Rarities from 1917: Facsimiles of The Blind Man No.1, The Blind Man No.2 and Rongwrong

(Duchamp, Marcel, Roché, Henri-Pierre and Wood, Beatrice eds.) , 2000/12/01, 2016/05/11

A few years after his arrival in the United States, Marcel Duchamp, together with his friends Henri-Pierre Roché and Beatrice Wood, published three small and very short-lived issues of what can only be described as genuine Dada-journals: The Blind Man No.1 (April 1917; Arturo Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, vol. 2, New York: Delano Greenidge, 1997, # 346), The Blind Man No. 2 (May 1917; # 347) and Rongwrong (July 1917; #348). Of the three, the Blind Man No. 2 is best remembered for publishing documents surrounding the scandal of Duchamp’s 1917 urinal Fountain. But the other numbers also hold an abundance of material on the budding, European-infiltrated and subversive New York art scene.

Without further ado, dear reader, please see for yourself!

Only once before, in 1970, were print-facsimiles of the three magazines made. Published in a small edition by Arturo Schwarz (Documenti Dada e Surrealisti, Archivi d’Arte del XX Secolo, Rome; editor: Gabriele Mazzotta, Milan) in a brown cardboard folder whose design imitates wood, Dada Americano also includes reprints of Duchamp’s and Man Ray’s one and only issue of New York Dada (April, 1921) as well as the latter’s four-page foldout of theRidgefield Gazook (No. 0, March 31st, 1915).

The following clickable flip-through visuals of all pages of both issues of the Blind Man as well as Rongwrong are scans from the 1970 Schwarz edition and make their full content available to a large audience for the first time. The original magazines are part of the Vera, Silvia and Arturo Schwarz collection Dada and Surrealist Art at the Israel Museum of Art, Jerusalem.

In recent years, the International Dada Archive of the University of Iowa has started to scan and mount documents from their collection: A number of early Dada magazines may be viewed at http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/collection.htm

(suggested reading: Beatrice Wood, I Shock Myself, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1985, esp. pp. 26-36; Francis M. Naumann, New York Dada 1915-1923, New York: Abrams, 1994, esp. pp. 46-47, 184-187; Francis M. Naumann, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, New York: Abrams (distrib.), 1999, pp. 74-75)

click images to enlarge

  • Marcel Duchamp, Cover for
    The Blind Man No.1
    (April 1917) © 2000 Succession Marcel
    Duchamp, ARS, N.Y./ADAGP, Paris
  • Marcel Duchamp, Cover for
    The Blind Man No.
    (May 1917) © 2000 Succession
    Marcel Duchamp, ARS, N.Y./ADAGP,
  • Marcel Duchamp, Cover for
    Rongwrong (July
    1917) © 2000 Succession Marcel
    Duchamp, ARS, N.Y./ADAGP, Paris