The Human Volcano: the Stories of Captain Don, One Man Side Show, Sword Swallower, Fire Eater and Tattooed Man

by Alan Govenar


Details: Arcadian Press (Caren Heft), Racine, Wisconsin, 2013
Edition: 35
Letterpress and photographs on handmade and altered papers; double-sided accordion; 10 1/4” x 15” x 1 1/2”; one side employs vintage wooden type; presented in a bright orange wooden box that has been decorated by smoke, laid into a niche in the box bottom is a DVD of The Human Volcano.

This is a documentation of Captain Don Leslie, a carnival midway sword swallower, tattooed man, fire eater (human volcano), block head, and human pin cushion. Captain Don, December 26, 1937 - June 4, 2007, spoke extensively with Alan Govenar before his death about his life in the carnival and how it worked. For example, each act was paid, so several acts meant several paychecks. The text is a poignant glimpse into a world most of us have never considered. The book is accompanied by a DVD of The Human Volcano.

The Book Arts of Alan Govenar and Caren Heft are featured in the following public collections:

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Memorial Library, Chicago, Illinois
James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archive, Virginia Commnwealth University, Richmond,Virginia
Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois
Anne Bromer Books, Boston, Massachusetts
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas
Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts
Cedar Valley College, Dallas, Texas
University of Houston, Houston, Texas
African American Museum, Dallas, Texas
Musée de L’Erotisme, Paris, France
Wustum Museum Artists Book Archive, Racine, Wisconsin
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
New York Public Library, New York, New York
Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Los Angeles, California
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina
California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland,California
Art of the Book Collection, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
The Jaffee Collection, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
University of Milkwaukee, Milkwaukee, Wisconsin
Kohler Art Library, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Henry Buhl Foundation, New York, New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts