Item 52 is a signed copy of Poet Marianne Moore's Tell Me, Tell Me: Granite, Steel, and Other Topics, published in 1966. However, Shahn did not receive it from Moore. Instead, it came from Ben Sackheim, a noted New York advertising executive who retired to a second career as a bookseller in Tucson. Sackheim would send out signed copies of books to his friends at Christmas, along with a humorous note, which is included. This one tells of Ms. Moore's being called on by Ford Motors to come up with a name for their new car in 1955. The thinking was a poet would have a way with words. Sackheim notes some of Moore's suggestions: Mongoose Civique, Taper Racer, Andante Con Moto, and Dearborn Diamente. All were rejected. Indeed, one can see how bad her ideas were by Ford's ultimate choice of a name for the creation of their $250 million project - the Edsel. The only thing worse than the name was the car. $400.
Item 101 is Art As A Function Of Government: A Survey. This pamphlet was put out by the WPA Federal Art Project in 1938. Even in the midst of the Depression, the government was funding works of art, keeping America's artists employed until better times returned. It seems hard to imagine today that there would be funding for such projects, though times are not nearly as bad. Perhaps our priorities have changed. $100.
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