Finding aid for the Tristan Tzara manuscripts from the collection of René Gaffé



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.
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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


Container List

 

Manuscripts

 

2021.M.8-fc Front cover

 

2021.M.8-fpe Front pastedown endpaper

 

2021.M.8-fe Front free endpaper

 

2021.M.8-fe_r Recto

 

2021.M.8-fe_v Verso

 

2021.M.8-sh1 Auction tear sheet

 

2021.M.8-sh2 Sheet with stamp

 

2021.M.8-bl1 Blank leaf

 

2021.M.8-bl2 Blank leaf

 

2021.M.8-bl3 Blank leaf

 

2021.M.8-item1 Envelope addressed to René Gaffé, 1931 February 23

Scope and Content Note

Blue envelope postmarked and addressed to René Gaffé at 2bis rue Crespel, Bruxelles. The address listed for the sender, Paul Éluard [i.e. Eugène Émile Paul Grindel], is 42 rue Fontaine in Paris, the building where André Breton had his apartment and where the Éluards lived for a period. Breton and Éluard wrote L'Immaculée Conception at 42 rue Fontaine.
 

Recto

 

Verso

 

2021.M.8-item2 Card from Tristan Tzara to Paul Éluard, 1921 September 22

Scope and Content Note

Card with two photographs pasted on its recto, one of which is a portrait of Tzara. In the message addressed to Paul Éluard on the verso of the card, Tzara mentions Max Ernst and sends greetings to Gola Éluard.
 

Recto

 

Verso

 

2021.M.8-item3 Letter, undated

Scope and Content Note

Letter in several hands by Tristan Tzara, Philippe Soupault, G. R. D. [i.e. Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes] and R. H. [i.e. Raoul Haussman?]. With note "Breton refuse de signer / cette lettre. Il dit que c'est / une cochonnnnnnnnnerie." Letter addressed to Paul Éluard?
 

2021.M.8-item4 Draft of Les ciseaux des façons d'agir , undated

Scope and Content Note

No. XXX from Monsieur AA l'antiphilosophe in L'antitête. See Œuvres complètes , II, 301.
 

2021.M.8-item5 Draft of Filatures de jonques, undated

Scope and Content Note

No. XXXI from Monsieur AA l'antiphilosophe in L'antitête. See Œuvres complètes , II, 302.
 

2021.M.8-item6 Draft of Les battements de narines and Le nain dans son cornet, undated

Scope and Content Note

No. XXXVII and XXIII from Monsieur AA l'antiphilosophe in L'antitête. See Œuvres complètes , II, 310 and 292.
 

2021.M.8-item7 Manuscript "L'équilibriste minuscule au fond de ma chambre…," undated

Scope and Content Note

No. II from Minuits pour géants in L'antitête. See Œuvres complètes , II, 327. On paper with letterhead of the Foreign Press Service Incorporated, New York.
 

2021.M.8-item8 Draft of La deuxième aventure céleste de monsieur Antipyrine , undated

Scope and Content Note

See Œuvres complètes, I, 143 - 147. "Monsieur Absorption" is given here as "Ouate." Text on tracing paper with drawings by Tzara on recto and verso, including caricatures and portrait heads in the margins of the recto.
 

2021.M.8-item9 Draft of poems Crimes, undated

Scope and Content Note

See Œuvres complètes, I, 210-215. With section headings: Crime distingué; Crime long; Crime portatif (annotated in pencil as Crime sportif); Crime garanti (instead of Crime solennel in the published version) and Crime Pilau (see text Crime à voir clair in the published version).
 

2021.M.8-item10 Draft of Je sors de mon appartement somptueux , undated

Scope and Content Note

From De nos oiseaux. See Œuvres complètes , I, 216.
 

2021.M.8-item11 Draft of Longue vue fertile, undated

Scope and Content Note

Text of Longue-vue in De nos oiseaux . See Œuvres complètes, I, 196.
 

2021.M.8-item12 Draft of Sur une ride du soleil, undated

Scope and Content Note

From De nos oiseaux. See Œuvres complètes , I, 238-239. On paper with letterhead of the Foreign Press Service Incorporated, New York.
 

2021.M.8-item13 Draft of Eau sauvage, undated

Scope and Content Note

From De nos oiseaux (1923). See Œuvres complètes, I, 200. In upper right, in pencil: La dernière strophe a été écrite chez la baronne d'Oettingen lors d'un concours de poèmes érotiques où ont participé Éluard, Soupault et quelques autres. T. T.
 

2021.M.8-item14 Typescript "Le cyclone a mis le crochet dans l'œil du bossu…," undated

Scope and Content Note

No. III from Minuits pour géants in L'Antitête. See Œuvres complètes , II, 328.
 

2021.M.8-item15 Typescript "Au dessus du nid de camphre...," undated

 

2021.M.8-item16 Manuscript "L'opulence de quelques vacances…," undated

Scope and Content Note

Includes drafts from Minuits pour géants in L'Antitête See Œuvres complètes , II, 329-331. Drafts on sixteen leaves of paper with letterhead of MoUvEmEnT DADA Berlin, Genève, Madrid, New York, Zürich, Paris.
 

2021.M.8-item17 Manuscript "C'est la peur d'une rupture prématurée...," undated

 

2021.M.8-item18 Draft of Le cœur dans le cœur, undated

Scope and Content Note

First section of Le cœur dans le cœur in Faites vos jeux. See Œuvres complètes, I, 244 - 245. On paper with letterhead of the Foreign Press Service Incorporated, New York.
 

2021.M.8-item19 Draft of Le cœur sur la main, undated

Scope and Content Note

In Faites vos jeux. See Œuvres complètes, I, 253.
 

2021.M.8-item20 Notebook, undated

Scope and Content Note

1 notebook (20 leaves). Includes pen-and-ink drawings, pencil sketches, sections of text from Le cinéma calendrier du cœur abstrait (see Œuvres complètes, I, 125, 126, 133, 135) and sections from De nos oiseaux. See Œuvres complètes, I, 201.
 

2021.M.8-item21 Back of envelope, undated

 

Spine

 

Slipcase