GROEBLI, René. Magie der Schiene. Zurich: Kubus-Verlag [self-published], (1949). SIGNED

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Magie der Schiene [Magic of the Tracks]... Gedicht Albert Ehrismann.
Zurich: Kubus-Verlag [self-published], (1949).

8vo (239 × 179 mm), 8 folded sheets loosely inserted as issued into black-and-white photo-illustrated card wrappers. 14 black-and-white photographs printed in gravure, poem by Ehrismann, afterword by Hans Ulrich Gasser. Later green printed wraparound band. Numbered and with Groebli’s signature in green ink to colophon, additionally signed by Groebli on the title-page. Fine.

First edition, number 634 of 700 in German (300 in English) from a total edition of 1,000 signed copies. Photographed in France, mainly in Paris and its suburbs. When Groebli self-published Magie der Schiene the magic of rail travel was already heavily loaded with nostalgia, rapidly being replaced by the automobile and air travel.

The book was originally issued without a wraparound band although Groebli made a very small number of green bands around the time of the publication. As interest in the work has increased, particularly after it was included in 'The Open Book' catalogue (2004) and exhibition, Groebli produced a facsimile band for those copies that he still had in his possession. The present is one of those copies. ‘It is a superb example of the spare, clean, international style of graphic design developed after the war, and centered around the Swiss magazine Graphis’ (The Photobook).

Sinibaldi, A. and Couturier, J-L., Regards sur un siècle de photographie à travers Le Livre (93); Parr, M. and Badger, G., The Photobook: A History vol.I p.204; Roth, A., The Open Book: A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present pp.152-3; Auer, M. and M., 802 photo books from the M + M Auer collection p.335.


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