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As a teenaged ambulance driver on the French battle fields in World War I, Harry Crosby had narrowly escaped death, but in a sense, found himself dead inside. To fill the void, he began to evolve a bizarre personal religion, based on a conventional sun-worship coupled with his own idea of a prepared, not random death. These two themes were fused in his image of a black sun, a sun of madness and death, which demanded a "sun-death" at a specified time so that the soul might ascend into the sun. At one point, Harry and Caresse agreed to fly a plane into the sun and it was to this end, as well as for his interest in flying and speed as sexual metaphors, that he received his solo pilot’s license in 1929. Sun, speed, blackness and death, and his highly personal interpretation of them, increasingly obsess and obscure the writings of his later years, and extend even to works of art which he commissioned.

[A list of some items on display follows:]

  • "Sun Robe." Red silk, made for Harry Crosby, c. 1927
  • Bakst, Leon (Lev Samoîlovich Bakst). "The Marriage of the Sun and Moon." Gilt and silver gilt, c. 1928? 26.5 x 20.6 cm. Holograph transcription by Harry Crosby, including title on verso.
  • Black silk flower (invariably worn as a boutonniere by Harry Crosby)
  • Crosby, Harry. "Black Sun." Crayon drawing, c. 1927? 23.8 x 15.5 cm. (The signature is an early variant on Harry’s sun signature) …