My Hermann-Paul collection began with three pieces from Calendrier de la Guerre. Each page depicts a significate event for each of the first twelve months of the Great War. I found them in a used book store in Portland, Maine. The dealer had six different months and I bought three for $60.00 a piece.
That was in 2003. For the next eight years I tried to get the rest of the series. The pieces I owned were visually interesting and I was anxious to complete the set. Visitors to our home nearly always mentioned them when they were in the living room. They appeal to a wide variety of people but I suspect they bombed back in Hermann-Paul’s day. Who wants a war calendar while a war is raging? Imagine displaying art that depicted Bush’s war back in 2003. As a result, the series is very scarce.
In late 2010, I finally got to see the entire set. The National World War I Museum, Kansas City, MO. Has the entire series on display. I emailed Doran Cart, the curator who maintains the digital archive for the museum. He was willing to send me digital copies of the entire collection. When I have a good understanding of the work and its context, I’ll put them up on this site.
Because the calendars likely bombed as a commercial endeavor, the series is very rare. Apart from the collection at the Great War museum, I’m aware of three other copies, two of which were owned by a dealer with whom I frequently do business. For years he’s been reluctant to part with them but in March he finally agreed to sell me a set. When I called to give him my credit card information, he raved about the set, its condition and its appeal. I was thinking, “Man, he’s not going to sell me these prints….” Fortuately, he took my information and this collection is complete. My copy of Calendrier de la Guerre was previously owned by this guy: Gustave Hervé. I’ll try to maintain them for the next generation.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.