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Office of Communications
Stanhope Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5264
Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

Contact: University Library (609) 258-3197

April 21, 1999

Current Exhibitions of the Princeton University Library

In Search of Art: The English Grand Tour

Princeton, N.J. -- The current exhibition in Main Gallery of Firestone Library, In Search of Art: The English Grand Tour, tells the story of the Grand Tour with original art and beautifully illustrated rare books in the library collections of Princeton University. The idea of travel as a means of personal enlightenment first emerged in 18th-century England, where a journey abroad was eventually regarded as a cultural necessity, as the culmination of a young gentleman's education. English travelers generally headed toward Italy by way of France and Switzerland, seeking the classical landscapes and artistic treasures of Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice as their ultimate destination, the crowning experience of the Grand Tour. Many great artists and writers passed that way, and learned new tastes which helped to bring about the stylistic revolution known as the Classical Revival. Examples of their work will be shown in original editions along with travel guides, souvenirs, satirical prints, and landscape views printed in aquatint and other innovative printmaking processes.

Artifacts: The Biographical Object in the Collections of the Princeton University Library

Princeton, N.J. -- All great research libraries acquire artifacts while building their collections of books and manuscripts. As slight as a lock of hair, or as complex as a computer, these historical objects are present in an astonishing variety -- some preserved, almost accidentally, as curiosities, others treasured as precious mementos of famous artists, writers, and statesmen. Books and manuscripts form the core of research libraries, but the wide range of artifacts that come into their collections also deserve the attention of scholars, who must first learn to recognize their value. It is hoped that this gathering of objects from the collections of the Princeton University Library will demonstrate their scholarly importance, and also show the larger university community what disparate kinds of artifacts can be found in a library. The artifacts displayed here range from arms (Audubon's rifle and Livingston's elephant gun) through machines (a Victorian peep show and a computer constructed in Princeton in 1882), to personal apparel (the costumes of the first women in a Triangle show, as well as Katherine Cornell's bra). A paint pot used by a Maya calligrapher in the eighth century will be found near a powder keg from the California Gold Rush; a fragment of a nightcap knitted by Martha Washington shares space with a tea cup owned by Victor Hugo. This exhibition will point out what information can be gleaned from artifacts and why they deserve the space they occupy on library shelves.

These exhibitions will remain on view until September 19, 1999. The Milberg and Main Exhibition Galleries are open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekends noon to 5 p.m.

One illustration for each of these exhibitions can be downloaded from the web site of the Princeton University Office of Communications. URLs with captions as follows:

In Search of Art - The English Grand Tour


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View of the Uffizi Gallery, a restrike of a plate in Giuseppe Zocchi, Scelta di XXIV Vedute delle Principali Contrade, Piazze, Chiese, e Palazzi della Città di Firenze (Florence, 1744), loaned by Jean Cootes.

Artifacts: The Biographical Object


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Allan Marquand's "New Logical Machine" (constructed at Princeton in 1881-1882), a precursor of the modern computer. Allan Marquand Papers, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.