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Cover, from Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone

A work made of aquatint with etching in black on ivory cloth.

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  • A work made of aquatint with etching in black on ivory cloth.




Lee Bontecou (American, born 1931)
printed by Donn Steward (American, 1921-1986)
published by Universal Limited Art Editions (American, founded 1955)

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.

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Prints and Drawings


Lee Bontecou


Cover, from Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone


United States




Aquatint with etching in black on ivory cloth


522 × 343 mm (image/plate); 979 × 428 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

U.L.A.E. Collection acquired through a challenge grant of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dittmer; restricted gift of 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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