Two parts in one volume, 2° (455 x 322mm). Pp., xv, 128, 102. Half-title and part-titles. Title printed in red and black with vignette. Recto of dedication leaf in heliogravure. 25 heliogravure plates (9 double-page and 5 double-page and folding), including the plate ‘A World Centre’ at the beginning of part I not called for in the list of illustrations, 123 heliogravure text-illustrations (9 full-page) including that of Athena, Apollo and Herakles on p. iii not called for in the list of illustrations, 2 lithographic plans with manuscript coloured lines depicting public transport systems and central city heating, engraved vignette to pt II, p.30, woodcut head- and tailpieces to pt II. (First 4 preliminary leaves very lightly creased, occasional light soiling and spotting, plate I dampstained, plate XVII with light marginal creasing and soiling.) Contemporary marbled-paper covered boards, recently rebacked with red crushed morocco spine, top edge gilt, others uncut (extremities lightly rubbed, corners very slightly bumped).
FIRST FRENCH EDITION OF ANDERSEN’S VISION OF A UTOPIAN WORLD CITY. Andersen was born in Bergen, Norway, and emigrated as an infant with his family to Newport, Rhode Island. As a young artist, he mingled among Newport’s wealthy elite, and spent some time as Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s art teacher. At the age of 21, Andersen travelled to Europe, eventually settling in Rome. There he pursued his artistic interest in monumental classically inspired pieces, believing that they stimulated in the viewer a desire for self-improvement. He devoted much of his time designing a perfect ‘World City,’ filled with art, which would motivate humanity to achieve a near Utopian state. The present work is the culmination of his theories, and may be seen as a precursor to later modernist visions, such as Le Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine, 1922.
The book is in two parts. The first deals with the history of the city and monumental architecture, and seeks inspiration in classical and contemporary notions of city planning – Paris and Washington DC feature prominently. The second part details Andersen’s imaginary urban landscape, complete with works of art, for the ‘World City’. Olympic stadia, galleries for the arts and sciences, as well as government buildings are all outlined, and placed upon a defined grid plan with an emphasis on a grand central avenue acting as the axis of the city. ONE OF ONLY 75 COPIES ON JAPAN PAPER, the present work numbered XXVII.