France, Cleveland, and others: 1912-1970. Substantial private and professional archive of Cleveland-based artist, ad-man, typographer, designer, and Kokoon Klub member Lawrence Harl Copeland (1889-1977). Collection consists of fifty-seven (57) pieces of correspondence of which fifty-one were written by Copeland to his then-fiancée (and later wife) Helene Bander while a private serving in France during World War I, amounting to 209 pages of text; fifty-nine (59) leaves of sample letterhead designs; thirty-two (32) trade catalogs; fifteen (15) Christmas cards and letters of condolence to the Copelands; nineteen (19) pieces of original art by Harl Copeland; twenty-one (21) maquettes, including early states of plates from the author's work "Pith"; seventeen (17) Christmas cards designed by Copeland, including various states; three publications on typography, one inscribed by the author to Copeland; twenty-five (25) newspaper clippings; a copy of Copeland's artist book "Pith" (1931); two original steel cut blocks for Copeland's Christmas cards; one plaster relief of a nude woman (32.5x28cm.) designed by Copeland for the Kokoon Klub; one oil painting still life by Copeland's fellow Kokoon Klub member William Sommer (1867-1949); and two pieces of attendant ephemera, including a printed slip accomplished in manuscript noting Copeland's entry for the $1000 Sunburst Cover Prize submitted in 1921 while he was employed with Full & Smith; and one invitation to the Kokoon Klub for the Eighth Annual Auction of Kokoon Members, 1930. Copeland's collection of letterhead samples quite dampstained, else the remaining contents of the collection are in Very Good to Fine condition. Item #1234
Large of the professional and amorous output of artist and typographer Lawrence Harl Copeland. Includes what appears to be the complete cache of his love letters, some with original illustrations of his environs, written to fiancée (and later wife) Helene Bander during his complete tour of duty in France during World War I. The early letters describe his distaste for military service: "the fourteenth district downstairs has everything in the mess hall these foreigners eat like hogs and never take the trouble to pass anything to somebody else" (from Camp Sherman, Ohio, April 29, 1918). Two days later: "Last evening when I was lounging on my cot there thinking of Helene there was a big [crapps] game at the foot. The environment is not one I would appreciate far less enjoy." Of special interest is Copeland's strained relationship with his younger sister Maud during the War, his letter dated May 16 noting "Maud has been inflicted with considerable war propaganda at the college and I get it about every letter from her" while a letter from Maud to Helene dated May 20 notes "I can almost imagine how [Harl] feels with the attitude he has towards the war. With me it would be much different for I think we've either got to beat the Germans or say goodbye to freedom although I don't think Harl is much in favor or our freedom as we'll call it..." Harl's letters cover a detailed visit to his and Helene's alma mater the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, which he visited while at Camp Merritt in New York, before being shipped overseas to France. Once there the tone of the letters grown increasingly less romantic and more dire, his second letter from France, dated July 5, 1918, noting "just picture me billited [sic] on the earth floor of a French tile factory. Dust, you can't get out of it"; while a few weeks later he notes "There is one member of the Kokoon Klub here in the same regiment and I have seen him frequently. The other day he told me that he had received a letter from the president saying that the Klub has sent us a treat. While we appreciate this very much, and the spirit displayed I cannot say how we would enjoy it if we ever got it." Copeland's vague descriptions of combat are seen keenly through the eyes of the artist, one of the earliest references to immediate danger written on September 15: "I regret very much that I did not make a sketch that evening we were out among those shattered trees. It was cold and somewhat rainy and the sunset was magnificent in color and clouds, and there we were in No Man's Land." The bulk of the combat content only appears at the end of the war, starting with a letter dated November 24: "Two more times over the top, [?], hiking, and lined up again one morning for combat and at eleven o'clock the guns stopped firing. Thus the war ended." In a letter from a week later Copeland expands on his combat experiences, noting that "Clarence sent me a letter telling me not to take any chances with the Huns, and kill everyone and seemed to take it for granted that I had killed some already. Well as yet I have never seen a Dutchman in combat, never shot the rifle, nor ever had an American grenade in my hand. On November ninth I sat in a shell hole all day with machine gun bullets whistling over our heads. The next morning we went over the top and I know what it is to carry a wounded friend off the field."
Following his return from France, Copeland married Helene and worked as a graphic and type designer, the contents of the archive including a typescript draft with manuscript corrections of a letter written on Copeland Art letterhead and addressed to the US Civil Service Commission, May 11, 1939: "In answer to my application for Chief Artist Designer I received R. No. 716 January 1939 marking me 50.00 and inelligible...This need not sound ugly but does anyone on the Commission know which letters in the alphabet design are wide, which are narrow and why?" Though he may not have nailed the job application, Copeland's curriculum vitae included advertisement work for Kewpie Dolls (a maquette of which is included here), as well as trade catalogs issued by Ivanhoe Oil-Burning Stoves; the American Fruit Grower, whose Christmas issues for 1936 and 1937 feature cover art by Copeland; Gittelman's Sons fur company; and the Super Flex Oil Burning fridge. Original artwork by Copeland, including portrait and architectural sketches, span almost his entire career, from 1912 to the mid-1960s. A substantial collection detailing the artist at work, at war, and in love.