Illustrating the 150th Psalm was one of Ben Shahn’s last projects. This 1970 publication, entitled Hallelujah contains 24 lithograph illustrations, each accompanying text from the Psalm. The volume is cloth bound with a gold embossed leather panel on one cover and is enclosed in a cloth bound clam shell case with a similar but slightly larger panel on one side. Publisher – Kennedy Graphics; lithographs – Mourlot Graphics; printer – Spiral Press; bindery – Moroquain, Inc: total edition – 240 numbered copies and 10 copies A – J. This copy, not one of the 250 books, is unsigned and has an interesting provenance as explained by a letter dated November 30, 1993, and signed by George H. Wieck of Moroquain. It was the bindery copy given to one of their customers on the occasion of the company’s closure. According to this excerpt from the letter that comes with the purchase: In addition to serving as the guide for the collating of prints & letterpress text, it (this copy) was also the approved version for materials such as endpapers, lining, binding cloth, oasis leather, gold etc. Each page is numbered in pencil and the Hebrew text has been translated into English in pencil in a hand that resembles Ben Shahn’s, suggesting that the artist approved this copy. We have seen some of the illustrations published separately as prints, although whether all were so published we cannot say. Both volume and case are in excellent condition.
case dimensions – height – 18″; width – 18 3/4″