Silver, chromium-plated copper, or polished bronze, plexiglas base
5 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (14 x 8.9 x 3.8 cm)
Initialed bottom and marked with edition number edge, bottom.
Classification: sculpture (editioned)

Sculpture (Editioned)

Catalogue entries for editioned sculpture provide conception and fabrication dates, dimensions, and transcriptions of inscriptions with brief summaries highlighting inconsistencies within editions.

All fabricators involved with an edition are documented, including their location at the time of fabrication and, when available, key workshop staff. Publishers and commissioners involved in the production and distribution of a sculpture are also listed. 

Remarks address conflicting information, historical cataloguing errors or other unclear details.

Primary Images usually illustrate an individual work in an edition, often with multiple images taken from various angles. Research Images document inscriptions or other details of interest.

Edition Numbers

When edition numbers for individual casts could not be confirmed, the edition number is given as "unkn" to mean unknown. The works may or may not correspond to other works in the same edition with incomplete provenance.

Dates

Conception dates for editioned sculpture are based on the year a collage or prototype, used for the edition's fabrication, was completed. Approximate dates are indicated with circa "c." Fabrication dates follow the conception date in parentheses and are based on the year(s) in which individual works in an edition were delivered by the fabricator to the artist’s studio to be painted, usually shortly after delivery.

Dimensions

Dimensions reflect fabricators' dimensions recorded in official paperwork or documented in studio files maintained by the artist or his estate whenever available; otherwise, they stem from Castelli records, RL Studio Cards or the catalogue team's research.

Inscriptions

Despite extensive research efforts, physical examination or documentation of inscriptions was not always possible. In these cases, the signature transcription says "[no information]." When information came from an external source, e.g., an auction catalogue, inscriptions are given verbatim with a reference.

Provenance

Provenance histories for editions of 3, 6, 8, and 12 works are provided. For larger sculpture editions, provenance has not been researched and descriptive details, such as individual signature transcriptions, are not given. Entries follow instead a format similar to print entries.

(Contrary to entries for large sculpture editions, the catalogue provides provenance for all of Lichtenstein's banner and tapestry editions, regardless of their size, to document their complex histories.) See: 4.2. BANNER (EDITIONED)

Research

Primary sources consulted are mainly the rich materials in the RLF Archives, such as studio correspondence, fabricator agreements and invoices, publisher’s royalty reports, shipping receipts, business logs and loan forms. In addition, frequent conversations were held with former fabricator staff and studio assistants. James dePasquale, Lichtenstein's assistant since the early 1970s, was primarily responsible for painting the artist's smaller sculptures after they were delivered by the fabricator to the artist’s studio. He served as an invaluable source for questions about media details and process.  

Posthumous Casts

In accordance with Lichtenstein's intentions or unrealized plans left at the time of his passing, the Estate of the artist, after consultation with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, produced a select group of monumental and smaller casts. They are described as such in their catalogue entries.

In all cases, production was based on extended research and documentation with historical indications. The same fabricators were used for the posthumous casts as for the lifetime casts, with oversight provided by the artist's assistant James dePasquale, reflecting a standard studio practice. Often, the casts were made with higher quality materials and improved engineering, paint systems, etc., due to a less restrictive budget.

Posthumous casts, which do not reflect or expand lifetime editions are not included in the catalogue. For further information see: Projects of the ERL.

Read more: Guide to the Catalogue
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Catalogue entry

Artwork: Salute to Airmail, c. 1968 (published 1969) (RLCR 1637)  Silver cast
Silver cast
Artwork: Salute to Airmail, c. 1968 (published 1969) (RLCR 1637)  Silver cast, back view
Artwork: Salute to Airmail, c. 1968 (published 1969) (RLCR 1637)  Silver cast, back view
Artwork: Salute to Airmail, c. 1968 (published 1969) (RLCR 1637)  Polished bronze cast
Artwork: Salute to Airmail, c. 1968 (published 1969) (RLCR 1637)  Chromium-plated copper cast
RLCR 1637 (LC 1051, LC G-39, LC G-40, LC G-41; RL 1175)
Salute to Airmail
c. 1968 (published 1969)
Title Source
Castelli; RL Studio Card
Media
Silver, chromium-plated copper, or polished bronze, plexiglas base
Dimensions
5 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (14 x 8.9 x 3.8 cm)
Description
Edition of 150; 12 AP. Includes casts in solid silver (50, 4 APs), chromium-plated copper (48, 4 APs), and polished bronze (50, 4 APs).

1969 casts:
Ed. 1–30 (silver, chromium-plated copper and polished bronze)
Publisher: International Collector's Society, New York
Fabricators: Medallic Art Company, New York (cast); Robert Kulicke (plexiglas base)

1986 casts:
Ed. 31–50 (silver and polished bronze)
Ed. 31–48 (chromium-plated copper)
Publisher: James Goodman Gallery, Inc., New York
Fabricators: Medallic Art Company, Danbury, Conn. (cast); Robert Kulicke (plexiglas base)
Inscriptions
Initialed bottom and marked with edition number edge, bottom.
Remarks

In 1968, the International Collectors Society of New York commissioned the artist to create this editioned sculpture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of both the United States Airmail Service (1968) and United States International Airmail Service (1969). Each cast came with a certificate of authenticity from the International Collectors Society. The artist produced two 17-inch plaster maquettes (RLCR 4757.1-2) depicting in high relief the Empire State Building, an airmail plane in flight and other Art Deco symbols (per an undated letter from the President of the International Collectors Society, New York, to its members, RLF Archives); these were used to devise a mold for the reduced-sized tabletop sculpture. More than half of the edition was cast in three metals in 1969 with the balance done with the artist’s permission in 1986 by James Goodman Gallery, New York. 

Keyword
Commission
Photo: Courtesy of Rago/Wright (Primary Image 3); Courtesy of Rago/Wright (Primary Image 4)
Related Works
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