(New York: Limited Editions Club, 1984). 275 x 205 mm. (10 3/4 x 8"). 4 p.l., 164,  pp.,  leaf (colophon). With a foreword by Arthur Miller. No. 591 of 1,500 copies, SIGNED by Miller and Baskin.
Publisher's unadorned brick red crushed morocco by Gray Parrot, smooth spine with gilt titling. In the original taupe cardboard slipcase. With five haunting full-page etchings by Leonard Baskin, all with original tissue guards. Great and Good Books 540. ◆Three-inch dark patch on lower cover, otherwise in pristine condition.
Miller's Pulitzer- and Tony-winning classic of American theater is accompanied here by Leonard Baskin's moving etchings documenting the decline of the titular salesman, Willy Loman, marking the toll life's disappointments take. Miller (1915-2005) achieved immediate fame with this play's 1949 premiere. ANB describes "Salesman" as "the epic tragedy of a very ordinary man," and notes that it "marked a transformation in American drama," linking "past and present in a dramatic flow of emotional storytelling." One of the preeminent American artists of the 20th century, Baskin (1922-2000) considered himself primarily a sculptor, but he is best known for his woodcuts, book illustrations, and the fine books created at the Gehenna Press, which he founded in 1942, while still a student at Yale. His woodcuts and sculptures were in the figurative tradition at a time when abstract expressionism was the dominant movement in art; his defense of his style, quoted in his New York Times obituary, seems especially applicable to the etchings here: "Our human frame, our gutted mansion, our enveloping sack of beef and ash is yet a glory. Glorious in defining our universal sodality and in defining our utter uniqueness. The human figure is the image of all men and of one man. It contains all and can express all." (ST15816-68)