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Phil Kaplan collection of E.E. Cummings


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

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Phil Kaplan collection of E.E. Cummings, 1924-1981 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Phil Kaplan collection of E.E. Cummings, 1924-1981Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 193

Primary Creator: Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), (1894-1962.)

Other Creators: Kaplan, Philip, (1903-1990)

Extent: 4.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Organized into three series: (1) Biographical information, (2) Materials regarding Cummings' written works, (3) Materials regarding Cummings' artwork and oversized items.

Subjects: Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962., Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. - Poems, Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. - Proofs (printing)

Forms of Material: Clippings (information artifacts), Correspondence., Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. - Correspondence, Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. - Photographs, Jacobs, S. A. (Samuel Aiwaz) - Correspondence, Manuscripts for publication.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Phil Kaplan Collection of E. E. Cummings contains documents dating from 1924 - 1981. The materials focus on Cummings' personal life, his written works, and his artwork.

Most of the correspondence is between Phil Kaplan and Sam Jacobs, Cummings' printer, and deals with some element of Cummings' work. Also in this series are press cuttings, fragments and extracts, galley proofs for Eimi, Poems, and Tulips and Chimneys photographs, and ephemera. The press cuttings cover both Cummings' personal life and creative efforts, including reviews of his publications and exhibits. The photographs include portraits of Cummings and his wife, as well as images of his exhibits, two watercolor paintings and one pen and ink drawing by Cummings.

Biographical Note

Cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1894. While at Harvard, he delivered a daring commencement address on modernist artistic innovations, thus announcing the direction his own work would take. In 1917, after working briefly for a mail-order publishing company, the only regular employment in his career, Cummings volunteered to serve in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance group in France. Here he and a friend were imprisoned (on false grounds) for three months in a French detention camp. The Enormous Room (1922), his witty and absorbing account of the experience, was also the first of his literary attacks on authoritarianism. Eimi (1933), a later travel journal, focused with much less successful results on the collectivized Soviet Union.

At the end of the First World War Cummings went to Paris to study art. On his return to New York in 1924 he found himself a celebrity, both for The Enormous Room and for Tulips and Chimneys (1923), his first collection of poetry.

A roving assignment from Vanity Fair in 1926 allowed Cummings to travel again and to establish his lifelong routine: painting in the afternoons and writing at night. In 1931 he published a collection of drawings and paintings, and over the next three decades had many individual shows in New York. He enjoyed a long and happy marriage to the photographer Marion Morehouse, with whom he collaborated on Adventures in Value (1962), and in later life divided his time between their apartment in New York and his family's farm in New Hampshire. Cummings died of cerebral hemorrhage on September 3, 1962, in North Conway.

Subject/Index Terms

Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962.
Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. - Poems
Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. - Proofs (printing)

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Phil Kaplan collection of E. E. Cummings, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

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Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Anthropos royalty agreementAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Anthropos order formsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Complete Poems extractsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: EIMI galley proofAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: EIMI. holograph of announcement pageAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Homer Chapman translation with an introduction by e.e. cummings, printing cost scheduleAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Him playbillsAdd to your cart.

The Interplayers, July 1948

The Hyperion Theater Group, July 1983

Folder 8: Him note by Eric Bentley issued at the Salzburg production, (in German), 1950Add to your cart.

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