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Tzara (Tristan) manuscripts from the collection of René Gaffé
2021.M.8  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical / Historical: Tristan Tzara
  • Biographical / Historical: René Gaffé
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Materials
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Tristan Tzara manuscripts from the collection of René Gaffé
    Date (inclusive): 1921-1931, undated
    Number: 2021.M.8
    Creator/Collector: Tzara, Tristan, 1896-1963
    Physical Description: 1 volume (21 items)
    Repository:
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    Business Number: (310) 440-7390
    Fax Number: (310) 440-7780
    reference@getty.edu
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The handwritten and typed manuscripts by Tristan Tzara from the collection of René Gaffé are gathered in a volume whose binding was designed by Paul Bonet. The manuscripts consist of drafts of writings from Le cinéma calendrier du cœur abstrait, maison, La deuxième aventure céleste de monsieur Antipyrine, De nos oiseaux, Faites vos jeux and poems from L'antitête. Tipped into the volume are also a card from Tzara to Paul Éluard and a notebook containing pen-and-ink drawings.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record   for this collection. Click here for the access policy  .
    Language: Collection material is in French with some German

    Biographical / Historical: Tristan Tzara

    Romanian and French poet and artist, Tristan Tzara, was one of the founders of Dada. He was born Samuel Rosenstock into a Jewish family from Moinesti in Romania in 1896, and spoke Yiddish as his first language. He moved to Zürich in Switzerland during the First World War to study philosophy, a country which remained neutral throughout the war. There he met the German author and poet, Hugo Ball, and the two together with Emmy Hennings, Marcel Janco, Richard Hülsenbeck, Hans Richter, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Jean Arp, initiated the Cabaret Voltaire, a literary and artistic café. It was during one of the soirees of the Cabaret Voltaire, which often featured the reading of nonsensical poems to a background of cacophanous noise, that Ball read the Dada Manifesto.
    Tzara became editor of the movement's journal Dada, which was characterized by a spirit of anarchic revolt against traditional values, as well of disillusionment from the horrors of the war, and in the journal's third issue he wrote the essay "Dada manifeste 1918." He joined Francis Picabia in Paris in January 1920 and was welcomed by the group Littérature, which included Louis Aragon, André Breton, and Philippe Soupault. He drew close to the French Communist Party, becoming friends with Picasso to whom he dedicated numerous essays.
    References consulted:
    Articles "Dada" and "Cabaret Voltaire" in Dictionary of 20th Century Art . Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998.
    Henri Béhar, "Tristan Tzara" in Oxford Art Online.
    Œuvres complètes / Tristan Tzara ; texte établi, présenté et annoté par Henri Béhar. 6 volumes. Paris : Flammarion, 1975-1991.

    Biographical / Historical: René Gaffé

    The Belgian collector and industrialist René Gaffé was born in Brussels in 1887. He first worked as a journalist in the Netherlands, where he founded the daily newspaper L'écho belge, and then worked in the perfume industry, which was the source of his wealth. During the First World War, he began collecting African art and developed an interest in sculptures from the Belgian Congo. He later met Paul Éluard and André Breton who helped him build his art collection, which focused on Cubist and Surrealist art. He befriended Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, and René Magritte who painted his portrait in 1942. Gaffé acquired works by them, along with paintings by Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, and Fernand Léger. In 1956, he moved from Belgium to France, where he purchased a house in Cagnes-sur-Mer near Nice, large enough to exhibit his vast collection that included monumental works. That year, he also sold his library at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris, a sale that featured the Tristan Tzara manuscripts acquired from Paul Éluard. Gaffé lived in Cagnes-sur-Mer with his second wife, Jeanne, until he passed away in 1968. Jeanne Gaffé arranged the sale of the art collection, which took place in 2001 at Christie's in Paris and in New York shortly after her death.
    References consulted:
    Wohl, Hellmut. "Tristan Tzara, René Gaffé and the Cabaret Voltaire," Burlington Magazine, vol. 149, no. 1249, p. 262-267
    "René Gaffé" in Index of collectors and dealers of Cubism, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Viewed online, 12/6/2021.
    Bibliothèque de M. René Gaffé. Paris : Hôtel Drouot, 1956.
    The collection of René Gaffé, tribal art, property from the estate of Madame René Gaffé, sold without reserve for the benefit of L'Institut Curie. Paris : Christie's, 2001.
    The collection of René Gaffé, property from the estate of Madame René Gaffé, sold without reserve for the benefit of UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund. New York : Christie's, 2001.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Restricted. Contact the repository for information regarding access.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Tristan Tzara manuscripts from the collection of René Gaffé, 1921-1931, undated, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2021.M.8.
    http://hdl.handle.net/10020/cifa2021m8

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Acquired with partial support of the GRI Council. Acquired in 2021.

    Processing Information

    The finding aid was prepared by Karen Meyer-Roux in September 2021.

    Related Materials

    Tristan Tzara correspondence, manuscripts, photographs and printed matter are held at the Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet, INHA, Paris.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The handwritten and typed manuscripts by Tristan Tzara from the collection of René Gaffé are gathered in a volume whose binding was designed by Paul Bonet (1889-1971). The manuscripts consist of drafts of writings for Le cinéma calendrier du cœur abstrait, maison, La deuxième aventure céleste de monsieur Antipyrine, De nos oiseaux, Faites vos jeux and poems from L'antitête. Tipped into the volume are also a card from Tzara to Paul Éluard and a notebook containing pen-and-ink drawings.
    The name of the binder, Paul Bonet, appears in gold letters inside the front cover. Bonet's mosaic binding is formed from geometric elements of black and red leather with gilt lettering repeating the word "Dada" and a central band of marbled paper. The volume is enclosed within a slipcase decorated with marbled paper.
    The manuscript leaves are bound in the volume in a manner suggesting that they were acquired by René Gaffé from Paul Éluard in 1931. The leaves are enclosed within an envelope addressed by Éluard to Gaffé and postmarked 1931. The envelope has been cut into two halves so that the manuscript pages can be turned: the front panel of the envelope has been tipped into the front of the volume and the back panel of the envelope closes the group of manuscript leaves.
    The volume was in the collection of René Gaffé until it was sold at auction in 1956 ("Bibliothèque de M. René Gaffé," Drouot, Paris, April 26-27, 1956, lot 237). Afterwards it entered the collection of Maurice Car (1908-1968) and was sold at auction in 2019 ("Maurice Car Collection of Arts and Sciences Featuring Rare Books and Manuscripts," Heritage Auctions, New York, September 4, 2019, lot 45091). It was later offered for sale by the Sims Reed Gallery, London.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Éluard, Paul, 1895-1952
    Bonet, Paul
    Car, Maurice, 1908-1968
    Gaffé, René

    Subjects - Topics

    Authors--History--20th century--Archives.
    Dadaism
    Decoration and ornament -- Art Deco

    Contributors

    Tzara, Tristan, 1896-1963