TOKLAS, Alice B. (1877-1967). Autograph note signed (“A.B.T.”). Chicago, n.d, late 1934-early 1935. 1 page, 8vo, visible area 230 x 144 mm, on Drake Hotel stationary, light creasing, matted and framed with a photographic portrait of Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein after an image by Carl Van Vechten, unexamined out of frame.
“If you leave the books at the desk of the hotel wrapped and addressed to Miss Gertrude Stein she will sign them. Enclose a label with your name please and call for them two days later.”
In October 1934, Stein and Toklas arrived in the United States after a 30-year absence for a 6-month book tour, the last time either would visit their country of birth. They were known to have visited Chicago and stayed at the Drake Hotel in late November and early December 1934. While there, Stein gave a lecture at the Friday Club, a women’s literary society, and they took the opportunity to see the Chicago premiere of Four Saints in Three Acts, for which Stein had written the libretto. This marked the first time they had seen the opera with music by Virgil Thomson, revolutionary in form and content, the work was groundbreaking for its all-black cast with the singers directed by the prominent African American choral director Eva Jessye (1895-1992).