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Victor Roland Anderson, A Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Artist, 1934

April 20, 2019

Danton O’Day has sent us details of another special copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which he has in his collection.  This version is illustrated and calligraphed by Victor Anderson.  Danton writes as follows.

While reorganizing the bookshelves holding my collection of Rubaiyat books, I came across an interesting copy that I had purchased a couple of years previously. Since I was primarily interested in the earliest artists (1884-1929) and since this was a recent reproduction of some artwork done in 1934, I had ignored it. But looking at the beautiful illustrations and calligraphy, I decided to find out more about this book. It didn’t take long because Moira Anderson Allen, the granddaughter of Victor and compiler/editor of the book in question, was easy to find and willing to share information.

Victor Anderson’s artwork for the first version of Edward FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat was done on “large (elephant-folio size) sheets of parchment” which made Moira’s job of generating images and trimming them for the landscape 11½” x 8½”, 20-page family publication difficult. A few trimmed images from that book, plus an enlarged portion of one, are shown here with her permission.

Born in San Francisco to Swedish parents, Victor Anderson remained a Californian throughout his life. He was a graphic artist who worked mainly for California Art and Engraving. A multi-talented artist who worked in various media, he never achieved fame equivalent to his talent. I’m hoping to present more images and information as the tale of this previously undiscovered Rubaiyat artist unfolds.

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