The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, December 22, 2014


Robert Frost's Christmas cards collected by Dartmouth College in New Hampshire
In this photo provided by Dartmouth College, one of Robert Frost's Christmas cards is seen. Famed poet Frost once waited until July to send his Christmas cards. AP Photo/Dartmouth College.

By: Holly Ramer, Associated Press

HANOVER, NH (AP).- Take heart, holiday procrastinators: Famed poet Robert Frost once waited until July to get his Christmas cards in the mail.

Unlike the flimsy, forgettable cards of today, however, Frost's cards arguably were worth the wait. For the past 28 years of his life, he teamed up with a boutique printer to send beautifully illustrated booklets featuring a different poem for each year.

Dartmouth College, which Frost briefly attended as a student and later returned as a lecturer, has collected more than 500 of the cards, including the first installment, which was sent without Frost's knowledge.

In 1929, Joseph Blumenthal of the New York-based Spiral Press, who was setting type for one of Frost's poetry collections, decided the poem "Christmas Trees" would make an attractive greeting card. With permission from Frost's publisher, he printed 275 copies, one of which eventually made its way to Frost. The poet liked it so much, he decided to collaborate with Blumenthal on cards starting in 1934. The resulting series lasted until 1962, the year before his death.

"It was one of the more fun things about him," said Frost biographer Jay Parini, a professor at Vermont's Middlebury College. He called the cards a "remarkable tradition" that's carried out by other poets today.

Many of Frost's cards feature woodcut illustrations evoking the New England landscape with which he was so deeply associated. Printed on heavy cardstock, some run to 10 or 15 pages. The 1942 card included a hand-colored illustration of a country village and the poem "The Gift Outright," which Frost, who won four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry, later recited from memory at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.

Many in the Dartmouth collection were sent to Frost's close friend and editor Edward Lathem, whose nearly six decades of work at the Ivy League school included a long stint as head librarian.

In 1959, the card featured a previously unpublished poem called "A-Wishing Well," and on Lathem's copy, Frost inserted two hand-written lines in the poem.

Parini said that was not unusual for Frost, who often inscribed first editions of his books with little notes for his friends, or sometimes even complete, unpublished poems.

"He liked to personalize things," he said.

In 1951, Frost accompanied a card featuring the poem "A Cabin in the Clearing" with this note to Dartmouth bookstore employee Ruby Dagget: "in hopes that you will carry it like a lesson to your schoolhouse in the wilds of Vershire," a nearby Vermont town.

In one of his 1953 cards, he explained why the poem "Does No One at All But Me Ever Feel This Way in the Least?" was postmarked July instead of December.

"This Christmas poem, though not isolationist, is so dangerously isolationist, it was thought better to send it out for Independence Day instead of Christmas," he wrote.

Sending such a tardy greeting also was in keeping with Frost's personality, Parini said. "He never lost an opportunity to make a splash," he said.

From an initial print run of 775 cards in 1934, the number of cards produced grew to more than 17,000 in 1962. Some have been snatched up by collectors for $4,000 to $5,000, said Steve Smith, who researched the cards for Dartmouth's alumni office.

Among his personal favorites is the 1934 card Frost sent from Key West, Fla., to a Dartmouth professor.

"The time stamp was Dec. 24 at 5 p.m., so I like imagining Frost at the post office in Key West on Christmas Eve," he said.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.





Today's News

December 25, 2012

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: One of the most important museums reopening in 2013

Cindy Sherman at the Walker Art Center is a comprehensive survey of the acclaimed artist's many guises

Dialogue between two masters of color, Johannes Itten and Paul Klee, at the Kunstmuseum Bern

Only known work in Canada by the great Venetian artist Titian, featured at the National Gallery of Canada

Treasures of the Alfred Stieglitz Center: Photographs from the permanent collection opens

Exhibition looks at the V&A's engagement with and changing view of art and design from Africa

Exhibition documents American artists' continuing fascination with the American landscape

Canadian Pioneers: Masterworks from the Sobey Collections on view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Design Museum in Ghent exhibits works by revolutionary Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata

Fifth year of Artist Rooms On Tour announced: 16 venues will display Artist Rooms in 2013

Diana Venet's collection of jewelry made by artists on view at Valencian Institute for Modern Art

Robert Frost's Christmas cards collected by Dartmouth College in New Hampshire

A huge collection comprising 10,000 of ames Comisar's TV memorabilia items needs a home

Tale of lost military jacket prompts curiosity

Belvedere opens a new exhibition floor space to feature young contemporary artists

The Story of the 47 Ronin at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Ben Ali's ill-gotten gains draw crowds of Tunisians

Pssst: An Exhibition for Kids at the MMK in Frankfurt

Grateful Dead exhibit extended in Cleveland

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site