Np, 1989. 11 1/2 x 12 1/2. Eighteen leaves, each painted a background color. The text pages, presented as double spreads, are painted in pale pinks and purples. Vibrant, colorful images flow throughout in ink and mixed media: maps and charts, indecipherable hieroglyphics, "cribriform" glyphs, symbols and graphs, mathematical formulae, and uncompleted diagrams. Signed in pencil on the title-page.
Binding by Ely has 3 panels on each cover: dark brown and tan pigskin tooled with symbols & diagrams in colors & metallics bracket a central one of incised & welded metal sprayed with gold & silver and containing bits of soil from Philip Smith's garden. In a linen box lined with a complex painting, the covers also with mounted illustrations. Fine. Item #18626
Ely created this book for Philip Smith and
swapped it for one of Smith's bindings-- a wonderful work uniting two giants among book artists. Ely writes "Missing Diagrams" grew out of a vicious edit in my opinion, and I so value Smith's contribution to my work and life and that this book is not all it could have been." Some 80 pages of text and illustrations were edited out from Smith's "New Directions in Bookbinding" in order to save paper and money.
Timothy Ely and Philip Smith were also friends. When they participated in shows at the American Craft Museum in NYC, Smith stayed in the Ely apartment. At one show they discussed the editing of Smith's book, and also the possibility of trading bindings. Smith was exhibiting one of his bindings on a copy of "Silmarillion." He later traded it for "Missing Diagrams."