April 2013 Archives

K.K. Merker

Karl Kimber Merker

K.K. Merker, letterpress printer, book designer, fly fisherman, pheasant hunter, jazz singer, poker player and poet, passed away on Sunday, April 28 in Iowa City. Princeton University Library is fortunate to hold at least one copy of each of his books, thanks to the generosity of Daniel and Mary Jane Woodward. The following information on Mr. Merker’s life is thanks to the University of Iowa Center for the Book, presented here with a few of our volumes.

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Kim Merker was the founder of the University of Iowa Center for the Book. His vision led to the creation of the UICB in 1986, the establishment of a certificate program in 1996, and an MFA degree in 2011. Through the Windhover Press, established in 1967 as one of the first teaching fine presses at a university, and the subsequent programs at the University of Iowa Center for the Book, Merker was a major influence in the establishment and growth of many fine printing and book art programs across the country.

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Kim Merker came to Iowa City in 1956 as a poet and a student in the Writers’ Workshop. While at the University he had the opportunity to work with Harry Duncan, who operated the highly regarded Cummington Press and who was then the director of the Typography Laboratory in the School of Journalism. Duncan and Merker collaborated on a number of publications. The Stone Wall Press was established by Merker and Raeburn Miller, a fellow student in the Writers’ Workshop who was soon to leave Iowa City in pursuit of an academic career.

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Merker published such renowned poets as Ezra Pound and Theodore Roethke as well as younger poets such as W. S. Merwin, Donald Justice, Mark Strand, and Philip Levine. As Dana Gioia wrote about Kim Merker in 1997, “To his lasting credit, he has published the writers, mainly poets, in whose literary merits he has believed. Today a checklist of his books may look like a Who’s Who of contemporary poetry, but Merker first published many of those authors early in their careers.”

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The Stone Wall books have been issued in editions of 200 to 300 copies. They employ fine printing papers, impeccably chosen type designs, nearly flawless hand-composition, meticulous printing executed on hand-presses, and hand-binding. The approach to design exercised in the books is pristine and classical in nature, and color is used with restraint. Theodore Roethke’s Sequence, Sometimes Metaphysical is a particularly elegant representation of the Stone Wall quality.

The establishment of the Windhover Press by Kim Merker in 1967 at The University of Iowa innovatively situated a private press in an academic setting. Windhover was in part a teaching press. Students with interests in bibliography, publishing, or bookmaking were able to work directly with Merker and to participate in the design and execution of the publications. The Windhover bibliography includes translations, poetry by distinguished international writers and little-known or unpublished literature by such historical figures as Thoreau and F. Scott Fitzgerald. John Hoole’s Journal Narrative Relative to Dr. Johnson’s Last Illness, a manuscript of primarily scholarly interest, is representative of the diversity of Windhover’s publications. Edition sizes and production methods are similar to those of the Stone Wall Press, and the high standards visible in those books were maintained under Merker’s direction.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Kim’s name to the University of Iowa Center for the Book, which he founded and in which his legacy lives on. A memorial service, interment and celebratory poker game are planned for this fall, details to be forthcoming. An obituary is expected to be published in the Iowa City Press Citizen at http://www.press-citizen.com

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Information in this announcement were derived from the following sources, which provide additional information on K.K. Merker, the Stone Wall Press, the Windhover Press, and a checklist of books by Kim Merker.

Karl Kimber Merker announcement The University of Iowa Center for the Book, http://book.grad.uiowa.edu/news/04-29-2013/karl-kimber-merker-1932-2013

Amert, Kay, “Works Printed by K.K. Merker: the Stone Wall Press, the Windhover Press, and Others,” Introduction Kay Amert, Checklists O. M. Brack, Jr. and K. K. Merker, Books at Iowa 25, November 1976, The University of Iowa, http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/bai/amert.htm

O’Connell, Bonnie, “The Quality of Response: Kim Merker and the Literary Fine Press,” Books at Iowa 64, April 1996, The University of Iowa, http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/bai/oconnell.htm

Berger, Sidney E., Printing & the Mind of Merker: A Bibliographical Study , Grolier Club, New York, 1997.

Lorenzo Homar woodcuts found

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Lorenzo Homar (1913-2004), Unicornio en la Isla = Unicorn on the Island, 1965-66. 94 x 184.2 cm (37 x 72 1/2 in.). Woodcut on Japan paper. 2 copies, proof and final print. Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process

In moving furniture last week, several rolls of paper were found, having fallen behind a cabinet perhaps ten years ago. No damage was done and we now have three enormous woodcuts back in the collection of the Puerto Rican master printer Lorenzo Homar where they belong.

Each of the prints includes a long quote. The first is a poem by Tomas Blanco (1900-1975) entitled “Unicornio en la Isla.”

Isla de la palmera y la guajana
con cinto de bullentes arrecifes
y corola de soles.
Isla de amor y mar enamorado.
Bajo el viento:
los caballos azules con sus sueltas melenas;
y, con desnuda piel de ascuas doradas,
el torso de las dunas.
Isla de los coquís y los careyes
con afrodisio cinturón de espuma
y diadema de estrellas.
Isla de amor marino y mar embelesado.
Bajo los plenilunios:
Húmedas brisas, mágicas ensenadas, secretos matorrales…
Y el unicornio en la manigua alzado,
listo para la fuga, alerta y tenso.

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Lorenzo Homar (1913-2004), El Maestro=The Master, 1972. Woodcut on Japan paper 5/40, 28 x 37” Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process

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Thank you to the Susana Torruella Leval, 1993 Acting Director and Chief Curator, El Museo del Barrio, for her translation of the two quotations in this woodcut from speeches given by Pedro Albizu Campos (1891-1965) in 1930:

Nationalism is not merely the restoration of its lands to Puerto Rican hands, nor the salvation of its commerce and its finances; it is the nationality that stands to redeem its sovereignty and to save for its people their superior values of life. Colonization is the nullifying and the absorption of our moral forces that God entrusted to this land. If to one madman a people denies its personality, * also denies its capacity to verify any form of legal transaction. If to one people its personality is denied, also denied is its capacity to rule its own destiny and we are placed at the level of an irresponsible madman.
Ponce, 5 October 1930.

Puerto Rico has the right to its independence because when the agreement of Paris was signed, by which the United States took possession of the island, Puerto Rico had already enjoyed international recognition of its sovereignty and it is for this reason that Spain did not have the right to cede it in as much as the United States did not have the right to acquire it.
28 June 1930

Internationale tentoonstelling des Boekhandels

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Internationale tentoonstelling, Juli-Augustus 1892, bij gelegenheid van het vijf-en-zeventigjarig bestaan der Vereeniging ter Bevordering van de Belangen des Boekhandels, 1817-1892 = International Exhibition, July-August 1892, on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Association for the Promotion of Booksellers’s Interests, 1817-1892 ([Amsterdam, Roeloffzen & Hübner, 1892]). Gift of Donald Farren, Class of 1958. Graphic Arts Collection GA2013- in process.

The Vereeniging ter Bevordering van de Belangen des Boekhandels (The Association for the Promotion of Booksellers’ Interests, or, the Netherlands Book Trade Society) was founded in 1817 by a group of publishers, book wholesalers, booksellers, importers of books and book-club operators. Based in Amsterdam, its object was to “protect the common interests of booksellers and publishers and to promote cooperation in the book trade in the widest sense, in particular by laying down and administering … standards and practices for bookselling in the Netherlands.”

The Association celebrated its 75th anniversary with an international exhibition held in the Amsterdam Palace of Industry over the summer of 1892. Exhibits featured all aspects of the book trade and the show’s catalogue, pictured here, includes an especially valuable section of advertising such as the page above for the lithographic firm Tesling & Co. Here are a few examples.

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Written by Regine Heberlein

The winners of the 2013 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize were announced at the Friends of the Princeton University Library’s winter dinner on March 17, 2013. The jury awarded first and second prize.

First prize went to Natasha Japanwala, Class of 2014, for the essay “Conversation Among the Ruins: Collecting Books By and About Sylvia Plath,” in which Natasha compares her inquiry into the multitude of representations of Plath to “an excavation site where I tried to unearth the narrative of Plath’s life.” Natasha received a prize of $2000 and Helen Vendler’s book Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill.

adler prize winner 2013.jpgAmanda Devine [left] with Regine Heberlein

Second prize was awarded to Amanda Devine, Class of 2015, for the essay “A Clothes Reading: Finding Meaning in Fashion’s Past,” in which Amanda frames her collecting interest in books about the history of fashion as an interest in “the evolution of society and …what our fashions today say about us.” Amanda received a prize of $1500 and Philippe Perrot’s book Fashioning the Bourgeoisie: A History of Clothing in the Nineteenth Century.

Each of the winners also received a certificate from the Dean of the College. The book prizes, chosen to complement each student’s collecting focus, were donated by the Princeton University Press. The first prize essays will be printed in the Princeton University Library Chronicle and will represent Princeton in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Competition, which is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.

My sincere thanks to this year’s judges for their congenial service: Richard Levine, member of the Friends of the Princeton University Library; Louise Marshall, member of the Friends; John Logan, Literature Bibliographer; Paul Needham, Scheide Librarian; Rob Wegman, Associate Professor of Music; John Delaney, Curator of Historic Maps and Leader of the Manuscripts Cataloging Team, and Julie Mellby, Curator of Graphic Arts.

Congratulations to our winners!!

John Foster Dulles

dulles12.jpgWilliam Franklin Draper (1912-2003), John Foster Dulles, 1959. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Dillon. Princeton Portraits no. 397.

Former U.S. Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles (1888-1959) is remembered by many for his effective negotiations during the Cold War and his support of South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference of 1954. Here at Princeton, he is also remembered as a member of the Class of 1908, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and an active participant in the American Whig-Cliosophic Society debate team.

On May 15, 1962, his family was invited to Princeton University, along with dignitaries including former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for the dedication of the John Foster Dulles Library of Diplomatic History. His portrait, painted by William F. Draper in 1959, was proudly featured at the event.

Today, thanks to the beautiful work of painting conservator Paul Gratz, our portrait of Mr. Dulles is cleaned and repaired and back on the wall of our Dulles Reading Room. Sincere thanks also to our colleagues at the Princeton University Art Museum for their help in transporting and hanging the important work.

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To read “Remarks at the Dedication of the John Foster Dulles Library of Diplomatic History,” in Princeton University Library Chronicle 23, no. 4 (summer 1962), see: http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visualmaterials/pulc/pulcv23n_4.pdf

Duck Blind

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Bill Kelly, Duck Blind (San Diego: Brighton Press, 2013). Type set in Kabel and printed letterpress on Sekishu and Twinrocker handmade papers.
Case bound in hand painted linen and housed in a chitzu. Copy 27 of 50.
Graphic Arts Collection GA2013- in process.

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Since 1985, the Brighton Press in San Diego, California, has been creating limited-edition artists’ books under the guidance of director Michele Burgess and founder Bill Kelly. Most works are collaborations between contemporary poets and visual artists, together with artisans in the fields of letterpress, bookbinding, papermaking, printmaking, and sculpture. Each work is printed by hand in small editions, signed and numbered by the artists.

Over the past three years, Kelly conceived, wrote, carved, and hand printed Duck Blind, inspired by the musicality of language. “I get an image from the sound of the metaphors,” writes Kelly, for whom the text and the image must be seen in concert.

According to the press website, Kelly studied poet Robert Pinsky’s translation of Dante’s Inferno and built his own ‘selva oscura’ (dark forest) through a series of intricate prints and word ruminations. The poetry and prose that make up the text of Duck Blind helped him carve the woodblocks so he could hear his meanings.

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See also:
Snodgrass, W. D. (William De witt), 1926-2009. Lullaby. New York: Soho Press, 1987 (San Diego: Brighton Press). 1 broadside. Rare Books (Ex) Broadside Ludwig 188

Snodgrass, W. D. (William De Witt), 1926-2009. The midnight carnival. San Diego: Brighton Press, 1988. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0635Q

Sternberg, Harry, 1904-2001. Sternberg: a life in woodcuts. San Diego, Cal.: Brighton Press, c1991. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0094Q

Westphalen, Emilio Adolfo. Artificio para sobrevivir = Device for survival. San Diego, Calif.: Brighton Press, c1992. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2011-0165Q

Hanzlicek, C. G. Mahler, poems & etchings. [San Diego, Calif.]: Brighton Press, c1994. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0004F

Alcosser, Sandra. Sleeping inside the glacier. [San Diego, Calif.]: Brighton Press, 1997. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0636Q

Alcosser, Sandra. Glyphs. [San Diego, Calif.]: Brighton Press, 2001. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0093Q

Willard, Nancy. Swimming lessons, poem. [San Diego, Calif.]: Brighton Press, 2001. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-0113N

Everwine, Peter. Figures made visible in the sadness of time. San Diego: Brighton Press, 2003. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0236Q

Tyson, Ian. Ghost. San Diego, Calif.: Brighton Press, c2005. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2007-0701Q

Kaschnitz, Marie Luise, 1901-1974. Grave deposits. [San Diego, CA]: Brighton Press, 2010. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2012-0172Q

Flaxman's portrait of Blake

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One day in 1802, William Blake (1757-1827) sat for his colleague John Flaxman (1755-1826) to have his portrait drawn. Flaxman’s final drawing is now located in the Yale Center for British Art, B1992.8.11(59). For a few minutes this week, we though we might have found a second drawing. It would not be uncommon for an artist to make several versions of a portrait, especially if it were for another artist who needed to approve the work.

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The signature matched; the size, the drawn line, even the chain lines were as they should be. We shared our good fortune with colleagues at the Blake archive, hoping they might tell us they had been waiting and searching for this drawing to turn up.

What they told us was to look closely at the graphite.

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Sure enough, when we magnified the lines of the drawing it became clear we had a collotype reproduction of the Yale drawing. Further research led us to Blake’s designs for Gray’s poems, a large volume of facsimiles of Blake watercolors produced in 1922. Tiny marks on the surface of a page indicated that someone had removed the facsimile of the Flaxman drawing originally tipped into the volume.

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At least the portrait is back where it belongs.

John Flaxman (1755-1826), Portrait of William Blake, ca. 1804. Graphite on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. B1992.8.11(59)

William Blake (1757-1827), William Blake’s designs for Gray’s poems (London, New York [etc]: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1922). No. 206 of 650 copies. (Ex) Oversize ND497.B5 A32e

Le Nouveau Pantheon

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Claude Charles Guyonnet de Vertron (1645-1715), Le nouveau pantheon, ou,
Le rapport des divinitez du paganisme, des heros de l’antiquité, et des princes surnommez grands, aux vertus et aux actions de Louis le Grand
(Paris: Jacques Morel; Henry Charpentier, 1686). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX), Item 6576801

The frontispiece and plates are engraved by Jean Sauvé (1635-1692), who not only kept a studio on rue Saint Jacques in Paris but also worked in Bologna and Munich.

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“If Louis XIV abandoned the traditional pubic state ceremonials of his predecessors,” writes Ralph Giesey, “he created in their stead a private, palace-centered ceremonial life for himself as grandiose as any in the annals of western European history. The cult of the Sun King, elaborated in art and architecture at Versailles and Marly and acted out in a daily ritual lived by Louis XIV for several decades, has not yet received the comprehensive study it deserves…”

“The official emblem of His Majesty is a resplendent sun shining over a terrestrial globe with the device Nec Pluribus Impar, Not Unequal to Many, which means to say His Majesty is equal to many kings. …All the world knows the image of His Majesty as Sun King from the myriad of engravings that have been printed and the host of medals issued from the mint. …”

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Giesey continues, “I find myself unable to respect the classical themes in the cult of the Sun King the way I do analogous elements in his predecessor’s ceremonials—as, for example, in royal entries. Revival of the virtues of the pagan world during the Renaissance had meant a broadening of the base of humanitas in western society; Louis XIV made the pagan world seem to be an allegory of his own personal life.”

“The cult of the Sun King postulated Louis’s Divinity on a colossal scale without risking the taint of sacrilege. Louis XIV emancipated himself from old royal ceremonials that had brought the ruler together with his subjects in public forums and created in their stead rites of personality carried out in his private dwellings. L’état, c’est moi whether or not Louis XIV ever uttered those words as a motto of his political conduct, they do catch the ineffable spirit of his ritual life.”

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Ralph E. Giesey, “Models of Rulership in French Royal Ceremonial,” in Rites of Power: Symbolism, Ritual and Politics Since the Middle Ages, edited by Sean Wilentz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999). Firestone JA74 .R56 1985

PrinteD on paPER toweLs, the tyPO biLder bUch

Romano Hänni, Typo bilder buch [Typo Picture Book]: von Hand gesetzt und auf der Handabziehpress gedruckt (Basel, Switzerland: [Studio for Design], 2012). Edition of 65. Graphic Arts Collection GAX2013- in process

“Letterpress printed on a hand proofing press. Printed in four colors (blue, black, red and yellow) on paper towels. Approximately 190 Printing forms and runs. Sewn binding. Letterpress printed pastedowns and free end pages. In letterpress printed dust jacket.”


For the last thirty years, the Basel artist and typographer Romano Hänni has been creating experimental hand-set, letterpress books. Editor Lukas Hartmann notes, “Anyone accusing Romano Hänni of being a hot type nostalgic has misunderstood most of his work - or has never held and read one of his hand-printed books.”

“These books are little marvels full of visual poetry. The technical effort behind them can only be divined by somebody who has pursued training in hot type printing. …Hänni enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills, ensuring that centuries-old manual techniques are not only kept in museums.”


“Since the invention of script and the printed word,” writes Hänni, “we have lost access to pictorial statements: we have become character devout. Nonetheless, we still read images. Fluent reading is based solely on prejudices. The knowledgeable rdeaer deos not pecie toghteer indaidviul chaearcrts to from wrods but peircvees wrod imeags in tiehr etitrney.”

“However, when reading images, signs and symbols, we seem to struggle, even though they also represent a source of information with a simultaneous effect on various levels. Initially, our visual perception looks for symmetry and a human face….”

The Graphic Arts Collection also acquired this catalogue about his work:

Romano Hänni, 27 Jahre Bleisatz: Romano Hänni: Handpressbüchlein 1984-2010 = 27 years hot type: Romano Hänni: Handprinted Books 1984-2010 (Basel: Romano Hänni Verlag, 2011). GAX2013- in process


Das deutsche Lichtbild Buch

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Heinrich Pfeiffer, Das deutsch Lichtbild Buch: Filmprobleme von Gesterne und Heute (The German Film Book: Movie Problems of Yesterday and Today) (Berlin: A. Scherl, [1924]). Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process.

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The typography and illustrations in this 1924 anthology on contemporary film are by [Frederick] Arthur Wittig (1894-1962). Contributions include short essays by Heinrich Pfeiffer, E. Redslob, Alexander von Gleichen-Russwurm, Joe May, Emil Jannings, Ernst Lubitsch, Guido Seeber, Alfred Richard Mayer, Dr. Soetbeer, F. Lamp, Carl Forch, Albert Hellwig, Peter Grassmann, Aros, Gottlieb Hermes, Dr. Häentzschel, Curt Wesseling, Richard Ott, Walter Bloem, Otto Boehm, Alfred and Arthur Rosentahl Rupp.

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Originally, the book was published in an edition of 500 copies, signed and numbered by Wittig. Subscribers also received an original lithography by Carl Rabus. Princeton’s rare surviving copy is unnumbered and unsigned.


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George Cruikshank, Lottery Puffs, 1820. 20 wood engravings. Previously owned by Marshall R. Anspach. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2013- in process

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In The English Metropolis, or, London in the Year 1820: Containing Satirical Strictures on Public Manners, Morals, and Amusements, the author writes:

“…When we see persons of genius and eminence stoop to such low[s], and it may even be said such dishonest expedients to beguile the public, the evil strikes at the root of future improvement. The buffooneries of a posture-master, the capers of a dancer, and the persuasions of an auctioneer, or a vender of lottery-tickets, may require the deceptious aid of a puff; but science and native genius ought never to descend from their real elevation, to decorate themselves with the rainbow hues of evanescent glory, and purchaser able praise.”

“Yet it may be proper here to inform the young student in satirical composition, that most, if not all the pretensions of our successful versifiers, and some of our prose Writers too, depend upon the reiterated puffs by which their publications have been ushered into the world.”

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Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895

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Thomas Rowlandson (1757 - 1827), The Coblers Cure for a Scolding Wife, 1813. Etching. Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

The graphic arts collection holds nearly 2800 prints and drawings donated by Dickson Queen Brown (1873-1939), most British caricatures from the 18th and 19th centuries. A great deal has been written about the artists he collected but little about the collector himself. Here are some facts from his class profile.

Brown was born in Pleasantville, Pennsylvania on April 2, 1873, the son of Samuel Brown, president of Tide Water Oil Company. He attended the Hamilton School in Philadelphia and Phillips Exeter Academy, before entering Princeton in 1891 and graduating four years later. While at Princeton, Brown was a member of Whig Hall, Klu Klux, Valhalla, Tiger Inn, and President of Republican Club.

After Princeton, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1898 with degree of B. S. Electrical Engineering. From 1899 to 1900, Brown studied at the Royal Mechanical Technical Hochschule, Berlin, before joining the family firm. Working his way up through numerous positions, Brown was ultimately named President of Tidal Oil Company and President, Associated Producers Company (producing oil and operating in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Mexico).

“… the older Independents of the Pennsylvania Oil Regions were still “fighting the civil war” so far as Standard Oil was concerned. We remember reporting a dinner at the Union League Club at the invitation of Robert D. Benson, president of Tide Water, a mild-mannered gentleman. We had come to know him at his office at 11 Broadway from the windows of which he and his co-executives, Robert McKelvy and Dickson Q. Brown, could not help but see “26 Broadway” headquarters and symbol of Standard Oil across the street. They were sons of Bryon David Benson, David McKelvy and S. Q. Brown, founders of the Tide Water and famed builders of the first interstate pipeline from the Pennsylvania oil fields to the Atlantic seaboard.”

“Having lost out in winning control of Tide Water, John D. Rockefeller had gone ahead with his Northern and Southern tiers of lines to carry oil to his tidewater refineries. At the Union League dinner, Benson gave his personal recollection of the alleged Standard Oil-inspired raid of Tide Water’s annual meeting of January 17, 1883, held at Titusville. The “Taylor-Satterfield” (Rockefeller) faction, opposing the “majority Benson” faction, elected itself to control of the company. Benson vividly recalled his father rushing to Titusville, taking him along. There was no elevator in the building and the offices were on the second and third floors. The main stairway was barricaded with heavy planks and guarded by a force of Benson men. Benson pere and fils joined the defenders.”

“The enemy, it turned out, made no physical attempt to take the offices, contenting themselves with carrying the case to court. The speaker recalled the anxiety of officers and employees sweating out the verdict of Judge Church at Meadville who heard the argument of the old management - the arrival of a telegram from his father, reading, “Thank God, a just judge reins in Crawford County, ” meaning that Judge Church had declared “the pretended election void.”

“Since the fight for control in Titusville in 1883, the success of the company has been unbroken, ” Benson finished proudly. The clicking of the pipeline dispatcher’s telegraph key as you entered Tide Water’s offices bore him out. But the Bensons, McKelvys and Browns were not forgetting. Many old-time Independents would not be caught dead talking to a Standard Oil man.”

From The story of the American Petroleum Institute by Leonard M. Fanning.

Rudolph Ackermann takes book thief to court

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On June 2, 1813, a trial was held at London’s central criminal court, The Old Bailey, where the book and print seller Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834) accused a Soho print dealer named Peter Brown of “feloniously receiving one hundred and fifty-two books,” including five sets of the Abbey Church of St. Peter, Westminster and two sets of the Microcosm of London.

Brown was ultimately found not guilty because one of Ackermann’s artists, Thomas Sutherland (1785-1838), confessed to the crime of grand larceny. Sutherland was fined one shilling and released. For the original transcript, see the Old Bailey Online

When Sutherland was asked if he sold Brown copies of Ackermann’s books, he replied, “Yes, about five sets of Westminster Abbey; the first two sets at five pound each, and the others at four pound ten shillings. I swear positively to having sold from seven to ten sets; seven I am sure I have sold. The Microcosm was the same price, and about three sets at four pound ten shillings. I am sure I am speaking within compass of the number. I received money and goods both for them; the goods were furniture and birds. The agreement was to take part money and part goods.”

The artist continued… “[Brown] asked me … whether I was still in the service of Mr. Akerman [sic]. I told him I was, but that I should shortly quit it. He then said, Mr. Akerman [sic] has published some pretty works, and that he should like to possess them if he could get them cheap; he asked me if I could help him to any. I asked him what price he would go to. He desired me to name my own price. I named eight pound or eight guineas; I would get him a set of the Westminster Abbey; he ridiculed the idea. I told him the trade price was ten guineas, and the price to the public was fifteen guineas; he said, that would not do; he could get them cheaper; he did not mind what the trade gave. I took him one set, which I sold him for five pound.”

View of the Old Bailey after Thomas Shepherd, published by Rudolph Ackermann, 1814. British Museum.

“…I could afford to let him have them a great deal cheaper than that, for in the way that he should dispose of them I need not fear any thing; he would take to any extent, and always pay ready money. On Thursday morning, the 15th of April, I saw Mr. [John] Simpson come out of his door, and when I came up Brown was at the door; he asked me if I knew that gentleman. I said I did, it was Mr. Simpson, a friend of Mr. Akerman’s [sic]. He then said he suspected all was not right, Mr. Simpson had been there the night before; his son had told him there were many copies in the house; he begged me to take away two sets, if I could deposit them safely. I took away two of the sets I had sold for four pound ten shillings.”

When Sutherland was asked if he deposited any pawnbrokers tickets with Brown, Sutherland replied, “Yes, I sold him some duplicates of sets I had pawned. Brown told me he expected to get into trouble, but he would not give up my name, nor was I to mention his.”

Henry Morland was called as a witness and said he knew Brown, “I exchanged with him for one set of the Westminster for a leaden figure that stood in my yard. I communicated it to Mr. Akerman [sic].” Then, John Simpson testified that Ackermann had asked him to go to Brown’s house and question him. Simpson goes on at length to describe Brown’s explanation, ending, “Not being able to make any thing more of him I went to Mr. Akerman [sic] and told him what he said.”

It is recorded that Brown’s lawyer call fifteen witnesses, who all gave him “a good character” and Brown was found not guilty. On the same day, Thomas Sutherland was indicted for feloniously stealing one hundred and fifty-two books that were the property of Rudolph Ackerman. “To this indictment the prisoner pleaded guilty, was fined 1 s. and discharged.”

Posted in honor of serving jury duty.

Cuban Chromolithography

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Romeo y Julieta, imported Havana cigars. Rodriguez, Arguelles y Ca., n.d. [after 1902]. Published by the Compania Litografica, Havana. Chromolithographic poster. 62 x 50.4 cm. Graphic Arts Collection GC149 Ephemera.

The French expatriot artist Frédéric Mialhe (1810-1881) lived and worked in Cuba from 1838 to 1854. He was brought there to be a landscape painter for the newly established lithographic press of François Cosnier and Alexandre Moreau de Jonnes under the sponsorship of the Royal Patriotic and Economic Society of Cuba. With three presses, five operators, and one master painter, it was “one of the most outstanding enterprises of its kind ever attempted in Cuba” (Cueto).

It wasn’t until 1861 that chromolithograph came to Cuba but once the technicians were trained, production was enormous. A particular relationship between the tobacco industry and the chromolithographic printers developed. Everything from the largest posters to the smallest cigar bans were printed and embossed in elaborate multicolor designs.

One example in the graphic arts collection is a vintage poster for the Romeo y Julieta Cigars. The company was established in 1875 and this print is probably from the early in the 1900s, based on the brand. For more information on Cuban lithography, see: Emilio Cueto, Mialhe’s Colonial Cuba: the Prints that Shaped the World’s View of Cuba (Miami: Historical Association of Southern Florida, c1994). Firestone Library (F) NE2325.5.M5 A4 1994

La Rigenerazione dell' Olanda Specchio

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James Gillray (1756-1815) after David Hess (1770-1843), “Dansons la Camagnole! Vive le son! Vive le son!” from La rigenerazione dell’Olanda: specchio a tutti i popoli rigenerati (Venezia: Giovanni Zatta …, 1799). Text in French and Italian. Originally published as Hollandia regenerate (London, 1796). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2013- in process.

David Hess was a Swiss artist and soldier in the Dutch army. He conceived of a series of anti-French caricatures and negotiated with ‘Humphries’ in London to engrave and print them. This work is assumed to have been accomplished anonymously by forty-year-old James Gillray, at the height of his fame as a caricaturist, and issued in a bound edition of 1200 copies. Three years later, a new edition was released in Venice, with the descriptions translated from Dutch to Italian and printed alongside the French.

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We also acquired Revolutions-Almanach von 1799 (Göttingen: Johann Christain Dieterich, 1799), in which six plates are reproduced (stolen?) in a much reduced format. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2013-0210N

Years later in The Athenaeum (London, 1886) the Hess/Gillray publication was still remembered. “The French Revolution had a profound effect upon satirical art, made it fierce as well as furious, and partially renewed that savage and brutal spirit which prevailed in the lifetime of Luther and during the Thirty Years’ War. But it likewise gave new life.”

The Revolutions - Almanack of 1799, by David Hess, has some unusually good cuts, including one on Bruderschaft in “Hollandia regenerate,” which represents the “brother of mankind” being assailed by his neighbours, who pull his hair, punch him, throttle him, tear his coat, and knock his head with a chair. Meanwhile the heraldic seven arrows are trampled underfoot and a cat tears them to pieces.”

“Hess was a clever satirist whose works must have increased many a man’s resolution to resist the new doctrines. His prints retain considerable value to this day, and should be studied by those who wish to understand the history of opinion at that time. …Of his prints against Napoleon M. GrandCarteret writes:”

“‘Souvent aussi, ces compositions, toujours bien exécuteés, voient leur intérét augmenté par le souffle de liberté qu’elles laissent entrevoir, par cette protestation d’une ame indigneé qui jette, en 1815, un cri de victoire strident, Enfin! et dès lors Hess semble considérer sa mission de combattant du crayon comme terminée.’”

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Wisteria Maiden

Unidentified artist, Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden), no date [ca. 1800s]. Ink and color on paper, pasted on modern scroll. Ōtsu-e.
Graphic Arts Collection GAX2013- in process.

A recent move uncovered this Japanese folk painting, named for Ōtsu, the capital city of Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where this genre of painting originated. The designs were accomplished by anonymous artists and become extremely popular with merchants and tourists traveling between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto along the Old Tokaido Road. In other cultures, the paintings might be called outsider art or naive art. In Japan, they are called Ōtsu-e.

The paintings fall into several standard categories include beautiful women, warriors, ogres, and Buddhas and other religious icons. The graphic arts collection holds several Ōtsu-e, including this traditional Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) possibly from the Edo period (1615-1868).

Our colleagues at the British Museum note, “The ‘Wisteria Maiden … was one of the stock subjects of folk painters in Ōtsu since the seventeenth century. It enjoyed a new vogue in the nineteenth century after the theme was adapted in 1826 for the Kabuki stage, as a dance sequence in which the young woman came alive out of an Ōtsu painting.”

Versailles on Paper

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Robert Nanteuil (1623-1678), Louis XIV, 1664. Engraving. Inscription: Ludovicus XIIII Dei Gratia Franciae Et Navarrae Rex. Graphic Arts collection GA 2005.01127.
Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905.

Congratulations to Volker Schroder, Associate Professor of French and Italian, who was just awarded a David A. Gardner ‘69 Magic grant for the research and development of an exhibition celebrating Versailles and the tercentenary of the death of Louis XIV (1638-1715). Thanks to the Council of the Humanities and especially to our magic benefactor, Lynn Shostack. Prof. Schroder will develop “Versailles on Paper,” using prints and books in the Graphic Arts Collection, as well as rare books from Firestone and Marquand Libraries. The opening is scheduled for February 2015. A special issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle is also planned.

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Robert Nanteuil, (1623-1678), Louis XIV, 1663. Engraving. Inscription: Ludovicus XIIII Dei Gratia Franciae Et Navarrae Rex.’ Graphic Arts collection GA 2005.01126.
Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905.

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Robert Nanteuil (1623-1678), Louis XIV, 1668. Engraving. 8/8. Inscription: Se, et ultimas licentiae Theologicae theses // vouet et consecrat. // Humillimus Subditus, Julius Paulus de Lionne.’ Graphic Arts collection GA 2005.01149.
Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905

“On the 18th of April, 1651, the young Louis … paid his first visit to Versailles. He was then thirteen years of age, and had been king for eight years. He came to hunt in the woods, and … to sup at the chateau of his father, a building of moderate size, constructed on three sides of a court, with a pavilion at each corner, and surrounded by moats with stone balustrades. The site of that chateau and of its moats is now covered by the great central projection of Louis’s palace.”

“During the next ten years … [he] did little in the way of building or embellishment until 1662. From 1662 to 1669 he adorned the park and gave magnificent fetes there. In 1669 he decided to enlarge the chateau, but he was not to carry out his purpose without encountering opposition.”

“[Jean-Baptiste] Colbert was then superintendent of buildings as well as of finance, and Colbert’s hobby was the Louvre. He set himself resolutely against the king’s project, and did not hesitate to speak his mind. “Your Majesty knows,” he wrote to the king, “that apart from brilliant actions in war nothing marks better the grandeur and genius of princes than their buildings, and that posterity measures them by the standard of the superb edifices which they erect during their lives. Oh, what a pity that the greatest king, and the most virtuous, should be measured by the standard of Versailles.”
—from James Eugene Farmer, Versailles and the Court under Louis XIV (1905) Firestone DC126 .F23 1905

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Robert Nanteuil (1623-1678), Louis XIV, 1666. Engraving. Inscription: Ludovicus XIIII Dei Gratia Franciae et Navarrae Rex. Graphic Arts GA 2005.01150.
Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905.

After 60 Years Graphic Arts Rooms Close 1953-2013


The Princeton University Library Chronicle summer 1953 issue reported, “Elmer Adler, Curator of the Graphic Arts Collection since its establishment in 1940, retired on July 1, 1952 and was succeeded by Gillett G. Griffin. Before Mr. Adler’s retirement, the collection was moved, in May and June, from 3 University Place to rooms on the second floor of the Firestone Library.”

“During the past year,” the article continued, “a series of exhibits was arranged in the Graphic Arts Room by M. Griffin. …, an undergraduate print lending program was established with ‘overwhelming success,’ …and a printing press was presented to the graphic Arts Collection by the Princeton University Press in honor of Elmer Adler.”

Today, almost sixty years to the date, the graphic arts rooms on the second floor have been closed and the collection moved to various vaults around the building. The sun may be shining outside, but it is a sad day for those of us who remember all the wonderful events that took place in these rooms. My sincere thanks to all those who helped with today’s move. Please join me in saying goodbye to a beautiful space.


Shakespeare and His Friends

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James Faed (1821-1911), after John Faed, Shakspeare and His Friends, 1859. Engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2013- in process

Vicki Principi recently found this print in the theater collection, which matches the imaginary group of British scientist posted a few days ago and the imaginary group of American authors posted several years ago. The printed title is Shakespeare and His Friends, but it is better known as Shakespeare and His Contemporaries.

The print reproduces John Faed’s 1851 painting of the same title, depicting Shakespeare at the Mermaid Tavern in London for a meeting of the Friday Street Club (named for the tavern’s address). Sir Walter Raleigh founded the group but Shakespeare was not a regular member.

Seen with Shakespeare and Raleigh are Thomas Dorset; Josuah Sylvester; William Camden; John Selden; Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher; Francis Bacon; Ben Jonson; Samuel Daniel; John Donne; Henry Wriothesley Southampton; Robert Cotton; Thomas Dekker; and Thomas Sackville Dorset.

“Lines on the Mermaid Tavern”
by John Keats

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host’s Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

See an extended essay on the Mermaid:
Michelle O’Callaghan, ‘Patrons of the Mermaid tavern (act. 1611)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/theme/95279, accessed 7 April 2013]

Goodbye to the wonderful Bird & Bull Press

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We just received this unhappy message from our friend Henry Morris at Bird & Bull Press: “The increasing difficulty in finding exciting and interesting book projects, combined with advancing age (87), has convinced me that it is now time to end my 55-year journey with Bird & Bull Press. So this is my last book. I want to thank all my subscribers for their many years of continued interest and support.”


Here are a few words by Jane Rodgers Siegel, from the 2008 American Printing History Association’s ceremony presenting Henry Morris with an award for his distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation or dissemination of printing history:
“Morris started Bird and Bull, one of America’s oldest private presses, in 1958 as an outlet for his new-found interest in hand papermaking - an interest sparked by a piece of fifteenth-century paper. Indeed, his strong interest in the art and history of handmade paper has resulted in a variety of books on Western, Japanese, and Chinese papermaking, and marbled and decorated papers, from Henk Voorn on Old Ream Wrappers (1969) to Dard Hunter and Son, by Dard Hunter II (1998), the unforgettably large Nicolas Louis Robert and His Endless Wire Papermaking Machine (2000), and Sid Berger on Karli Frigge’s Life in Marbling (2004). Morris’s 2006 J. Ben Lieberman Memorial lecture describes his belief that “Paper: There wouldn’t be any Printing History without It.”

“…Morris’s publishing program has been a boon to the historian of the book. He is correct when he writes, ‘It pleases me to know that without the Bird & Bull, many books on worthwhile, albeit esoteric subjects would probably never have been published.’ And all these works have been printed by letterpress from metal type on either Henry’s own handmade or on imported mould-made papers.”

Princeton University is fortunate to have been one of Mr. Morris’s subscribers and we are especially glad to received this last volume from the press.

Thomas Lord Busby, Busby’s Street Scenes: Images of Street Hawkers and Criers in 19th-Century London and Paris. Foreword by Henry Morris
(Newtown, Pa.: Bird & Bull Press, 2012).
120 copies. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2013- in process

Etudes de chevaux de bataille blesses

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Seven untitled engravings [Etudes de chevaux de bataille blesses (Studies for Wounded Warhorses)], 1600s
Etched by Jan van Huchtenburgh (1647-1733)
after Adam Frans van der Meulen (1631 or 1632-1690)
after Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)
GC070 Dutch Prints Collection

The Graphic Arts Collection holds seven prints believed to be part of the ten studies described as Etudes de chevaux de bataille blesses related to various battle scenes by Charles Le Brun (see Bartsch 44. Hollstein 44)

We also believe these studies might have been referenced for such large-scale prints as our Untitled [Defeat of Porus by Alexander the Great at the Battle of the Hydaspes], engraved by Bernard Picart (1673-1733), based on a work by the architect Thomas Gobert, ca. 1730.

Below are a few of the isolated studies of horses in battle and then, a few comparisons with the finished print. Note, the horses are laterally reversed in the final image. What do you think?

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[above: engraved after Charles Le Brun’s Etudes de chevaux de bataille blesses (Studies for Wounded Warhorses). Below: same horse laterally reversed in a detail from the Defeat of Porus by Bernard Picart]

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[above: engraved after Charles Le Brun’s Etudes de chevaux de bataille blesses (Studies for Wounded Warhorses). Below: same horse laterally reversed in a detail from the Defeat of Porus by Bernard Picart]

The Flemish painter, Frans van der Meulen (1632-1690) specialized in battle scenes. Charles Le Brun brought him to Paris around 1662 to work on designs for Louis XIV.

“The fact that Le Nôtre and Le Brun were to be found at the siege of Valenciennes in 1677 is perhaps less unlikely than it might seem. Louis himself wrote to Colbert to say that ‘Le Brun and Le Nôtre arrived this morning with Van der Meulen. I am very glad that Le Brun will see the disposition of this siege because it is very fine.’ Le Brun and the Fleming Adam Frans van der Meulen could be classed as war artists. Shortly after his arrival in France, Van der Meulen was commissioned to paint a series of views depicting Louis’ military successes.”—from Ian Thompson, The Sun King’s Garden: Louis XIV, Andre Le Notre and the Creation of the Gardens of Versailles (2006) Firestone SB470.L4 T56 2006


Bernard Picart (1673-1733), detail from Defeat of Porus, ca. 1730. GA 2012.01270.


Alexander and Porus by Charles Le Brun, painted 1673.

The Comet of 1789

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James Sayers (1748-1823), The Comet, 18 February 1789. Etching and aquatint. Published by Thomas Cornell, London. Graphic Arts Collection GA2013- in process.

Originally trained as an attorney, James Sayers (active 1748-1825) drew the first British caricature using the symbolism of a comet (later copied many times). His print was released on February 18, 1789, the day before the scheduled third reading of the Regency Bill, which would take power away from George III (1738-1820). Happily, the King’s porphyria had begun to recede in January and by early February, various politicians were leaving Charles Fox (1749-1806), and returning to the side of King George and William Pitt (1759-1806).

Sayers’s comet is headed by the Prince of Wales, a possible allusion to Louis XIV, the Sun King. Here, it is George III who is the unseen sun. Riding on the tail of the Prince are Richard Brinsley Sheridan; Fox; William, 3rd Duke of Portland; Sir Grey Cooper; John Warren, and several others.

The text of the print, which is difficult to read, has been transcribed by the British Museum:
“A Return of the Comet which appeared in 1761 [1762] is expected this Year and to be within our horizon from the month of Octr 1788 to Augt 1789 but is expected to be most -visible (if it forces itself upon our Notice) in the Winter months Febry & March ——— vide Dr Trusslers Almanack…”

“…Sr Isaac Newton asserts That the Tail of a Comet is nothing else than a fine Vapour which the Head of the Comet emits by its heat that Heat the Comet receives from the Sun and the magnitude of the Tail is always proportional to the degree of heat which the Comet receives, and Comets which are nearest to the Sun have the longest Tails———”

How to Win at Lotto


Bilderbogen zur angenehmen Unterhaltung in Gesellschaften [Broadsheet for the Pleasant Entertainment of Society] (Graz: Eigenthum u. Verlag von B. Geiger ob Niar, ca. 1780). Engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2013- in process

A recent search on Amazon.com uncovered 105 books, videos and recordings teaching you how to win at lotto or other types of lotteries. In 1751, when Austria introduced a national lottery, there was a similar outpouring of books teaching the secret of picking numbers.

Based on the lotto di Geneva, Austria’s game consisted of 90 numbers and each one became connected with an animal or an object or an action. A person’s dreams might provide the basis of the winning number. Princeton libraries already hold several dream books used to decode dreams in order to play lotto but recently, we acquired this wall chart for the convenient study and selection of lottery numbers.

The chart has 90 squares and each one offers four images or terms connected to that number, thereby charting 360 symbols. The number 40, for example, might relate to a rooster, a flowering plant, a swimmer, or a letter.


See also:
George Wither (1588-1667), A Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne: Quickened with Metricall Illustrations, Both Morall and Divine: and Disposed into Lotteries, that Instruction, and Good Counsell, May Bee Furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation (London: Printed by A. M. for Richard Royston, 1635). Rare Books (Ex) N7710 .W68 1635q

Making a Book in 1836

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Edward Hazen, The Panorama of Professions and Trades, or, Every Man’s Book (Philadelphia: Uriah Hunt, 1836). “The designs were made by Messrs. Morton, Hoyle, Burton, and Gimber, of New York; and nearly the whole of the engraving was executed by Mr. A.J. Mason … “—Cf. Preface. Sinclair Hamilton Collection of American Illustrated Books. Hamilton 1866

Play this 3D book with your smart phone

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Matthew Nava and Adam Adamowicz, The Art of Journey (Los Angeles, CA: Bluecanvas, Inc, 2012). Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of John Nava.

I should let the designers describe this one:
“The book pushes the boundaries of traditional print with its “augmented reality” feature, powered by the Daqri 4D platform. By downloading the free companion app for Android and iOS devices readers will be able to point the camera of their smartphone or tablet at special images and see animated 3D models appear straight from the game. You can test this out by downloading the “Journey AR viewer” and using it with the image from theartofjourney(dot)com, on “The Book” page…”

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Looking at the pages through your phone or tablet, the figures move and spin; the buildings jump off the page and allow you move around them 360 degrees; and the landscapes seem to stretch beyond the horizon. I was particularly interested in the designer’s choice to create figures without arms or hands so that they could not fight, which is the usual impulse with gamers.

Bring your own phone, download the app, and enjoy.

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Mary Stillwell

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Thanks to the bequest of Richard Betts Scudder, Class of 1935, we are now the proud owners of this pastel portrait of Mary Stillwell, which was created by a yet unidentified artist in the late 1700s. If we have counted correctly Stillwell was Scudder’s great great great grandmother.

Brother Richard Betts Scudder, Class of 1935 (1913-2012)
Brother Edward Wallace Scudder Jr., class of 1935 (1911-2003)
Parents Edward Wallace Scudder, class of 1903 (1882-1953) and Katherine Hollifield Scudder (1885-19 )
Grandparents Wallace McIlvaine Scudder (1853-1931) and Ida Quimby (1857-1903)
Great Grandparents Edward Wallace Scudder, class of 1844 (1822-1893) and Mary Louisa Drake (1823-1890)
Great Great grandparents Mary Stillwell Reeder (1797-1883) and Jasper Smith Scudder (1797-1887)
Great Great Great grandparents Mary Stillwell (1776-1806) and Amos Reeder (1770-1855)

1672 Rul'd Books ready for Musick

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John Ford was a bookseller and the publisher of Playford’s Choice Songs and Ayres (1673) in partnership with Thomas Collins. This unrecorded advertisement adds a little to our understanding of his activities, showing him specializing in stationery supplies for musicians. His publishing activities span only a few years, from 1671 to 1673. Ford and Collins’ other publications include Evelyn’s translation of Rapin, Of Gardens and two plays, Shadwell’s The Miser and John Wilson’s The Cheat. —Plomer, Dictionary of Booksellers and Printers 1668-1725, p.119.

See also: A.B. Méguin, Art de la réglure des registres et des papiers de musique: méthode simple et facile pour apprendre à régler: contenant la fabrication et le montage des outils fixes et mobiles, la préparation des encres et différens modèles de réglure: suivi de l’Art de relier les registres, ouvrage utile aux papetiers, imprimeurs, relieurs, etc. [Art of Ruling Records and Music Papers: A Simple and Easy Method to Learn: Containing the Manufacture and Installation of Fixed and Mobile Tools, the Preparation of Inks and Different Models of Ruling: Monitoring Art Link Registers, Useful Papermakers, Printers, Bookbinders, etc.] (Paris: Audot, éditeur, rue des Maçons-Sorbonne, no. 11, 1828). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2012-0696N

Robert Frank and the Declaration of Independence

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In the fall of 1954, the Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank applied to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He asked for a fellowship “to photograph freely throughout the United States and make a broad voluminous picture record of things American.” Frank was successful and in the summer of 1955, set out in a used Ford to photograph America.

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Frank drove over 10,000 miles in the next eighteen months, shooting 767 rolls of film. 1957 and 1958 were spent developing and printing the film; selecting shots; finding the appropriate author to write an introduction (Jack Kerouac); and printing the final book, which was called Les Americains (1958) and The Americans (1959).

One of the first photographs Frank made in the summer of 1955 was “Fourth of July- Jay, New York, 1955”. That original negative has been reprinted several times over the years and in 2009 Jon Goodman used it to print 500 photogravure frontispieces for The Limited Editions Club’s printing of the Declaration of Independence.

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The Declaration of Independence. Photograph by Robert Frank; afterword by David Armitage. New York: The Limited Editions Club, 2010. Graphic Arts Collection. Copy 20 of 500.

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