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Study for Cover, from Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone

A work made of graphite on tan wove paper.

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  • A work made of graphite on tan wove paper.




Lee Bontecou
American, born 1931

About this artwork

Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone is an illustrated book that includes seven etchings (with aquatint) by Lee Bontecou—six appear in the interior, and the seventh graces the book ’s cloth cover. Text facing the etchings describes the production, a few years earlier, of the lithographs Fifth Stone (1963) and Sixth Stone (1964).

The text is by the young poet Tony Towle, who had recently arrived at U.L.A.E. as secretary in 1964 and wrote an account of watching Bontecou make the lithographs Fifth Stone and Sixth Stone. In response, she created several etchings reminiscent of the lithographs. The fact that Bontecou decided to produce etchings that evoke the spirit of the original lithographs is part of the book’s eccentricity.

This work is part of the significant holdings in the U.L.A.E. archive owned by the Art Institute that documents the gestation of Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone. In all, the archive includes etching plates; preparatory and transfer drawings; working, trial, and artist’s proofs; as well as a prototype for the box that would contain the book.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Lee Bontecou


Study for Cover, from Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone


United States




Graphite on tan wove paper


545 × 368 mm

Credit Line

U.L.A.E. Collection acquired through a challenge grant of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dittmer; purchased with funds provided by supporters of the Department of Prints and Drawings; Centennial Endowment; Margaret Fisher Endowment Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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