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Title and Introduction pages, from Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone

A work made of letterpress on folded ivory laid paper.

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  • A work made of letterpress on folded ivory laid paper.




Lee Bontecou (American, 1931-2022)
text hand-set and hand-printed by Christopher Pullman (American, 20th century)
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


Title and Introduction pages, from Fifth Stone, Sixth Stone


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Letterpress on folded ivory laid paper


Folded sheet: 51 × 32.7 cm (20 1/8 × 12 7/8 in.); Unfolded sheet: 51 × 66 cm (20 1/8 × 26 in.)

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

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