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Beatrice reports on Michael P. on Henry’s “Into the Night Life”

On June 22, HML archivist and Emile Norman Arts Foundation Artist in Residence Michael Paduano presented his rare complete set of original sheets of “Into the Night Life,” an experimental 1947 project designed by Henry and artist Bezalel Schatz.

Beatrice Victoria Thornton was there and took these pictures below.

Proving that “no good deed goes unpunished,” we reached out to her to get her take on the events, and here is her synopsis! Thanks, Beatrice!

It was an illuminating treat on Saturday June 22, watching Michael Paduano, current Emile Norman Arts Foundation Artist in Residence, and Canadian Scholar and archivist, present his research on Miller’s rare artist book, Into the Night Life, a 1947 serigraph, experimental collaboration work Miller and Israeli artist Bezalel Schatz.

Paduano read the text, which is a passage from Black Spring, and discussed changes between the original and finished text, such as word choices like the decision to use tulip vs. rhododendron. He also read another image-filled passage where Henry describes the pulsating raw energy of New York’s Lower East Side, which Paduano noted could have also made an excellent choice to illustrate such a book. The pages are so fresh, the colors so brilliant, they look as though printed yesterday.

Bezalel made each page while renting an apartment in Berkeley explicitly for this project. The surviving copies were until recently stored on Partington Ridge and have since been archived by Paduano. Bezalel and Miller met through Hilaire Hiler, the painter, color theorist, and psychologist whom Henry mentions in The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.

Currently, only a scattering of copies of Into the Night Life are accessible to the public through academic libraries, institutions, and private collections.

Now, thanks to Paduano’s rigorous archiving of the remaining copies, the Library has plans to offer these for sale and will retain a set for itself.

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