The Definitive Dwiggins No. 51—What Is the West?
Between early 1907 and the end of 1912 W.A. Dwiggins did roughly 75 jobs for either G. Schirmer or its affiliate the Boston Music Co. through The Merrymount Press and its proprietor Daniel Berkeley Updike.  The great majority were done in 1909, including the subject of this post: From the West: Symphonic Poem for the Organ (Op. 60) by Edwin H. Lemare (New York: G. Schirmer and Boston: Boston Music Co., 1909).
For the Schirmer/Boston music titles Dwiggins contributed various items ranging from vignettes and lettering for covers and title pages to title page headpieces, borders, and illustrations. Occasionally, he did an entire title page with the exception of the imprint. For From the West Dwiggins drew a vignette that became the subject of a brief, but amusing, tussle with Schirmer over the nature of how to visually represent “the West.”
On March 9, 1909 Updike wrote to Dwiggins:
I have a music title to design for Schirmer called “From the West” a Symphonic Poem for the Organ. It is dedicated to J.J. Binns. Whether this is the celebrated Jack Binns, the wireless telegrapher, or not, I do not know, but some how it does not seem to me to come into the 18th century engraved category. So will you make me a rotund design which when reproduced shall come to not more than 2 1/2 inches in diameter, or even 2 1/4 inches, which shall be in your nice “drawn” style and which shall indicate anything that you can think of “from the West.” Whether it is to be a symbolic figure looking toward the setting sun or a train of sorts coming across a desert, with the sun above, or what I do not pretend to know. And in particular, I am in a terrible hurry for it. 
In response to Updike’s request Dwiggins responded to his first suggestion. He drew a man, staff in hand, wearing a broad-brimmed hat with his shirt wrapped around his waist standing in front of a setting sun, all within a double-border circle. Updike duly submitted the design to Schirmer and a few weeks later they sent it back to him. Here is what Updike told Dwiggins:
This title has been returned to me from Schirmer, who write me that they wish me to subsitute some other design.
The point is raised that the figure conveys to one’s mind the impression of a Pilgrim with staff and scrip, which is typical of the East rather than the West. They add, “It is a pity not to be able use such a nice design, but the gentleman does not seem to be from Missouri.”
I am sure I do not know what to suggest, perhaps a plain with baggage wagons. But for Heaven’s sake, do not take this too seriously, because it may be wrong. I send you a proof to show how it will go. I think that the present design is too large. I think that it should be, say 3/8 of an inch less in diameter than now.
May I ask you to hurry, just as much as possible on this as we are late with it. 
It is hard to understand how Schirmer could confuse Dwiggins’ figure with a Pilgrim, but they had a valiant point that the drawing did not quickly convey the concept of “the West.” Their reference to a gentleman from Missouri is not only a reminder that the first movement of Lemare’s symphony was titled “In Missouri,” but that, even in the early years of the 20th century, Easterners thought of St. Louis as the West. (In his correspondence, Dwiggins frequently referred to his home state of Ohio as the West.)
In response to Schirmer’s criticism, Dwiggins took up Updike’s second suggestion. Two days later he sent a new drawing (with the size adjusted) to Updike, explaining that, “It is intended to represent a string of freight-wagons such as they used in the west, dragging across a desert.”  This design, shown enlarged below, is much more evocative of the Great Plains than the man with a staff, but reduced it is difficult to decipher quickly. At least it placated Schirmer. 
Dwiggins’ vignette for From the West is not a major part of his oeuvre. What makes it of interest is the interaction between Dwiggins, his client Updike, and Updike’s client G. Schirmer. When Schirmer rejected the first drawing neither Updike nor Dwiggins made any complaint. Dwiggins simply made a new one. This willingness to accede to the wishes of a client marked his entire career.
 It is hard to calculate the exact number since Dwiggins’ account books are not precise about each job and the Merrymount Press business records do not always mention Dwiggins for jobs that he was involved in.
 D.B. Updike to W.A. Dwiggins, 3 March 1909. Huntington Library, The Merrymount Press Collection, Box 69, 108:293. From the West is job no. 5565 in The Merrymount business records.
 D.B. Updike to W.A. Dwiggins, 24 March 1909. Huntington Library, The Merrymount Press Collection, Box 69, 108:298.
 W.A. Dwiggins to D.B. Updike, 26 March 1909. Huntington Library, The Merrymount Press Collection, Box 69, 108:301 and 108:302.
 There is no more correspondence between Updike and Dwiggins about From the West after March 26, 1909. Dwiggins was paid $5.00 for his efforts. See the Huntington Library, The Merrymount Press Collection, Job Book no. 13, 5565 3 March 1909.