by Coplans, John, ed. Ruscha, Edward
San Francisco, 1964. In 1963, when Ed Ruscha published Twentysix Gasoline Stations, his first book, he sent two copies to the U.S. Copyright Office, one to establish copyright, the other destined for the collection of the Library of Congress. Great! Recognition for the young artist. As you might imagine, LC receives a great deal of copyright material that it cannot store forever: commercial catalogues, advertising material, and many self-published books, among others. Jennings Wood, Chief, Exchange and Gift Division, sent Ed a very polite letter on October 2, 1963, as follows: "Dear Mr. Ruscha: I am, herewith, returning this copy of Twentysix Gasoline Stations, which the Library of Congress does not wish to add to its collection. We are, nevertheless, deeply grateful for your thoughtful consideration of our interests." What a blow! Ed turned this seeming setback into one of the wittiest pieces ever to appear in Artforum: a five-inch display ad on p. 55 of the March 1964 issue (volume 2, number 9). The following text accompanies a photograph of a hand holding the book: "REJECTED Oct. 2, 1963 by the Library of Congress Washington 25, D.C. copies available @ $3.00, National Excelsior 2351-1/2 Vestal Avenue Los Angeles 26, Calif. Wittenborn & Company 1018 Madison Avenue New York 21, New York." A facsimile copy of this letter accompanies the issue. This is item M6 in Edward Ruscha: editions 1959-1989 (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1999). LC still does not own a copy of any edition of Twentysix Gasoline Stations, by the way. Later, Ruscha did layout and design work for Artforum, including the superbly inventive cover for the Surrealism issue, September 1966, volume 5, number 1 (see separate listing). Several pristine copies available of this rare, March 1964 issue of Artforum. Richly illustrated (no color this early). 60 pp. 27 x 26.5 cm (about 11 inches square). Cover by Larry Rivers. Includes articles on recent American ceramic art (Voulkos, etc.), Shiko Munakata, Pop Art in Canada, and, most notably, John Coplans on Wallace Berman. **Free domestic shipping with direct order.
(Inventory #: 69003)