Selections from the Abiquiu Bookroom: Some French Moderns Says McBride

Marcel must have told you about the Soceity Anonyme printing a brochure by me. It’s to be like an index and some what stunty. I am dying with impatience to see it.

Henry McBride to Florine Stettheimer, July 3, 1922 (Morris and Watson, 139)

This month we were very excited to catalog a rare and unique publication in Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal book collection: Some French Moderns Says McBride by artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968). Duchamp, under his pseudonym Rrose Sélavy, designed, formatted, and copyrighted this collection of articles by the art critic, and modern art supporter, Henry McBride (1867-1962). McBride supplied Duchamp with articles he had written between 1915-1921. The three-ring bound pamphlet was hand constructed with tabs on each page to spell out the title from the front, and the publisher, Société Anonyme Incorporated, from the back.

Photographs by the American artist Charles Sheeler (1883-1965) were inserted between articles. Sheeler’s pseudonym, Sweeler, was used and stamped on the back of the images.

The text begins small and grows larger each page.

The final page reverts back to tiny text. Copy number 20 is handwritten on the top right corner inside the back cover.

Tori Duggan, Research Center Associate

Morris, Catherine J. and Steven Watson, eds. An Eye on the Modern Century: Selected Letters of Henry McBride. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2000.