Lithographs from the 1928 publishing of Fay- Yen-Fah by H.J. Stowitts
Originally titled Land of Happiness, Fay-Yen-Fah was an extravagant Opera written and composed by Templeton Crocker and Joseph Redding. The two turned to H.J. Stowitts, also known as “America’s First Ambassador of International Culture,” to create the costumes and sets. This process of research, painting, and creating took over three years to execute. This was Crocker and Redding’s first professional production and premiered in Paris in 1925. Stowitts then created lithographs from his creations that were published as a series in Paris in 1928.
This collection holds 52 elaborate prints of both costumes and set design. H.J. Stowitts used the same lithography process as a well-known surrealist and dada artist, Man Ray. Man Ray’s process was especially tedious and the printer had to be extremely precise. In typical lithography, there are 4 or fewer separations in the process. Man Ray and Stowitts used six or more in their technical execution. Just like the work on the stage show, the intensity of H.J. Sotwitts’ process created a series of lithographs like no one had ever seen.