December 2, 2014

Dec 2

Just Kids

Patti Smith


Bid Online Share: 

SOLD: $20,000

First edition. Signed on title page, with numerous items loosely inserted, including an autograph manuscript note, signed 9 March 2014. That note (on Relais-Hotel du Dieux Paris stationery) reminds us “Today is the twenty-fifth anniversary of Robert’s passing. I have completed my notations. They are really embellishments as I felt I could really not add nor analyze what I had already written.” She has instead offered “a handful of thoughts, some poems, and three [annotated] pictures: The Tambourine, The Necklace, The Star. All given with humble devotion to the task at hand, that of remembering Robert.” Also, loosely inserted, is the autographed manuscript of “Wild Leaves,” written for Robert’s 41st birthday. She has also inscribed and signed the end matter: “A note to the new owner. Thank you for supporting PEN. Patti Smith.”

The poems include those she wrote about Mapplethorpe after his death: “Who will sing of his blessedness? / The blameless eye, the radiant grin / For he, his own messenger, is gone…” But the “embellishments” add still greater depth to the portrait of her friend—and of a cultural moment: “Robert was always himself. He was not bound by sexual identity. He was bound to Art. He was the artist of my life…. Robert was profoundly influenced by Midnight Cowboy. It permeated his work and the new choices he made in his night adventures.” Other important figures appear in her annotations: “Gregory [Corso] passed away in the winter of 2001. I sang ‘Stardust’ for him, at his bedside. He was buried in Rome, at the foot of the poet Shelly, whom he adored.” Smith also tells us that “I was originally going to call this book ‘Picturing Robert.’ But someone published a book called ‘Picturing Hemingway.’ I meditated, anguished over the title until I found an entry in a journal from 1967. The phrase ‘Just Kids’ served my mission to give the reader our youth.” An incredibly moving artistic tribute.

SMITH, Patti (b. 1946). Just Kids. New York: Ecco Press, 2010. 8°. Original cloth-backed boards; dust jacket.



© Edward Mapplethorpe

Patti Smith was born in Chicago, raised in South Jersey, and migrated to New York in 1967. Her first recording, Horses, was inducted into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. Her subsequent albums include Radio EthiopiaEasterWave, Dream of Life, Gone Again, Peace and Noise, Gung Ho, Trampin’, Land, Twelve, and most recently, Banga. In addition to her career in music, Smith is also an author and visual artist. She was awarded the 2010 National Book Award for her acclaimed memoir Just Kids, which chronicled her friendship and journey in art with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe; her other books include Witt, Babel, Coral Sea, Woolgathering, and Auguries of Innocence. Her art has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide. Smith’s career in the arts has earned her numerous cultural honors, including an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was honored as a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and received the ASCAP Founders Award for lifetime achievement, the 2013 Katharine Hepburn Medal from Bryn Mawr College, and the 2014 Barnard College Medal of Distinction.