Ziggurat Press ~ Rhode Island
(Walter Feldman 1925 – 2017)

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Books concerning the effects of war by Feldman
One of a kind books by Feldman


My Story
By Juan Ortiz
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 2007. Edition of 50.

6.5 x 6.5"; 42 pages. Accordion structure, detached at front board, and attached at back pastedown. Images created by Walter Feldman in woodcut, and then transferred to rubber stamps, printed, and individually hand colored. Text printed by offset lithography. Paper Mohawk Superfine. Type 14-point Bodoni Text Wide. Cloth bound with blind-embossed glyph on front board.

In simple language Juan Ortiz (originally from Guatemala, now residing in Mexico City) tells the history of his people from the time of "the serpent God whose name was Quezalcoatl" to the coming of the "brown robed men with peculiarly shaved heads,,,,[who] lied and cheated…[W]e could not trust them. We still don’t."

Ortiz ends his tale with this: "I am making this small codex in the hope that all people of the world may learn to be kind to one another and to share their maize and clean water with one another."

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The effects of war concern Feldman and are examined in Ziggurat Press publications.

The Ballad of Rodger Young
By Walter Feldman
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 2002. Edition of 20.

Printed on Twinrocker handmade paper. Type used 14 point italic Kentonian. Images were conceived and printed by Walter Feldman. The box cover on the special edition has a "mourning cloth" made in the Ziggurat studios. Pamphlet style hand sewn binding with red, white and blue ribbon. CD accompanies edition and is set in case. The sheet music is printed and laid in at the end of the pamphlet . The text is printed and illustrated by Walter Feldman.

In Feldman's research of the Ballad, he found that the young soldier dies in combat on New Georgia in the Solomon Islands in 1944 and was posthumously awarded the army's Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic exploits that day. The army subsequently commissioned the song writer, Frank Loesser, to write a song about a plain ordinary foot slogging dogface and he chose Rodger Young. This Ziggurat Press publication is Feldman's "personal way of honoring all those who fought and died in World War II."
$350 (Last four copies)

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A Packet of Letters
By Walter Feldman
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 1989. Edition of 45.

8.25 x 11.25"; 36 unnumbered pages.18 pt Bodoni type. Printed on Nideggen paper by a hand-fed Vandercook Press. Spiral bound at top with cloth-covered hardcover wraparound. Paper title on wraparound.

During World War II Feldman was an lieutenant in the infantry, serving from 1943 to 1946, even acting as an aide at the Potsdam Peace Conference. Deeply affected by his wartime experience, Feldman at his Ziggurat Press continues to publish works that examine war and its effects.

Donald Kuspit, Walter Feldman 2007: "In his book, A Packet of Letters, Feldman looks back at some of his experiences as a soldier. He recalls how his mother learned to read and write English so she could stay in touch with her son stationed across the globe.

"While at war, Feldman found himself under small arms fire in the forests of the Ardennes, more commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge. The shards of shrapnel that lodged in his lower back left a lifetime injury, and the trauma of his near-death and harrowing recue made a lasting impact on him.

Feldman used art as therapy for the wounds of war. While recuperating in Paris, he was told he would never walk again. But he did. And as he recovered, he learned to paint through his pain and found healing through brush and canvas".

The Books of Walter Feldman: 'In A Packet of Letters, which can be described as being about words and the writing of words, he has himself contributed the text. A wartime book done in spiral notebook wrapped in fatigue green, it tells in every way - visual and textual - a story about filial and maternal love."


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One of a kind books by Walter Feldman.

Kabbala Images
By Walter Feldman
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 2002. One-of-a-Kind.

9.25 x 11.75 x 2" black cloth-covered clamshell box with distressed patinated copper plate inset on front cover. 8.25" square wooden panel into which have been carved nine equal squares each containing a Kabbala image laid into sectioned plexi base. 8.25 x 1.25" wooden title panel laid into bottom section of plexi. Printed colophon tipped into interior lid. Signed by Feldman.

Walter Feldman, Colophon: "[Kabbala Images] is one of a series that searches for meaning beyond language. It has been suggested by some that one day a new kind of Rosetta stone may be found that will reveal the complete meaning.

"It has been confirmed by scholars however, that part of the message is a prayer for Peace in the 21st century."

Donald Kuspit: "He is into language, more particularly, letters - as images as well as signs, suggesting that his conceptualism has more to do with concrete poetry than with so-called idea art. He is not anti-painting, nor, more broadly, an anti-aesthetic artist (what I call a post-artist). He does not believe that the material image is an inferior illustration of a superior idea. He does not sacrifice visual art on the high alter of theory.

"For him, language is not the neutral medium some conceptualists have declared it to be. Every letter is subliminally charged with emotional and mystical meaning. It is an avenue to the sacred human truth. Feldman is a Kabbalist, however unacknowledged. He's a letter mystic, as it were, discovering the mystery in the building blocks of language." "Walter Feldman," an essay in Walter Feldman: The Work of Five Decades (2003)

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Drawings for Psalm 23 and Psalm 24
By YWalter Feldman
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 1990. One-of-a-Kind.

10 x 9.5 x 1.25"; 18 unnumbered pages. Accordion structure. Six original pen-and-ink drawings by the artist. Letterpress printed. Titles in script by the artist. Cloth-covered boards with tipped on illustration on front board. Housed in cloth-covered clamshell box with the tipped on illustration.

Walter Feldman: "The drawings in this volume were made during the summer of 1989 especially to accompany the 23rd & 24th psalms, which I love."

The psalms are letterpress printed before (Psalm 23) and after (Psalm 24) the drawings.


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Waning Summer
By Poem by Thomas Nashe
Drawings by Walter Feldman
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 1989. One-of-a-Kind.

9 x 13 x 1.75"; 16 unnumbered pages. Accordion structure. Six original pen-and-ink drawings by the artist. Titles in script by the artist. Tapa
cloth-covered boards with tipped on title on front board. Housed in wooden slipcase with leather title on spine.

Feldman's artwork accompanies the 1592 poem by British poet Thomas Nashe (1567 - 1601). The poem appears once handwritten in brown ink on a tipped in sheet of tan paper, which is a visual as well as textual element, and printed on a 6 x 9" laid in sheet of the same paper.

Fair summer droops, droop man and beasts therefore;
    So fair a summer look for never more,
All good things vanish, less than in a day,
    Peace, plenty, pleasure, suddenly decay ...

Gloria Barone, "Walter Feldman: A Visual Profile" in Point in Time: Walter Feldman Selected Works (Providence, 2010): "Often Feldman's books require few or no words, although the works are never silent. When words are employed, poetry is the likely medium. Feldman's books have paid tribute to the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and American poet Emily Dickinson by incorporating their verse into his work ... The work of poets and friends such as Edwin Honig, Michael Harper, Denise Levertov, James Schevill, and Barton Levi St. Armand also have found their way into Feldman's books. A personal one-of-a-kind work, Waning Summer, is bound in tapa cloth and features exquisite pen and ink drawings of trees near Feldman's country home interspersed with pages containing actual skins shed by a snake on the property that summer. Feldman's books raise provocative questions about what a book or cover is."

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Sold and out of print work by Walter Feldman:  

IV Sonnets
By William Shakespeare
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 1994. Edition of 30.

9.75 x 4.75"; 24 unnumbered pages. Printed on Arches heavyweight and green handmade rag. Relief prints cut by artist and printed directly from the blocks. Metal cover etching made from an original drawing. Blind embossing (on the Introduction page) made from metal photo-engraving and printed on an antique etching press. Text printed on a Universal III Vandercook. Bound in green cloth with tab closure.

Walter Feldman, introduction: "Reading and rereading Shakespeare's sonnets has for many years brought me much joy and pleasure. This is especially so during the year-end holiday season. I would like to share this feeling of quiet and peace with others. So this year I designed and printed this modest volume of four of the sonnets that play well.

"My personal comments are principally embodied in the relief print accompaniments. If the sonnets and images give you some peaceful moments in this tense world, it will have been work the effort."

The four Sonnets included are XXIV, XVII, XIX, CVI.

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The Alphabet Book...WW II
A Short History of the Second World War in Two Volumes
By Walter Feldman
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 1996. Edition of 35.

14.1 x 11.5"; two volumes (31 unnumbered leaves; 27 unnumbered pages). Ring binding. Printed on heavy mouldmade Somerset. Collage images in Volume I printed silkscreen and letterpress. Relief images in Volume II printed letterpress. Bound in brown bookcloth and housed in a matching slipcase.

Donald Kuspit, Catalog, Walter Feldman: Recent Work, September 7 - October 5, 2007: "In 1942, Feldman entered Yale University to continue his art education, but plans were delayed by World War II. He spent 1943 to 1946 as an infantryman in the United States Army and rose in rank to Lieutenant of Infantry. He was assigned to Potsdam Peace Conference as an aide. ...

"While at war, Feldman found himself under small arms fire in the forests of the Ardennes, more commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge. The shards of shrapnel that lodged in his lower back left a lifetime injury, and the trauma of his near-death and harrowing rescue made a lasting impact on him. Feldman used art as therapy for the wounds of war. While recuperating in Paris, he was told he would never walk again. But he did. And as he recovered, he learned to paint through his pain and found healing through brush and canvas.

"World War II plays a prominent role in Feldman's art and life. The Holocaust continues to haunt him. He created an alphabet book using locations and personalities from World War II ... [H]is art often serves as a testament to the powerful, lasting consequences of human conflict."

Walter Feldman, The Alphabet Book .... "Introduction": "During the summer of 1995 I was reminded that it was 50 years since World War II came to an end. The Alphabet Book, World War II began to take form ... I also began a series of collages that consisted of letters in a variety of fonts for the 26 letters of the alphabet. These designs are concerned not only with letter identity but also with the formal relationships of their distinctive shapes within the geometry of the circle.

"I worked on a list of names, places, and events that would outline a kind of short history of the 2nd World War. ...

"The point size of these words, their positions and their type faces have no particular significance other than aesthetic and typographical. Some names are listed with military rank or other designations; others simply the name. These decisions were based only on the design needs of the page. The dingbat arrows, circles, and other shapes make reference to war maps and troop movements. The ring binding was selected in order to insure that each page published lie absolutely flat."

The Alphabet Book consists of two volumes. Volume I is the typographical series of collages from a to z. Volume II contains short essays identifying each alphabetical item in Volume 1. Seven items are supplemented by a 9 x 7" black-and-white print on a separate leaf.

The intelligence bureau of the Third Reich headed by Rear Admiral Walter Wilhelm Canaris. ...

A crystalline pesticide ... when exposed to air, the cyanide based Zyklon B becomes a deadly gas ...


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Babi Yar: A Poem
By Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Providence, Rhode Island: Ziggurat Press, 2003. Edition of 25.

Design and visual accompaniments by Walter Feldman. The visual accompaniments to the poetry are two color relief blocks and are printed in gray and black. Letterpress printed. Paper is handmade. Accordion fold with striking dark purple cloth covered case. Paper title on front. With an introduction by Barton Levi St. Armand.

Walter Feldman decided to publish this volume upon hearing the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform Dimitri Shostakovish's 13th Symphony for bass solo and bass chorus with orchestra. It was in 2003 that Feldman decided to publish - "On the threshold of another possible world conflict it seems appropriate to again return to the words of that great Russian, Yevtushenko." The poem brings to the forefront issues such as Anti-Semitism, intolerance and brutality.

Simultaneously, Yevtushenko calls into question what exactly it means to be Russian, Jewish, or perhaps, both, leading the reader down the dark, but path of a writer attempting to understand how such a brutal mass murder could have taken place.

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Page last update: 07.17.17


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