MAGNIFICENT LARGE SIGNED AND INSCRIBED PHOTOGRAPH OF EINSTEIN, WITH AN IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION.
The large (9.75 x 13 inches) photograph shows Einstein in a strong, dramatic pose with a pipe in his mouth, depicted from the side with his head turned toward the viewer, looking slightly downward into the camera. An almost smokey background emphasizes the sharp, crisp lines of Einstein’s face and hair. The high contrast of the print adds to the unusual camera positioning to create a beautiful, majestic portrait.
Inscribed in ink on the image, above the bowl of the pipe: “Herr Reves / A. Einstein / 1938”.
The recipient, the Hungarian-born Emery Reves (1904-1981), was an influential figure in Einstein’s life. A writer, economist, political operative, and literary agent for Winston Churchill, Reves shared with Einstein a passionate dedication to pacifism and anti-Nazi causes. In 1945, Reves published a highly influential book, The Anatomy of Peace, arguing for the cause of world federalism. Einstein whole-heartedly endorsed the book, writing to J. Robert Oppenheimer on September 29, 1945:
“Mr. Emery Reves, whom I have known for many years and with whom I have often discussed urgent political problems, has sent me a copy of the statement which you and your colleagues issued for the enlightenment of the public and the government. While I was very much pleased by the candid language and the sincerity of the statement, I was, at the same time, somewhat bewildered by the political recommendations, which I consider inadequate... At the present high level of industrialization and economic inter-dependence, it is unthinkable that we can achieve peace without a genuine supranational organization to govern international relations. If war is to be avoided, anything less than such an overall solution strikes me as illusory.
“A few weeks ago, Emery Reves published a short book entitled The Anatomy of Peace which, in my opinion, explains the problem as clearly and pertinently as anyone ever has. I have learnt that several men who play an active role in public life are taking steps to make the book known to every American. I urge you and your colleagues to read it and discuss its conclusions. Although it was written before the explosion of the atomic bomb, it contains a solution which is directly applicable to the problem created by this new weapon. I shall be glad to send you a number of copies for distribution or to mail copies directly to you and your colleagues if you send me their addresses. I am convinced that the political part of the statement which you and your colleagues issued would have been formulated differently, had the facts and discussions presented in this book been make known to whose who drafted the statement...” (quoted from Einstein on Peace, Otto Nathan, ed.)
Silver gelatin print. c.1938. Image size: 9.75 x 13 inches. Handsomely framed to an overall size of 18 x 21 inches. A little rippling to the print, visible mainly from an angle, with some hairline loss at height of ripples. Inscription a little light.
AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE IMAGE: We have been unable to locate another example (either signed, unsigned, or published), nor have we been able to identify the photographer.