Recently in Acquisitions Category

The rarest march of intellect

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New Pegasean Langers or Balloon Brigade

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William Heath (1794/95-1840), March of Intellect No. 2, 1829. Etching with hand coloring. Graphic Arts Collection. Purchased in honor of Dale Roylance with the generous support of the Friends of the Princeton University Library

William Heath created three large, multifaceted satires of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK). The first and third can be found in most collections of British caricature, including ours, but the second is very rare. Thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library, the Graphic Arts Collection has now acquired this plate in honor of Dale Roylance.

The complexity of the scene reflects the cacophony of inventions and intellectual pursuits raging at that time. Heath begins the group in January 1928, following an accident in the Thames Tunnel, and each feature tunnels to locations around the world. Although they are all varied, the first features accidents due to reading and study; the second focuses on inventions and patents; and the third includes fantastical travel machines.

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Circulating Library

A five-story structure stands at the center of our new print, with ten windows labeled ‘Acme of Human Invention. Grand Servant Superseding Apparatus for Doing Every Kind of Household Work &c, &c, &c.’ Inside each window are different steam-powered machines with elaborate systems of ropes and pulleys for rocking the baby or ironing the clothes or turning the cooking spit. A ‘superseding stair tunnel’ runs up the center.

An exploding volcano shoots travelers from Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean and multiple flying machines fill the sky whle at the bottom right, a chef cooks on ‘Patent Fire: Fresh imported from the interior of Mount Etna.’

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Patent Condensed Smoke for summer promenades. Patronized by the highest authorities.

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S.M. Spencer's $25.00 Stencil Outfit

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On 15 August 1870, Mr. Chas C. Gates paid $25 for the right to sell the copyrighted stencil designs of S.M. Spencer & Co. of Brattleboro, Vermont. According to the research of Ian Brabner, Gates also received a complete S.M. Spencer & Co. Stencil Outfit, “…well packed in a neat and substantial hand trunk of oiled chestnut….”

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Nearly 143 years later, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired this hand trunk and its contents (for slightly more than $25). The purchase was made in honor of Dale Roylance, former curator of the Graphic Arts Collection, thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Princeton University Library.

Our “S.M. Spencer’s $25.00 Outfit” includes all the tools, dies, and brass and German silver sheet stock to make small stencils for marking calling cards, books, textiles, and other objects. More importantly, the outfit included S.M. Spencer & Co.’s eight-page Confidential Pamphlet, Containing an Essay on Canvassing, Instructions in Stencil Cutting, Ink Receipts, Etc., Etc. (1870).

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Only a small selection of the entire kit shown.

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Spencer insisted this pamphlet was, “…the key to the outfit … in fact it is a complete budget of stencil information written and copyrighted by me for the exclusive use of my patrons, and it is worth the price of the outfit to any one commencing the business. In no case do I supply this pamphlet to others than those buying my complete outfit, or my dies to the amount of $25, as I paid that sum for single receipts which it contains.”

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Chas. C. Gates’ stencil outfit form S.M. Spencer & Co. contains the following items: compete upper case and complete lower case alphabet dies; complete numeral dies, 0 to 8 (the numeral 9 accomplished by reversing the 6); 13 ornamenting dies, complete; a case to hold these dies (except for six of the ornamenting dies); a stencil gauge mounted to a hardwood block; a smoothing stone; a framer (lacking its handle); box of polishing powder; two finishing plates: a small pair of shears; a pair of dividers; a four-inch boxwood rule; a steel block scraper; a coil of sheet brass (approx. 3 ½ x 92 inches); some German silver strips remaining from a presumably larger initial stock; design patterns with two zinc curves form laying off the work; an advertising broadside; the aforementioned Confidential Pamphlet; a company issued, tax stamped and sealed certificate of assignment of copyright to use stencil designs dated August 15, 1879 and issued to Chas. C. Gates; and the wooden tool box or “hand-truck” to contain it all. (13 ½ x 7 x 4 ½ inches).

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The S.M. Spencer & Company of Brattleboro, Vermont and later, Boston, Massachusetts, was established by D.L. Milliken in 1860. By 1864, Silas Metcalf Spencer (born 1842) had acquired the entire business and was running it by himself. In 1866 Spencer took on as an equal partner Mr. O. B. Douglas and the firm became S.M. Spencer & Co. by 1870, the year Chas. C. Gates purchased his outfit, the company employed 12 workmen.

A contemporary source notes that “complete outfits,” which contain within the limits of a small hand-truck everything necessary to carry on a successful and very profitable business, are somewhat a specialty with them.” Sometime in the 1870s, at least by November 1876 based on a price list included with the present outfit, the company had removed from Brattleboro to Boston… . Of the 29 small format stencils, 19 indicate full names, the remaining stencils show only initials or initials and a surname. Interestingly, of the 19 stencils that show a full name, 15 are for women. -thanks to Brabner for this information.

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The use of stencils to mark textiles was an important sales avenue form S.M. Spencer & Co.’s business. Their Catalogue of Improved Stencil Dies (1880) boldly states: “Ladies can make Stencil Plates, [o]ften with better success than gentlemen … the business is light and pleasant, and a new field for usefulness is opened to them, promising ample remuneration. Milliners and dress makers can ill afford to be without my stencil outfit. In marking patterns for embroidery, and copying the neat things [Louis A.] Godey and Mme. [Ellen Louise Curtis] Demorest are giving us, the dies and flowering tools are invaluable.”

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Taller Martín Pescador's new Green Knight

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by John Ridland, illustrated by Artemio Rodríguez, printed by Juan Nicanor Pascoe, on paper made by Pasquale De Ponte, Pasquale (Tacambaro, Michoacan, Mexico: Taller Martín Pescador, 2013). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2013- in process

Juan Pascoe’s Taller Martín Pescador (Kingfisher Workshop) in Tacámbaro, near Mexico City, has a new fine press translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The large quarto is beautifully design and printed on paper made for the project by Pasquale De Ponte in San Lucas Tepetlaco. The Poliphilus and BemboTitling types were cast by Bradley Hutchinson in Austin, Texas, which (the prospectus tells us) were shipped across the Rio Bravo with many an adventure at the customs office, and finally printed with utmost care at Taller Martín Pescador in Tacámbaro, Mexico, on a Vandercook hand press.

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Linocuts were prepared by the Mexican artist Artemio Rodríguez, who has partnered with Pascoe on a number of projects. According to the press, “The majority of the edition has been bound by the printers, sewn on vellum tapes and laced into a dark green stiff paper cover, the structure reminiscent of a classic limp vellum binding.” Graphic Arts has been fortunately to acquire one of twenty-six copies, lettered from A to Z, set aside to be bound in quarter vellum hard covers with a handsome slipcase, by Jace Graf of Cloverleaf Studio in Austin Texas.

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To read an English language defence of the authenticity of the Arthurian fables in reply to Polydore Vergil (DNB), see:

John Leland (1506?-1552), A learned and true assertion of the original, life, actes, and death of the most noble, valiant, and renoumed Prince Arthure, King of great Brittaine. Who succeeding his father Vther Pendragon, and right nobly gouerning this land sixe and twentie yeares, then dyed of a mortall wounde receyued in battell, together vvith victory ouer his enemies… (Londin: Imprinted by Iohn Wolfe, dwelling in Distaffe Lane, ouer against the Signs of the Castell, 1582) Rare Books RHT 16th-57

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Miklós Radnóti, "never sold a single copy"

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Miklós Radnóti (1909-1944), Ének a négerröl aki a városba ment [Song of the Black Man Who Went to Town], 10 linocuts by S. Szönyi Lǎjos ([Budapest]: Gyarmati könyvnyomtatómühely kiadása, 1934). One of 500 copies.
Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process

Miklós Radnóti, birth name Miklós Glatter, was a Hungarian poet who died in the Holocaust. We recently acquired this volume published when he was twenty-five.

"In 1934 the Gyarmati printing house edited in a separate volume the last poem of Convalescent Wind. This slim book was illustrated by twenty high quality lino cuts of Lajos S. Szőnyi. According to printer Lajos Müller, in spite of the good illustrations they could not sell a single copy of this publication."-- Exhibition of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences 2009, edited by Dr. Antal Babus.

1934-ben, a Gyarmati könyvnyomtató műhely kiadásában külön kötetben is megjelent a Lábadozó szél egyik ciklusa, az Ének a négerről, aki a városba ment. A könyvet S. Szőnyi Lajos húsz darab színvonalas linómetszete illusztrálja. A nívós illusztrációk ellenére Müller Lajos nyomdász emlékezése szerint a kötetből egyetlen példányt sem sikerült eladni.

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"...a truly great poet, one in whom the lyrical image-maker and the critical human intelligence dealing with the tragic twentieth century are utterly fused, as they so rarely are . . . one is always aware of Radnóti's vision as European and of his locus as Hungary."--Denise Levertov

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Leon Trotsky, George Sherman, and Eli Wallach

Leon Trotsky, ca. 1939

Born in New York City, George Sherman (1908-1991) moved to Hollywood as a young man and by the age of twenty-nine was directing his own films, specializing in Westerns. In 1958 Sherman was in Mexico, shooting The Last of the Fast Guns, when a journalist named Myron Gold offered him an introduction to Natalie Trotsky (1882-1962), the widow of Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).

Natalie and Leon Trotsky

The Trotskys were forced to leave Russia in 1929 but thanks to the help of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957), they were given political asylum in Mexico and settled in Coyoacán, a borough of Mexico City.

Natalie Trotsky told Sherman the terrible history of her husband’s assassination in the summer of 1940, how he had been attacked in their home and stabbed with an ice axe, how she had waited fifteen hours while doctors tried to save him, and how her husband finally died on August 21.


Sherman told her that he wanted to make a movie about this and about the affair between her husband’s young Brooklyn-born secretary Sylvia Ageloff and Ramón Mercader (1913-1978, also known as Jacques Mornard, also known as Frank Jackson), who became Trotsky’s paid assassin.

Natalie Trotsky shared all her records with Sherman included her copies of unpublished police photographs of Mercader’s capture and Trotsky’s autopsy. Sherman took all this back to Hollywood, wrote a treatment for a full-length film and began raising money.

Rivera, Dunayevskaya, and Trotsky, ca. 1939

Louella Parsons’s April 11, 1960 newspaper column announced the project noting that Eli Wallach was set to play Trotsky and Richard Basehart was almost confirmed as the young reporter covering the murder. Perhaps someone could ask Mr. Wallach about this?


Although the film was never made, Sherman’s wife, actress Cleo Ronson Sherman (1925-2011) held on to the material after her husband’s death, hoping it might still find a producer. A few years ago, she passed it on to a young filmmaker who brought the photographs and negative to the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University, where they will soon be available for research.

See also: Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), What is a peace program? Published by the Bureau of International Propaganda attached to the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Workmen’s and Peasant’s Government of the Russian Republic (Petrograd [Printed by “Herold”] 1918). (Ex) 14094.28.914

Here is a home movie of the Trotskys with Kahlo and Rivera in Mexico City.

Privacidad (Privacy)


Privacidad. Essay by Norberto Marrero Pírez ([La Habana, Cuba: Yamilys Brito Jorge], 2011). Copy 15 of 25. Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process.

A collaboration of Steve Daiber of Red Trillium Press with 13 Cuban printmakers: Adislen Reyes Pino, Aliosky García Sosa, Anyelmaidelín Calzadilla Fernnández, Eduardo Guerra Hernández, Eduardo Hernández Santos, Hanoi Pérez Cordero, Isolina Limonta Rodríguez, Janette Brossard Duharte, Jesús Reyes Romeu, Luis Lamothe Duribe, Noberto Marrero Pírez, Orlando Montalbán Soler, and Yamilys Brito Jorge.

“Fabricated in Spring 2011 Privacidad is the second in a series of three books in which Cuban artists frankly explore their social and political relationships.”—Red Trillium Press. Lithography, silkscreen, linoleum, etching on paper.


Princeton holds several other books by Norberto Marrero Pírez, including Aguas del desastre (La Habana, Cuba: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 2004); Los inmaculados pájaros del socorro (Ciudad de La Habana: Ediciones Unión, Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, 1996); and Un día en la pirámide (La Habana, Cuba: Ediciones Extramuros, 2003).

La Lanterne magique, journal des choses curieuses et amusantes

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La Lanterne magique: journal de choses curieuses et amusantes [The Magic Lantern: Newspaper of Curious and Fun Things]. 1re année [1re livraison] (juin 1833)-4e année, n° 7 (juillet 1836). Bound in one volume. Publishing directors, Jean-Pierre-François Lesguillon (1800-1873) and Charles Malo (1790-1871).

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Jean-Pierre-François Lesguillon had been editing the long-running Almanach des muses (Rare Books Off-Site Storage 3229.1198) but when that annual poetry journal ceased publication in 1833, Lesguillon developed Le Lanterne magique, a monthly newspaper covering a wide variety of amusing topics. Although the image of the magic lantern appears on the title page of each issue, it is only an icon and not the focus of the magazine.

What is surprising is to find this eclectic Parisian magazine filled with illustrations engraved by the British artist John Thompson (1785-1866). Or perhaps not so surprising when we remember that the artist was the leading proponent of the medium and the illustrator of dozens of books and magazines. All his brothers and his sons were trained as wood engravers, although his eldest son, Charles Thompson (1816-1868), gave it up and became the V&A’s first official photographer.

The DNB calls Thompson “perhaps the ablest exponent that has ever lived of the style of wood engraving which aimed at rivalling the effect of copper, and his cuts in Fairfax’s ‘Tasso’ and Puckle’s ‘Club’ may be instanced as supreme triumphs of the art. For about fifty years he stood at the head of his profession, and, vast as was the amount of work he produced during that period, he never allowed it to become mechanical or degenerate into a manufacture.”

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Carrousel of 1662

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Charles Perrault (1628-1703). Courses de testes et de bague faites par le roy et par les princes et seigneurs de sa cour en l’année 1662. Paris: Imprimerie royale, Sébastien Mabre-Cramoisy, 1670. Graphic Arts Collection. Purchased with funds donated by the Friends of the Princeton University Library.

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Thanks to the generous assistance of the Friends of the Princeton University Library, the graphic arts collection has acquired a stunning copy of the 17th-century festival book, Courses de testes et de bague documenting the Carrousel of 1662, the last fête held in Paris before Louis XIV (1638-1715) moved the court to Versailles.

The Imprimerie Royale of France published Courses de testes et de bague in the final months of 1670 as the first volume of the Cabinet du Roi (later reorganized as volume X). Seven hundred copies were printed and bound in red leather, four hundred in French and three hundred in Latin. The book records a Carrousel (also written carousel) or tournament held on June 5 and 6, 1662, organized by the twenty-four year old King. The fifty-five participants were divided into five quadrilles representing the Romans, Persians, Turks, East Indians, and Native Americans Indians, with the king and four of his highest ranking noblemen as the chiefs.

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The acquisition is a nice complement to the seven small pamphlets already held in the rare book collection describing the Carrousel: Iorvnal historique dv grand et magnifiqve carovsel ov tovrnoy de Lovys XIV, roy de France et de Navare. Contenant ce qui s’est fait & passé les cinq & six de iuin courses de la bague (Paris: Chez I.B. Loyson, 1662). With this acquisition we not only document the event but also the beginning of the Cabinet du Roi, the first use of the icon of the sun by Louis XIV (Sun King), and the farewell to Paris by the royal court.

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During the eight years it took to create Courses de testes et de bague, the five men responsible for it—Charles Perrault, Esprit Fléchier, Israel Silvestre, François Chauveau, and Gilles Rousselet—became or already were members of the controlling academies of Paris. Historian Lynn Festa, writing in Empires of the Sun: Colonialism and Closure in Louis XIV’s 1662 Carrousel, comments, “What is curious about the Carrousel is the prominent place given within this closed universe to those who have no access to power within it—to images of subjugated populations, to colonial rivals, to slaves.”

“Rather than challenging Louis’s serene, absolutist order, the exotic otherness of the extravagantly costumed princes, slaves, and animals, serves to celebrate the king’s power. The potentially threatening plurality of images is enclosed in the systematic, subordinating hierarchy of the royal fete. If the first half of the Carrousel—the procession—celebrates and constructs the otherness of its exotic figures, the second half—the ritual assembly before the Louvre—rewrites the meaning of these images into a specifically French iconography that affirms the centrality of Louis XIV.”

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Our sincere thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library for making this possible!

For more information, read this Haverford senior thesis:

Captain James West x 2

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Two years ago, thanks to the generous donation of W. Allen Scheuch II, Class of 1976, the graphic arts collection acquired a portrait of Captain James West (1808-1884) captain of the U.S. Mail Steamship “Atlantic,” which sailed between New York and Liverpool. Recently Scheuch found and donated another portrait we believe to be the same Caption James West but painted by a different artist.

On the back of the second frame is a browning sheet of paper written in a delicate hand, “Captain James West / Born / Died / My grandfather / Mary Nixon West

We believe the portrait at the top is the younger of the two. What do you think?


[above] Unidentified artist, Portrait of Captain James West (1808-1884), ca. 1840. Portrait miniature on ivory. Graphic Arts collection 2013- in process. Gift of W. Allen Scheuch II, Class of 1976

[below] Sarah Biffin (1784-1850), Portrait of Captain James West (1808-1884), 1844. Watercolor on paper. Graphic Arts. 2011- in process. Gift of W. Allen Scheuch II, Class of 1976, given in honor of Meg Whitman, Class of 1977

The Ridicule of Louis XIV

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almanac royal6.jpgMadame de Maintenon with her elbow leaning against a bust of Louis XIV
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Koninglyke Almanach. Beginnende van ‘t jaar 1705 … &c. : waar in zeer duidelyk vertoond word De Loop der Zon des ongerechtigheids, Ofte Tooneel des Oorlogs in Europa, Behelzende de zinnebeelden der VII. Helde-Deugden …. = Almanac royal … Le cours du soleil d’injustice, ou, Theatre de la guerre en Europe … VII. vertus heroiques (Brussels: ten Koste de Compagnie van L.v.S. L.L.T. F.G. M.D. F.d.L. C.l.C. en L.d.D.B. &c., 1705). Series title: ‘t Lust-hof van Momus.

One of a series of satirical pamphlets ridiculing Louis XIV, King of France (1638-1715) and the role of France in the War of the Spanish Succession from 1701 to 1714. The imprint is a fake but the Dutch art dealer, cartographer, and engraver Carel Allard (1648-1709) is assumed to be the publisher. The plates are generally attributed to Allard, Abraham Allard and Balthasar Goris, although several institutions have also attributed them to Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708) a Dutch painter and printmaker remembered, in particular, for his political caricatures of Louis XIV.

In the first plate, [above right] Louis XIV is sitting in the middle of the sun with twenty-four rays. For each ray is a crime committed by the king, with verses and explanation in Dutch and French.

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Austrian History as a Graphic Narrative

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Peter Johann Nepomuk Geiger (1805-1880), Peter Joh. Nep. Geiger’s historische Original-Handzeichnungen bestehend in neunzig Blättern mit einem erklärenden Texte (Peter Joh. Nep. Geiger’s original historic drawings consisting in ninety leaves with an explanatory text) Herausgegeben von Anton Ziegler. [Vienna, 1861.] 6 vols, First edition, privately printed. Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process

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Using linear visual narratives, Gieger chronicles Austrian history from the Middle Ages to Archduchess Leopoldina’s 1817 arrival in Rio de Janeiro as Empress of Brazil. The work first began to appear that same year as Historische Handzeichnungen, Vienna, kaiserlich-königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei. Graphic Arts recently acquired a compilation of the entire set of Gieger’s history.


Peter Geiger (1805-1880) was a respected history painter and illustrator, producing popular images based on the works of Goethe, Schiller, and Shakespeare, as well as Austrian authors such as Grillparzer and Stifter. It was his work for an earlier project, Anton Ziegler’s Vaterländische Immortellen aus dem Gebiete der österreichischen Geschichte (1838-1840), which first brought him considerable public attention. Although Princeton does not own this multi-volume work, it is available through itunes. A note of caution when searching Geiger online: aside from Royal portraiture and literary illustration, he also had a lucrative business creating erotic art.

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Diploma Specimens


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired sixty German diploma specimens collected and bound into an album with the gilt title Musterbuch B. Diplome (Pattern Book B. Diploma). Each sample was printed by the company Förster & Borries in Zwickau, which is south of Leipzig. The collection highlights various techniques and mediums, including chromolithographs, collotypes, wood engravings and embossing. The largest are 60 x 48 cm (or approximately 2 feet) and many offer bold art nouveau style borders. Here are a few of the samples:


Current Princeton University diplomas are written in Latin and have the University seal but no border or decoration. Here is Ryan Truchelut, Class of 2008, with his official document.


Irma Boom's Rembrandt

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Irma Boom, Rembrandt: Flipboek Zelfportretten = Flip Book Self-Portraits / Gebaseerd op Bert Haanstra’s film ‘Rembrandt, schilder van de mens’ uit 1956 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2000s). Graphic Arts Collection GA 2013- in process. Gift of Mathieu Lommen.

“…Whenever I make a book,” said Amsterdam-based graphic designer Irma Boom, “I start by making a tiny one. Usually I make five, six or seven for each book, as filters for my ideas and to help me to see the structure clearly. I have hundreds of those small books and am so fond of them.”

Recently, Boom created a miniature flipbook for the Rijksmuseum, incorporating every self-portrait painted by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Is it, as Mark Lamster called one of her miniatures, “a big book that is paradoxically small.”

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Boom established the Irma Boom Company in 1991 and the following year, joined Yale University as a Senior Critic in the School of Art. Of the 250 books she has created, approximately 70 have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design.

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“I honor the tradition of the book,” said Boom, “but do not want to stop there. My ambition is to develop the significance and the limits of the book. Structures that come from new media, the way that text and images are treated have given the book a new impulse. It is important to experiment … the book will keep its vitality. There’s a lot to explore in a technical way and even more importantly in terms of content and form. Happily through books, the past, present and future can take on profoundly contemporary results and become part of our everyday.”

Thank you to Mathieu Lommen, curator at the Special Collections department of the Amsterdam University Library, for this rare Boom treasure.

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To hear the designer talk about her work, see this video from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis:

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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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

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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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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