Varshe: Kultur-lige, 1929. Hardcover. Item #XT41962
1st Yiddish edition. Period boards with original green, red, and white modernist illustrated wrappers mounted front and rear, 12mo, 95 pages. Modernist cover with original typeface initialed in the text in Yiddish “Y.T;” possibly for “Yosef Tchaikov.” Includes drawings (not by Tchaikov) and photo plates. In Yiddish. Title translates as “In the Heavenly Ocean: With 3 Drawings in the Text and 4 Pictorial Plates.” Part of the series, “Populer-Visnshaftlekhe Bibliotek; Natur un Kultur: Unter der Redaktsye fun Y. Yashunski, Nr. 3. 1 of 1000 copies printed. Tchaikov is known to have designed other covers for Kultur-Lige publications, often with creative Yiddish typefaces, for example: Di Kupe, by Peretz Markish; Samet, by Lipa Reznik; & Otem, by Ezra Feinenberg (all 1922). Joseph Moisevich Tchaikov (Also spelled, among other spellings, Tshaykov, Chaikov, and Tchaikovsky; 1888 - 1979) “was a Russian Imperial and Soviet Russian sculptor, graphic designer and teacher of Ukrainian Jewish descent. Born in Kiev (present-day Kyiv, Ukraine) and initially trained as an engraver, Chaikov studied in Paris in the years 1910 through 1914. In 1912 he co-founded a group of young Jewish artists called Mahmad, and published a Hebrew-language magazine with that name; in 1913 he participated in the Salon d'Automne.He returned to Kiev in 1914. He was co-founder, along with El Lissitzky, Boris Aronson and others, of the Jewish socialist Kultur Lige in Kiev, led sculpture classes there, supervised a children's art studio and illustrated children's books, and in post-revolutionary Kiev focused on billboards and agitational propaganda. In 1921 he published the Yiddish-language book Skulptur, advocating avant-garde sculpture as a contribution to a new Jewish art. This book was also the first book on sculpture to be published in Yiddish.Chaikov moved to Moscow to teach at Vkhutemas from 1923 to 1930, alongside fellow sculptors Boris Korolev and Vera Mukhina. All three designed and taught cubist sculpture in the distinctively Russian Cubo-Futurism style, radically geometric and highly dynamic. From 1929 Chaikov was the head of the Society of Russian Sculptors. In 1932, after the end of the period of artistic freedom, all of these cubists turned back to Socialist Realism and produced more classically styled work.In the 1930s his work was prominently shown at the two Soviet world's fair pavilions, for the 1937 Paris Exposition and the 1939 New York World's Fair….He was named an Honored Artist of the USSR in 1959, and his work is in the permanent collection of MOMA” (Wikipedia). For more on Chaikov, see: Apter-Gabriel, Ruth (1987). “Tradition and revolution: the Jewish renaissance in Russian avant-garde art, 1912-1928” (Israel Museum); and “Futur Antérieur: L'avant-Garde Du Livre Yiddish (1914-1939). Paris: Skira Flammarion: Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme, 2009.SUBJECT(S): Astronomy -- Popular works. Sciences naturelles -- Ouvrages de vulgarisation. OCLC: 970887673. OCLC lists 3 copies worldwide (YIVO, NYBC, HUC), none at any Ivy League Institution. Includes series title page, which has broken loose, laid in. Paper browning as is common with books of this vintage, a few corner chips, no text or other margins affected. Some staining and toning to cover, which retains its dramatic modernist design. Scarce work with unusual design, possibly by the leading Yiddish modernist. (YID-36-9).