’s last living pupil. Both sisters showed artistic potential early, beginning to paint at four or five years of age. Their parents encouraged them, and had the means to send them to the best art schools of the time. They studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Budapest, at the Académie Julian and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, and painted portraits of European nobility. From the mid-thirties until World War II, Bertha and Elena divided their time between their home in Budapest and a home on the ocean at Ventnor, NJ. In 1925, they showed their work at the Nemzeti Szalon in Budapest, and in 1926, they had a joint exhibition of their portraits in the US. Both exhibited their work at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and most major museums and galleries in the US. Bertha also had exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both Bertha and Elena were Fellows of the Royal Society of Art (London), and garnered numerous prizes. The de Hellebranth sisters were devout Catholics, and this is evident in their many portraits of clerics and religious subjects. Bertha’s religious sculptures include not only the Patrona Hungariae which was given to St. Emery Church by the Transylvanian Franciscans in 1957, but also several now in the Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ, as for example a statue of St. Francis and another of Christ. Elena contributed several folk style panels to the Hungarian Pavilion’s display at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, while Bertha exhibited a couple of sculptures, one entitled “Sleeping Shepherd”. Bertha and Elena became American citizens in the 1940’s, but as Elena remarked, “While we are Americans, the Hungarian blood still boils through us.” And Patricia Fazekas relates, "Following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the sisters organized relief efforts for Hungarians, sending much-needed shipments of clothing and food back home.” Elena settled in Atlantic City, NJ. Neither she nor Bertha married. Bertha died at age 81, in December of 1980. Elena outlived her by eight years, dying in February 1988, at age 91.)

Title: 1960s SUPER ARCHIVE OF 20 LETTERS BETWEEN FELLOW ARTISTS ELENA DE HELLEBRANTH AND HER FRIEND IRENE RICE PEREIRA, RENOWNED ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST, POET, AND PHILOSOPHER, AS THEY DISCUSS ART, LIFE AND RELIGION

Author Name: ELENA DE HILLEBRANTH

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: NORTHEAST UNITED STATES, 1963

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0009103

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